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If UNIX Were a Religion

Unknown Lamer posted about 9 months ago | from the gnu-slash-heretic dept.

Unix 392

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Charles Stross has written a very clever article where he describes the religious metaphor he uses with non-technical folks to explain the relationship between Mac OS X and UNIX. There is one true religion in operating systems says Stross and it is UNIX although there's also an earlier, older, more arcane religion with far fewer followers, MULTICS, from which UNIX sprang as a stripped-down rules-deficient heresy. If MULTICS is Judaism then UNIX is Christianity. By the mid-1970s there were two main sects: AT&T UNIX, which we may liken unto the Roman Catholic Church, and BSD UNIX, which we may approximate to the Orthodox Churches. In an attempt to control the schisms, the faithful defined a common interoperating subset of the one true religion that all could agree on—the Nicene Creed of UNIX which is probably POSIX. Stross says that today the biggest church in the whole of UNIX is Mac OS X, which rests on the bedrock of Orthodox BSD but "has added an incredible, towering superstructure of fiercely guarded APIs and proprietary user interface stuff that renders it all but unrecognizable to followers of the Catholic AT&T path." But lo, in the late 1980s, UNIX succumbed to the sins of venality, demanding too much money from the faithful and so, in 1991 Linus Torvalds nailed his famous source code release to the cathedral door and kicked off the Reformation. 'The Linux wars were brutal and unforgiving and Linux itself splintered into a myriad of fractious Protestant churches, from the Red Hat wearing Lutherans to the Ubuntu Baptists.' More recently, a deviant faith has sprung from Linux. 'Android is the Church of Latter Day Saints of UNIX: hard-working, sober, evangelizing the public, and growing at a ferocious rate. There are some strange fundamentalist Mormon Android churches living in walled communities under the banners of Samsung and Amazon, but for the most part the prosperous worship at the Church of Google.' Stross notes that as with all religion, those sects with most in common are the ones who hold the most vicious grudges against one another. 'Is that clear?'"

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If it was a religion? (5, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 9 months ago | (#45827199)

If it was a religion? if???

I didn't realise this was up for a debate about this.

Now I'm going to fetch my copy of the old testament (ANSI version) and read a few verses.

Re:If it was a religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827505)

Now I'm going to fetch my copy of the old testament (ANSI version) and read a few verses.

Dude, that's the New Testament. The Qu'ran comes next.

Only a metaphor, but... (4, Interesting)

Attila the Bun (952109) | about 9 months ago | (#45827711)

It's only a metaphor, but holds surprisingly well. Worryingly well. So well that we, if we claim to be modern enlightened people, should have some kind of response.

But what? Switching operating systems - like switching religions - involves a lot of work if you do it properly. Unlike religion it is possible to "worship" two or more OSes, but many people find that an inefficient way to work. So how can we avoid unwarranted faith in our way of doing things, fighting between neighbouring factions, and all the other destructive forces that religions suffer from?

The Linux kernel does a good job of holding all the myriad Linuxes together: all need the kernel to evolve and improve, but none can afford to implement those changes alone. Android and iOS have opened peoples eyes to other ways of interacting with computers and rendered the Windows-Mac conflict less important.

Technology evolves, preventing us from stagnating and developing unchangeable "holy" rules. It's a natural human tendency to break into tribal factions, but it seems that technological progress puts a damper on this, forcing us to widen our horizons and helping us to work together. Suddenly progress seems more important than ever.

Only a metaphor. No but. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827841)

ANY social movement can be "explained" by a religion metaphor.

And why isn't religion explained by a metaphor with UNIX worth saying "worryingly so" about the fit?

What ISN'T in the metaphor, and must surely be the thing you decry, is the blind faith and dogma, which is only vestigial in terms of the OS, even compared to the mainstream rather than fundamentalist religions.

Re:If it was a religion? (4, Insightful)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 9 months ago | (#45827753)

I'd say I like the analogy to LINUX as Protestant splintering from the church of AT&T, though I'm wondering why nobody brought up that BeOS splintered with more forward looking features and ended up being led by a homicidal albino bent on mayhem.

We took a rancorous subject where people just argue, and we added religious debate to it, just in case someone wasn't going to get their jammies in a wad. We should also add in that Windows doesn't believe in Global Warming, and Al Gore prefers the Mac. Glenn Beck is out in a hidden location somewhere in the Utah desert right now preaching Ubuntu to rebellious children waiting for the end times.

I don't however, see much use in these analogies, because they detract from the much better "If an Operating System Drove Your Car" metaphor; http://www.computerjokes.net/027.asp [computerjokes.net]

Re:If it was a religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827813)

Now I'm going to fetch my copy of the old testament (ANSI version) and read a few verses.

ANSI? Wanna borrow my copy of the EBCDIC version?

Sgh. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827207)

Oh lookie, a navel-gazing extended, tortured analogy, and even worse, an unfunny to say nothing of uninsightful one.

I like Saint Silicon better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827209)

.. if you remember that - kind of fun

with all due respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827309)

can ibe the FIRST POSTER against religion in foss. most scientists are one of rge following: anarchist agnostic pagan or just generally spiritual. why do we have ro bring christianity into it as a metaphor?

BeOS? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#45827231)

What would BeOS and Haiku be listed as? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BeOS [wikipedia.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku_(operating_system) [wikipedia.org]

Re:BeOS? (3)

Geeky (90998) | about 9 months ago | (#45827289)

Hinduism? Shinto?

And what about Windows? Is that Scientology?

Re:BeOS? (5, Funny)

Zocalo (252965) | about 9 months ago | (#45827347)

And what about Windows? Is that Scientology?

A cult that demands its adherents donate increasingly large amounts of money to the "church" and employs dubious legal tactics, manipulation of the media and outright intimidation to keep its opponents and wayward members in check? Yep. Sounds like we have a winner!

Re:BeOS? (5, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 9 months ago | (#45827793)

As much stuff as Windows had blown up over.the years I am thinking fundamental Islam.

Re:BeOS? (4, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 9 months ago | (#45827801)

Sorry, I couldn't finish my previous comment. I had a bsod of 0x00000allahuakbar.

Re:BeOS? (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 9 months ago | (#45827363)

Sounds about right.

I want to know which OS would be considered to be buddhism?

Re:BeOS? (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about 9 months ago | (#45827389)

Xen?

Re:BeOS? (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 months ago | (#45827475)

Minix.

Beautiful, elegant, reliable and useless.

Minix? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 9 months ago | (#45827555)

Minix is pretty close to Linux, so if Linux is the Protestant Church, Minix would be Lutheran? Or like BSD, it could have a bit of Eastern Orthodoxy in it?

Re:Minix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827775)

how about Shakers

Re:BeOS? (2)

Bongo (13261) | about 9 months ago | (#45827717)

I want to know which OS would be considered to be buddhism?

Who is root?

Re:BeOS? (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 9 months ago | (#45827763)

On some level, are we not all root?

Wait... no! That was Windows.

Re:BeOS? (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 9 months ago | (#45827829)

> I want to know which OS would be considered to be buddhism?

If a kernel panics in the os, would any system crash?

Re: BeOS? (1)

segin (883667) | about 9 months ago | (#45827373)

Considering Microsoft various âoeGet The Factsâ campaigns, more like Scientology mixed with The Nation of Islam [wikipedia.org]

Re: BeOS? (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 9 months ago | (#45827517)

Since 2010, under Farrakhan, members have been strongly encouraged to study Dianetics, and the Nation currently claims it has trained 1055 Auditors.[10]

What the fuck?

Re:BeOS? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 9 months ago | (#45827377)

Shintoism could be OpenVMS. Hinduism could be the entire collection of IBM OSs that were all over the place in the 80s & 90s.

Re:BeOS? (1)

dwywit (1109409) | about 9 months ago | (#45827701)

OS400 !=Hinduism

Reminds me of "Wings of OS/400" and the other OS iterations from:
http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~zurawski/humor/new_os_air.html [udel.edu]

Re:BeOS? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 9 months ago | (#45827743)

IBM had plenty of OSs - OS/400, MVS and so on. Each could be equivalent to a Hindu sect/deity. Maybe w/ the exception of AIX, which, being Unix, would fall under the Christian umbrella above.

Re:BeOS? (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 9 months ago | (#45827825)

That's not an unreasonable comparison... a growing number of Hindus actually believe that the many gods of Hinduism are all aspects of a single god, and there are even some who practice a sort of mixed bag where, nominally, they're Hindu and celebrate Hindu festivals like Diwali, but are also Christian, and celebrate Christian festivals like Christmas.

Re:BeOS? (1)

Sique (173459) | about 9 months ago | (#45827483)

Windows is the Caliphate of Microsoft (at least in TFA).

Security (2)

Mondorescue (652638) | about 9 months ago | (#45827233)

I guess that explains why I always feel the urge to do a security audit before Yom Kippur.

Arch Linux (1)

game kid (805301) | about 9 months ago | (#45827235)

I guess Arch Linux (my current OS of choice) doesn't fit in this ungodly mess of doctrines, with the gluttonous pacman and all.

Re:Arch Linux (1)

ezdiy (2717051) | about 9 months ago | (#45827383)

Noah's ark.

You mean Andrew Tanenbaum (5, Informative)

tomxor (2379126) | about 9 months ago | (#45827237)

But lo, in the late 1980s, UNIX succumbed to the sins of venality, demanding too much money from the faithful and so, in 1991 Linus Torvalds nailed his famous source code release to the cathedral door and kicked off the Reformation.

It was Andrew Tanenbaum who showed the initiative to create a UNIX compatible royalty free OS for the purpose of teaching, Torvalds Linux is surely a derivative of that initiative if not a direct derivative of the Minix book which inspired him. Torvalds deserves a lot of credit for Linux but i think Tanenbaum deserves to have the credit for enabling so many people to learn about UNIX like systems without paying absurd amounts to AT&T.

OK - so Tanenbaum is Luther or Wycliffe (3, Insightful)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | about 9 months ago | (#45827355)

Whilst Torvalds is Calvin - the one who pulled the logic of the previous reformers together to create a complete system.

Re:OK - so Tanenbaum is Luther or Wycliffe (3, Insightful)

Megane (129182) | about 9 months ago | (#45827455)

Indeed. Martin Luther knew what he was doing, but Linus was just playing around with making a kernel go ABABABAB and then suddenly people went nuts over it. Linus is no Martin Luther.

Re:You mean Andrew Tanenbaum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827395)

To translate "Burn the heretic, burn the unbeliever! Spit him on a pike and ask not whence arcane OS knowledge springs from, but who hath wrought it. And lo! On the seventh day that which begat that shall be told in the book of Kings, for Linus Torvalds the great had many before him, and many after. And all shall shun DOS and the demonspawn after, from the great father of sin Bill Gates. Reject his ways my children, reject the father of lies to seek the true path of Open Source!"

Re:You mean Andrew Tanenbaum (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 9 months ago | (#45827443)

I bougth a copy of Tannenbaum's book (still have it), but could not afford the mag tape. Free it was not!

Bon't forget VMS (Ptrobably an off-shoot of Druidism) or RSX (modern form of Nerthe).

CPM anyone?

Re:You mean Andrew Tanenbaum (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827547)

My C Teacher, had the tape, and offered that if any one bought the book, he would dupe the tape for us.
Well, it took almost 3 months for the unix bookstore to get a copy in, so me and my roommate both bought
the book, and my teacher duped the mag tape. we got another teacher to dump the tape to 6 floppies,
and we started playing around with it in earnest, crashing compilers, and generally having a hell of a time trying to make
it work, and got a lot of hints off a programmers bbs, until less than 4 months later...

we read Linus's post. We ignored it because no one spoke Swedish, nor did any one of us have a Swedish keyboard.
but the again 4 months later.... we got Linux in English, and could easily read the code...

Thank you B.K. Hope the British car is still running...

Re:You mean Andrew Tanenbaum (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827551)

But lo, in the late 1980s, UNIX succumbed to the sins of venality, demanding too much money from the faithful and so, in 1991 Linus Torvalds nailed his famous source code release to the cathedral door and kicked off the Reformation.

It was Andrew Tanenbaum who showed the initiative to create a UNIX compatible royalty free OS for the purpose of teaching, Torvalds Linux is surely a derivative of that initiative if not a direct derivative of the Minix book which inspired him. Torvalds deserves a lot of credit for Linux but i think Tanenbaum deserves to have the credit for enabling so many people to learn about UNIX like systems without paying absurd amounts to AT&T.

Your post lacks biblical ambiance:

And so it came to pass that Andrew Tanenbaum begat MINIX, a UNIX compatible royalty free OS so that the joyous teachings of UNIX might be spread to all the nations of the world. His disciple Linus Torvalds then laid with MINIX and begot a son, LINUX. LINUX did then liberate the nations of the world from the tax collectors of the tyrant AT&T. Thus, let it never be forgotten as long as men walk the earth, that had not Tannenbaum begotten MINIX and Torvalds begotten LINUX the the nations of the world would still live in bondage.

There... fixed that for you.

Re:You mean Andrew Tanenbaum (3, Funny)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 9 months ago | (#45827633)

> laid with MINIX...

Works better if you say, "Linus knew MINIX."

Re:You mean Andrew Tanenbaum (4, Informative)

thue (121682) | about 9 months ago | (#45827565)

Minix was explicitly considered a toy operating system by Andrew Tanenbaum, who refused to accept patches to add functionality because the complexity would have made Minix less suited as a teaching tool.

Re:You mean Andrew Tanenbaum (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 9 months ago | (#45827777)

Minix is an ensigns training ship. The Navy doesn't put the latest guns on an ensigns training ship, because it's purpose is not to sail out into battle.

So whats the Church of Satan? (1)

Maquis196 (535256) | about 9 months ago | (#45827245)

Must be Windows, maybe just the church of windows ME.

Re:So whats the Church of Satan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827291)

Nah, it'd be Atari TOS. People remember it exists, sort of, but few actually do anything with it.

Re:So whats the Church of Satan? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#45827323)

Founded 1966, rational selfishness, offered baptisms, weddings, funerals. Publicity in the 1960-70's. Also see Temple of Set.
Back to DEC? IBM tape, basic?

Re:So whats the Church of Satan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827349)

Scientology. Satanism isn't really a religion.

Re:So whats the Church of Satan? (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 9 months ago | (#45827495)

Emacs?

Re:So whats the Church of Satan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827579)

It's got to be Plan 9/Inferno OS. It an offspring of christianity (UNIX) and it's only accessible to those who like to experiment

There was another faith... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827259)

That took elements common to Judaism and Christianity and fused them into an aggressive hegemonising philosophy that brooked no opposition. Where does that fit into the anology?

(Having only read the summary, I don't know if Stross had the nerve to bring them in to the discussion for fear of upsetting people. They can be very touchy at times...)

Re:There was another faith... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827351)

I would describe that one as fitting the GNU - being aggressively bandied about. Just like the term 'Abrahamic faiths' are used to co-opt this faith along with Judaism and Christianity, similarly, the appendage GNU/Linux is used to try and get GNU ownership of Linux.

Actually, the above example, instead of being done with Christianity/Judaism, could just as easily have been done with Islam

Re:There was another faith... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 9 months ago | (#45827575)

From TFA, Windows is the Caliphate of Microsoft. But then, where would that leave RSX & VMS, both Cutler inventions as well? The place where that analogy fails is that while Islam overran an entire hemisphere from Morocco to Brunei, Windows failed to ever effectively go beyond x86 based boxes.

Re:There was another faith... (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 9 months ago | (#45827789)

That took elements common to Judaism and Christianity and fused them into an aggressive hegemonising philosophy that brooked no opposition. Where does that fit into the anology?

Sounds like Apple to me. Started out with open hardware and open software, and bundled them into a walled garden.

Jesus wept (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827279)

Any chance of anything bar another Linux masturbation article.

If UNIX were a religion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827293)

Microsoft would be the church of Scientology!

Re:If UNIX were a religion... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827339)

Stop calling Scientology a church. They are not.

They are a tax evading criminal company selling a bogus cult for big money. Nothing else.

Re: If UNIX were a religion... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827391)

That's pretty much true of every church. What's your point?

Re: If UNIX were a religion... (1, Flamebait)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 9 months ago | (#45827797)

Actually, no. It isn't true. I'm not religious, but I'm not sophomorically opposed to religions. Try harder.

Then Windows would be...? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 9 months ago | (#45827295)

Buddhism? Hinduism? Scientology? Rastafarianism?

(One can't say Islam, b'cos whereas Islam spread wherever it could, Windows largely refused to leave its x86 home)

Re:Then Windows would be...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827501)

Atheist. We Windows fans live in the real, modern world. We hold no crazy beliefs, such as equating proprietary software with slavery. We see a product we like, we use it, and don't mind paying money for it. If a better product comes along for a reasonable price, we switch. Simple as that.

Ubuntu is Baptist? (2)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 9 months ago | (#45827301)

Maybe the Westboro Baptist Church...

And Windows 8 is Scientology.

Re:Ubuntu is Baptist? (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 months ago | (#45827481)

If Unix is Christianity, then RMS is Westboro Baptist Church.

why ? (3, Interesting)

Tom (822) | about 9 months ago | (#45827337)

Ok, what's the point of this stressed metaphor? It doesn't make it easier to remember anything, it doesn't help in understanding anything (largely because the various splits, etc. happened for entirely different reasons), it adds a completely unnecessary layer of indirection and, quite honestly, I find the comparison insulting.

So the point is? Aside from "because we can"? What am I missing that makes this blog-level nonsense frontpage-worthy?

Re:why ? (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#45827385)

Re So the point is? I guess every generation reflects back on computer use?
I always liked Umberto Eco on The Holy War: Mac vs. DOS from 1994
http://www.themodernword.com/eco/eco_mac_vs_pc.html [themodernword.com]
..."DOS is Protestant, or even Calvinistic"...
'To make the system work you need to interpret the program yourself: Far away from the baroque community of revelers, the user is closed within the loneliness of his own inner torment."

Re:why ? (4, Insightful)

TuringTest (533084) | about 9 months ago | (#45827461)

Of course it will be useless for you if you already have some understanding of the UNIX heritage. As with all metaphors, its value is for people who know very little about the topic, in that it helps them relating the topic to something which they're already familiar with.

For someone without a previous knowledge in the history of UNIX, the metaphor provides a mental map to navigate intuitively what was perceived as an impenetrable technical mess [levenez.com] . It can provide the idea that there is a heritage of branching from a common origin, a sense of what are the main branches, their relative antiquity and importance.

Moreover, it's funny and light-hearted. Why does everything has to have a practical purpose?

Re:why ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827525)

Because Slashdot stopped being a tech site years ago. Now it's Reddit spillover.

Re:why ? (1)

mapkinase (958129) | about 9 months ago | (#45827795)

That is not true. Just yesterday I saw a highly upvoted (32 votes as far as I remember) Reddit comment linked to Slashdot article.

Re:why ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827559)

What am I missing that makes this blog-level nonsense frontpage-worthy?

Slashdot, Dice, and the fact that it makes for easy click-bait (for Slashdot, not Charlie - he gets enough nutters on his blog already).

Re:why ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827573)

Ohhh... Tom is a little butthurt. Want us to call your mommy so she can rub some Bengay on your cheeks?

Re:why ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827699)

You bet it's insulting, religion doesn't have this level of evidence...

Re:why ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827709)

it's funny, you dullard.

Re:why ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827739)

If I didn't already see your low user number, I would assume you're new here. You must be kidding right? Since when has Slashdot ever been relevant or had much of anything to say that was "frontpage-worthy"?

Re:why ? (2)

mapkinase (958129) | about 9 months ago | (#45827787)

>Ok, what's the point of this stressed metaphor?

Fun? :-)

When people meet fun they often forgot that the purpose is to laugh, and being too hard on a person who tries to make you laugh does not benefit that purpose at all. :-)

If something intended as fun does not seem funny to you the best thing is to ignore it.

Re:why ? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 9 months ago | (#45827827)

The point of the article is to make fun of a bunch of Zealots. Who have even joined in the fun.

And, uh... it's blog-level nonsense because you're reading it on this here blog thingie.

Read Salus' 'A Quarter Century of UNIX' [amazon.com] if you want something more interesting than the fact-deficient comments here. It's not free, in fact it's kind of expensive for a paperback. (Hurry, Amazon says they only have five copies left.)

Religion is... (1, Insightful)

John Allsup (987) | about 9 months ago | (#45827359)

Religion is, and has always been, the main way humans self-organise and coordinate on a large scale.  Modern civilisation has its advantages, but one drawback is that the rules are too numerous, can only really be understood by experts and is open to abuse by vested interests.  Religion also has these shortcomings, but is generally much simpler in nature.  We have a few thousand years of religious history to study how that part of human psychology works, and it is not surprising to see religious behaviour emerging naturally in secular aspects of life.  (Fans following a football team are probably an excellent source of examples here.)

Re:Religion is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827479)

Or people swallowing the whole mythos behind "manned space exploration" and the attendant "species" and "this rock" language.

Funny (1)

jargonburn (1950578) | about 9 months ago | (#45827361)

Didn't read the article, but the summary made me laugh!

beware falling gargoyles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827403)

plans to use POT (Personal Open Terminal) on saveyourasp.com have been upended

spot on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827415)

i love it! you hit the nail on the head. what i can't get, is the unchallenged success of android! it's such a bloated piece of junk, with a shaky architecture at best. how damned hard is it to plop a managed code environment on an ARM with some graphics libraries?

Re: spot on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827713)

Never owned a nexus?

Wumo says it all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827425)

Wumo [kindofnormal.com]

Car analogy please (1)

Megane (129182) | about 9 months ago | (#45827441)

I still prefer my automotive analogy. [slashdot.org] Because manual transmission is a religion, too.

How Ya Gonna Get 'Em Down On The Manual Farm?

Driving Instructor Philip Guo poses a similar question: 'How ya gonna get 'em down on a manual transmission after they've used a slush-box?' Convincing driving students from automatic culture to toss aside decades of advances in transmissions for a stick shift is a tough sell, Guo notes, and one that's made even more difficult when the instructors feel the advantages are self-evident. 'Just waving their arms and shouting "because, because RACECAR!!!" isn't going to cut it,' he advises. Guo's tips for success? 'You need to gently introduce students to why these tools will eventually make them more productive in the long run,' Guo suggests, 'even though there is a steep learning curve at the outset. Start slow, be supportive along the way, and don't disparage the automatic transmissions that they are accustomed to using, no matter how limited you think those tools are. Bridge the two cultures.'"

Re:Car analogy please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827757)

You realize a stick shift is now an effective theft deterrent now. There are hundreds of stories of attempted car jackings where the thief couldn't get the car they tried to steal moving.

More rel. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827477)

Windows = Islam
Haiku = Scientology

you Fail it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827577)

OpenBSD leader Theo off the play area ones in software And distraction series of debate5 The curtains fl3w worse and worse. As the rain..we can be to happen. My way. It used to be

I think I learned more about religion that UNIX to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827589)

We need this guy as secretary of education!

A thanks from people taking religous studies. (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 9 months ago | (#45827597)

For providing an analogoy that makes the history of ( some ) religions clear to them.

Vicious grudges (1)

MikeRT (947531) | about 9 months ago | (#45827609)

Stross notes that as with all religion, those sects with most in common are the ones who hold the most vicious grudges against one another. 'Is that clear?'"

The "grudges" that most Christian denominations hold against each other, if one can even call them grudges by now, are by and large substantially less the fighting over operating systems by geeks. The Catholics officially regard baptized Protestants as Catholics who are out of communion with Rome. The term is "separated brethren," not "those damn heretics" now. Likewise, most Protestant denominations, even conservative ones, may harshly criticize the Catholic Church on issues of doctrine but regard observant Catholics as fellow Christians. The level of animosity is significantly less except on the outliers than Stross realizes, but then as far as I know he's an atheist and like most atheists he tends to think far too highly of his knowledge of religion especially Christianity.

If UNIX were a religion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827613)

No need for this comparison. Computers actually exist and there is no doubt about it.

Brilliant ! (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 9 months ago | (#45827619)

It maps quite well to my own path: I started out with Solaris, but seeing how much such Unices dabbled in simony and venality, I "went protestant", and am a hardcore Linux-Calvinist now ( Slackware, Fuduntu, xfce et al. being the grounds of my daily toil.

Re:Brilliant ! (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 9 months ago | (#45827727)

The summary above, while touching on the AT&T vs BSD split, as well as the BSD vs Linux split, glossed over another split that happened in b/w - that of Unix International (Sun & AT&T) vs OSF. OSF, rather than Linux, would be more akin to the earlier Protestant churches, while Linux would be more of the more recent churches, such as the Baptists, Episcopalian, and so on.

Steve Jobs (1)

Alex Cane (3296683) | about 9 months ago | (#45827667)

" He's not the messiah. He's a very naughty boy!"....

If UNIX Were a Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827723)

That would make Windows users Atheist yes?

Islam would be a virus that trashes systems (0)

Chrisq (894406) | about 9 months ago | (#45827741)

Malignantly spreading, leaving a wake of destruction with nothing of value in its place. Where this breaks down is that there are not lots of people declaring that those who propose virus scanners, firewalls, etc. are slimy virus-a-phobes and that many systems have been trashed by Window, Linux, etc.

POSIX ME HARDER (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827779)

Isn't POSIX the religion at the core? Even windows is posix!

He missed the easy one (1)

Moe Taxes (304424) | about 9 months ago | (#45827791)

Everyone knows BSD is equivalent to pagan devil worship, I mean just look at the logo.

If you're gonna go, go all the way (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 9 months ago | (#45827799)

I'm sure a lot of people will take the android thing as a slight being associated with Mormon, so I'm not sure why he avoided the analogy that the whole thing was begging: Apple as Islam. Someone else said Microsoft as Scientology which was a good one as well.

windowshu akbar? (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 9 months ago | (#45827811)

The caliphate of Microsoft? There is no god but Windows and Bill Gates is his prophet?

Does that make Chrome OS and Android a cult? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45827821)

Personally I think Apple simply made a open source project its own just like Google is doing. Must be nice to have a lot a people put in a lot of personal time and then have a mega company capitalize on your work. Seems like Unix and Linux have given plenty of fuel for the launch of new operating systems and yet these endeavors have really contributed so little back to the very free and open sources they came from. But the other question is, would Unix be anywhere now without Apple and would Linux still be a hobby OS without Google?

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