Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Slashdotter

This was first meant as a comment to "What Makes a Man?" at Post Apocalyptic Bohemia, a blog about fabulous people. The post contains the lyrics of the song, and my comment refers to the song's first verse. The comment eventually became too long, and I moved the inital draft here and then updated it quite a bit.

The first verse of Marc Almond's "What Makes a Man?" reads like the life of a typical Slashdotter :>

/For those not in the know: Slashdot is a technology news aggregation website, where most readers are nerds and geeks, and the site's original or primary readership supports software freedom.
Now, the reason the first verse of "What Makes a Man?" very nearly parallels a slashdotter's lifestyle, is that some of the more obnoxious commenters applied this lifestyle meme to Slashdotters in their attempt to ridicule Slashdotters' use of Linux, a free software computer operating system (free as in freedom; no-cost being a bonus of that).
As much has been admitted by Linux Torvalds himself, at the 25th minute of The Origins of Linux video organized by Computer History Museum on 19.09.2001.

To these commenters — of which some had to have been employees of companies publishing proprietary software — Slashdotters' use of free software (Linux) thus inferred their inability to afford proprietary (non-free) software, which costs money, something a "typical" Slashdotter has little of. In addition to being unable to find a (female) date :>
: The Linux operating system is reasonably free to obtain, which is a bonus of its being free as in freedom; notwithstanding the existence of Linux distributions that do cost a lot of money when used in mission-critical scenarios.
: This "typical" Slashdotter meme is certainly true of many of its users and readers, but from the time it was first introduced Slashdot, many of the slashdotters at the time going through such motions early in their life have eventually become reasonably successful in their own right.
:Given Slashdot's large readership, there will always be a demographic matching the description of the song's first verse.

In Slashdot-type news aggregation,
a news story is submitted for review by readers, and then being voted on by other readers for publication on the front page.

Each Slashdot story contains a leader with original text and includes a comments section below it. The lede almost always links to the original news item. Comments can be user-generated or anonymous. Comments are moderated by promoting or demoting them, so that comments that are informative, insightful, funny, or a combination thereof, get full visibility, while bad comments are linked or placed "below the threshold" (requires more clicks to see them). As far as I know, only once has a comment on Slashdot been deleted (see Wikipedia article linked below).

More about Slashdot on Wikipedia.


Mardus said...

Trying to use OpenID

Anonymous said...