I’m almost bubbling with a perverse, twisted sense of delight. Not since Beranger announced his defection from Linux to Windows and the outrageous threats of legal action over Linux has there been a windfall like the Sam Varghese vs. Caitlyn Martin spat. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning.
Why? Because yet again, my opinion is validated: Blogging is a pointless, worthless, self-indulgent function wasting the time and effort of thousands upon thousands of people, every day, myself included. An immense amount of time and money go into this pitiful, rancid little exercise, doing very little to actually motivate or resolve the real problems the world faces.
If there had been blogging in the late 1700s, the French Revolution would never have happened. If there had been blogs in the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. wouldn’t have made the I Have a Dream speech and men wouldn’t have landed on the moon. If cavemen had had blogs, there would be no cave paintings. (Wait, maybe that’s what cave paintings are. … )
A long time ago, people sat around in pubs, became incensed at their lot in life, shouted a lot, then went on a wild rampage, taking out their anger on the local mad scientist or semi-enlightened despot, burning his castle and throwing him into the moat. Nowadays, people sit around the house, become incensed at their lot in life, then whine into their electronic diary and mope for a few hours. A few other people read it, whine into their own electronic diaries, and nothing else happens. No mad scientist gets thrown in the moat. Nobody’s castle gets burned down.
This, we call progress.
Was anything solved when Ms. Martin took the pith out of the Ubuntu hierarchy for failing to recognize her printer? Nope. A few hundred comments and she attracted the ire of Mr. Varghese, who in turn took a wider swipe at the collective impudence of a certain kind of Linux user. Anything improved by that? Nope. A few more hundred comments and a pithy retort from Ms. Martin.
Nobody increased Linux’s user base. Nobody took a chunk out of Apple’s market share. Nobody kept another uneducated computer buyer from spending money on a Microsoft product. Nobody even cured the common cold.
What happened? A few advertisers made a little money on the redirects. The sites that host those writers drew a few more hits, and probably drew in a little more ad revenue. A network administrator somewhere had to deal with a little blip in the traffic. And I bask in the delight of being right, again.
There’s no lesson to be learned in any of this. I don’t have any jewels of wisdom to close this post with. It’s a free world, someone once said, and people are allowed to suck if they want to.
It is a shame though, that the effort and time and resources spent hashing out that little drama weren’t converted into some other endeavor. There are lots of ways to improve the world, and most of them don’t even require university education. The best ones don’t involve brushing a tear from your eye, moaning in a narcissistic puddle over the keyboard, and complaining because someone is having a different experience on this planet than you.
Enough. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go find a cave to paint in.