A Confession of Sorts and Why Elitism is Never a Good Thing

So I am now doing this thing where I am writing about FOSS and I’m loving it.  I have changed so much over the years, and I like it.  It feels like only yesterday since I tried Mandrake 8 and found out that I just wasn’t ready to go away from Windows.  I acted like such a know-it-all though and I was often chewed out for talking down to people, especially my own sister.  This brings me to today’s topic: Elitism.

It’s quite a simple concept: acting like you’re above everyone else for whatever reason.  I’ve run into this once earlier this year, and I was irritated to no end.  The individual in question accused others of telling the entire community what to do, yet they didn’t like how some distributions of Operating Systems that utilize the Linux kernel were apparently easy for Windows migrants.  Because Ubuntu was not geeky enough for them, they had a problem with it.  One person had it right when they accused him of being an elitist in my opinion.  So why do I have such a problem with those who act elite, and openly say they are a computer god?  You see, I once had the same problem myself.

I won’t pretend that I have completely overcome that personal flaw of mine.  It resurfaces from time to time.  The problem of elitism, or acting like you are above everyone else and they must revere you as an authority no matter what, or something to that effect, is that such behavior can drive everyone else away from FOSS itself.  When talking about the terminal window or terminal itself or bash, you will begin to lose a beginner user of systems that run the Linux kernel as their eyes glaze over in confusion.

You see, a lot of people do not care about Freedoms 0-3.  They don’t.  They simply want something that works.  Period.  End of subject.  Sure, they can appreciate freedom after the fact, especially when they realize that they can copy and pass around CD’s that they have made copies of without being a software pirate.  Do you see where I’m going with this yet?

If we are going to talk about spreading the word of FOSS, we can’t continually talk down to other people, not even fellow colleagues or those who agree with  the use of FOSS.  Also, we can not dictate to one another what is and is not appropriate methods of promotion.  We all have our ways of promoting things, and if one does not suit you, there are always others.  You can create your own too.  So please, enough of the elitism already.  We’re all in this together.  Let’s help one another instead of hurt one another.

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