Let's kick this off then...
"EMACS would be a great operating system, if only it had a decent text editor..."
Geeks have often enjoyed a fractious relationship with non-techies, but nowhere near as toxic as their relationships with other geeks who dare to have slightly different tech preferences. On October 17, Brian Alleyne, of the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, will join us to discuss how geek and hacker culture has always …
there's no more bitter enemy of a religios person than a just slighly different one. After all, discussions between religios and non-religous people tend to be short due to lack of a common basis. But between two religous people of just slightly different flavor ... that's where the most heatet debates erupt. Common basis AND desire to differentiate are key ... Same withe techies.. No common basis for dicussions with "normal" people, no argument, no toxic relationships. :-)
there's no more bitter enemy of a religious person than a just slightly different one
That's the nub, there's nothing unique about the proclivity toward this in techies whatsoever.
The most ire in Christian sects has always been saved for other christian sects, same with muslims, and there are probably other sectarian examples.
After all, 'language evolved to scream defiance at the monkeys in the next tree'
- Pratchett (Darwins Watch)
One of my fav jokes follows:
Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!”
He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”
He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?”
He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me too! Protestant or Catholic?”
He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me too! What denomination?”
He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?”
He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”
He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?”
He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me too!”
“Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879 or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?”
He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” I said, “Die heretic!” And I pushed him over.
The heated discussions between FoxPro users and Clipper developers.
Later the open warfare between NT Server and Netware supporters*
* I actually relished telling customers their software is now slower because they downgraded their server operating system. MS never mentioned the half speed file access over Netware.
"Later the open warfare between NT Server and Netware supporters*"
I've never come across Open Source geeks who spent their time thinking up ways of sabotaging other developers efforts. Such as shipping Windows with no network connectivity and refusing to fix bugs in Windows 95. Refusing to provide header files and libraries to Novell. Or writing a bad app to make OS/2 look buggy. Or produce fake error msgs, see AARD code.
Isn't this true of other groups as well? We all fight over the issues with which we're most intimately and constantly familiar. Emacs vs. vi is our version of angels dancing on the head of a pin. Another metaphor is the infamous bikeshed. Nobody wants to argue about the design of a nuclear power plant, because that's complicated and hard and requires a lot of knowledge, but everyone has an opinion on what color the bikeshed at that plant should be. Perhaps the general tendencies of programmers - highly focused, introverted, a bit brittle - make this somewhat worse than elsewhere, but mostly it just seems like human nature.
[quote]There's no point in taking on clueless users. They are not worthy adversaries.
Today is a good day to die. Qapla'[/quote]
I much prefer the ancient dwarfish battle cry, "T'dr'duzk b'hazg t't!"
Which translates as the far more sensible desire, "Today is a good day for someone else to die!"
Thank you, Sir Pterry.
In the years before personal computers when pocket calculators were displacing slide rules, the big divide was between the users of calculators with Reverse Polish Notation (HP, a few others) and users of calculators with algebraic notation (TI, most others).
I agree that these sorts of schisms seem to be human nature.
Pocket calculators displaced sliderules? Really? When did this happen, I must have missed it!
Sliderules still do the job they were invented to do. They do it perfectly, and without batteries. What's not to like? Here's a picture of my favorite. I use it near daily.