Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Free software advocates learn from their alleged adversaries, if you can't convince someone, force them through lawsuit...

Slashdot | Quebec Gov Sued For Ignoring Free Software, from this article.

Simple as this: free software is just that, free. You pay nothing. And you get what you pay for generally. Which means that if it doesn't work, it doesn't work right, or works but not the way you need it so, sorry, you're SOL and probably soon to have a network that is FUBAR.

Microsoft products inter-operate, they are supported by the license fees, and Microsoft has the largest support documentation database of any software publisher bar none. Out of the box, you can build a Microsoft network based on Windows, using MS Office for your office type work, and load on to them as well from the single largest third party library of software for any platform ever.

You cannot say the same about Linux or BSD. Even Apple's Macintosh is extremely limited by Apple's anal-retentive control freak approach to development on their platform over the years resulting in a continuing reticence in the industry to develop on it even though the underlying core has now changed dramatically.

But Linux which is the core of the "free software" movement exemplifies the true qualities of the soft left of today. It is entirely smothered and retarded by cults of personality, personality conflicts, egomania, territorialism, hypocrisy, self-centeredness, greed, and self-righteousness. Witness the general disregard and disdain, most often without any basis or even the slightest hint of sane rationale for Red Hat, arguably the most professional distribution on the market today.

Yet because of that "free" illusion, Red Hat continues to fight an uphill battle. If you're going to pay for software, might as well pay for Microsoft. If you're looking to save money, pay nothing. It's not an enviable position for Red Hat to be in, but unfortunately the Linux world is entirely dominated by the idiot idea that everything in life should come without cost and be totally decentralized and worked on and supported by whoever wants to whenever they want and if you want it now, you pay now, and pay way more than you'd ultimately pay for an MS based network.

However, as has been seen in many corporate and government settings, free is not free in software. It comes with a support price tag that you didn't pay up front with the software. It doesn't work right out of the box both because there is no box and because it wasn't designed to. It needs a "geek" to make it work at all and a super geek in many cases to make it work the way you need it.

Those corporations which have heavily moved into the Linux world now have several full time coders and geeks to make their supposedly free system work. That's roughly $40,000US for salary and since benefits usually cost the same by rough figuring, it works out to about $80,000US per geek. Per year. Three geeks is $240,000US just to keep supposedly free software working for a few minutes.

I've seen five hundred seat LANs based on Windows clients going to Windows servers with Office and other software be entirely supported from PC hardware to software to network to servers to Internet connection, soup to nuts, by ONE non-MSCE for $80,000US (again, salary plus benefits). The cost of the software was a one-time payment of maybe $1,000US per seat so $500,000 covering five to ten years of usage and the geek.

One geek X ten years w/one time software buy... $1,300,000.

Three geeks X ten years... $2,400,000.

Yes, this is a simplification, but you get the idea. There's no reason that a company should have to replicate locally, each one, what Microsoft does for them centrally. Custom support for a Microsoft LAN needs one person generally. Customer support for a "free software" LAN needs several generally. Why? Because of what I said about the Linux world earlier. One wants to specialize in PHP and does almost nothing else. Fine, he can write scripts to run on the Apache web server, but now you need someone to make the Apache web server work and he doesn't want to do more than that. The source for much of the Linux software isn't working the way your business needs and is not customizable easily, so you need a dedicated coder to do custom modifications to make it work.

Microsoft software tends towards endless customization and tends towards a modular and extremely well documented architecture lending itself to third parties writing generalized and customizable software you can purchase easily and it just works. Point, click, install. Point, click, customize. Point, click, it works.

The Linux world full of their own supposed genius has to do things as difficult as possible. Unified architectures? No. Common frameworks? Uh uh. Standards based designs? Are you crazy? Besides, there is the self-righteousness aspect and everyone thinks they know the best way. As with so much else in the world, it's about who is right and not what is right. Microsoft does what is right and doesn't argue with everyone else. Anyone working there works to the Microsoft model and standards or doesn't work there at all. In the Linux world, it's whatever you feel like doing.

Sorry geeks, but it's true. Linux is a losing proposition for the business world and the business world knows it. When it comes to a cost vs. benefit analysis, standards, off-the-shelf availability, customizability, ease of use, ease of support, breadth and depth of support documentation... they all are on Microsoft's side, not Linux, and all because Linux is something like most geek subcultures. Full of people who feel sorry for themselves, who've abdicated all power they had in the mainstream world, and who've decided to invent games they can master to empower themselves in a sterile subculture away from the real world that matters.

Yes, I know, I must be some moron who doesn't know what I'm talking about. I who have a Linux RAID server running Samba sitting in my office. But then, I can afford to spend idle time tweaking it and supporting it myself. Were I to have money riding on it, no fucking way would I take the chances on it. I can compile in my sleep. I've become damn good with SSH and Python. But take chances with money and business? Not on your life.

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