March 2nd, 2004

Wedding day

Linux, Disney-inspired terrorism, moral relativism, and my livejournal

No offense, but I don't post to my livejournal for you.

I post to my livejournal for myself, and it amazes me that people actually read it. Of course, I don't mind -- if I didn't want anybody to read my journal, it wouldn't be online. The real reason I keep a livejournal is that I like to write, but I have no academic or work-related obligation to do so. I don't write fiction because I'm not very good at it (one of those (I'm not sure which) is the cause of the other). Chronicling the events of my day, the things that make me happy, and the things that annoy me has turned out to be fun and (to some extent) therapeutic.

But then there are entries like this one. Before I delve into explaining this entry, I'll point out that while the next paragraph is going to make this sound like a computer rant, it's not. It's a sociology rant. A really good sociology rant. You can skip it if you like, but I wanted to get that out of the way so that you don't lose interest when you see the phrase "Command Line."

I've just finished reading an essay by Neal Stephenson called In The Beginning... Was the Command Line, which was first posted a few years ago on You can download it in plain text format from this link, or (since I feel bad about excerpting it here), you can buy it in trade paperback form. It's a well-informed (and occasionally brilliant) look at the past and future of operating systems. It also makes some other very good points.

There's a portion of the essay which relates very directly to a conversation I've had several times recently, so I've pasted it below. None of the people I've had this conversation with read my livejournal, but Mr. Stephenson has done a much better job of stating exactly what I wanted to say about the role of (among other things) American media in global culture. You won't need to be a computer person to understand it.

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