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Is The Geek Dead?

Argument [http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/27442.html] and counter argument [http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/27448.html] as to whether the geek has died at The Register. Note : why must I hate Microsoft to be a geek? I use their OS, but I dig through their code, find their mistakes and get my stuff working on their machines. Am I some sub-geek simply because I choose not to use a free OS? To quote the Demotivator for this month, ’If you’re not part of the solution, there’s money to be made in prolonging in the problem [http://content.techrepublic.com.com/2346-10878_11-4505-7.html].’ Only if you’re an MS consultant, which I’m not. Nor am I an MS evangelist. I like my free tools. Web Matrix is looking good for example. The argument for geeks is to shun MS, but that’s bull. Someone has to prove to MS that they should and can live in the same world, whether they like it or not. They can be happily co-existent and inter-communicative with the free OS’s of the world. Ditto to the politicists of geekdom who would rather provide a solution as a slap in the face to Billy Gates than just a solution to the problem.

There’s almost the parallel between sci-fi of the fifties and science today. The ideas of those writers in their heyday are slowly being made reality by the scientists of today, inspired to see if they can make it real. Ditto for most of what MS has achieved. The geeks and hackers of the world have found a challenge to create the same (but not next generation) tools in cleaner, open code. But it’s still MS, IBM, Sun, etc producing the ideas for the next step. Some take, some don’t. Web services have taken, slowly, while HailStorm  .NET My Services [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb263932(VS.85).aspx] has not, although it won’t be a surprise to see similar ventures from everyone down the road. Likewise, MS has taken the first step to standardize more of the web service world under the guise of its GXA [http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/understanding/gxa/] project, and will probably take more flak from it. Still though, the instigator always takes more risks than those who follow and refine. Such is the nature of the role. We don’t have to dislike MS to be a geek - we just have to identify its role. Even Linus Torvalds [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/2300267.stm] agrees with that - “If you start doing things because you hate others and want to screw them over, the end result is bad.“ How universal do you want it? Should I put it in XML tags to make sure it’s compatible with your system?

Posted on October 6, 2002   #Brainjuice  

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