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Dvorak on the LinuxWorld Fracas 677

Posted by Zonk
from the fuel-on-the-fire dept.
An anonymous reader writes "John C. Dvorak has entered the fray, offering his opinion on the O'Gara LinuxWorld flap. From the article: '...the Linux community is slowly evolving into a state of mob rule, with the cheerleaders being paranoid crackpot leftovers from the waning days of Amiga.' "
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Dvorak on the LinuxWorld Fracas

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:33PM (#12556507)
    Nice troll. Where is that quote in the article? Crackpot leftovers from the waning days of Amiga MY ASS!

    *smashes keyboard in half*

    And I don't want to take your stupid little javascript survey either, damn I need a smoke.
  • Cheap shot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suso (153703) * on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:33PM (#12556511) Homepage Journal
    If you ask me, Dvorak is the paranoid crackpot leftover from the waning days of the Amiga. Every community has its lunatics, just watch some Jerry Springer, your local city hall meetings or sit on the city sidewalk on a Friday night. For the Linux or Amiga community to have them is a sign of balance. Its the media that ends up giving them the light that stereotypes the whole community.

    What the Linux community needs right now is a good leader. Someone to make everyone realize that the community is the one that is in charge of the direction of things and help them to focus their efforts.
    • Re:Cheap shot (Score:3, Insightful)

      by epine (68316)

      When it comes to the "trash heap of history" Dvorak can claim more than his fair share of expertise. He's "seen worse on TV" and that's supposed to represent the affairs of the "sane"? No community deserves to be tarred with a single brush. That would pretty much mandate astroturfing by hostile parties.

    • Re:Cheap shot (Score:3, Insightful)

      Hrm. A few things I'd like to comment upon here:

      A:
      There's too much infighting in the Linux community for it to have a leader at all. Everyone I've ever met who was absolutely incredible with computers was also quite the control freak. The reason a leader has not emerged is because the Linux community is defined by its individuals' refusal to either follow or be given a direction.

      B:
      Dvorak is not really a crackpot leftover. He's apparently become an authoritarian, which is quite a bad thing. Origi
      • Re:Cheap shot (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:59PM (#12556898)
        Dvorak is not really a crackpot leftover. He's apparently become an authoritarian, which is quite a bad thing. Originally he came up with an efficient solution to a problem created in an arbitrary manner, and he saw it fade into obscurity.

        WTF are you talking about?

        He's just a journalist. He's been writing basically the same column since at least the 80s.

        You aren't confusing him with August Dvorak [wikipedia.org] of the eponymous keyboard are you?
        That would be pretty damn funny.
        • Re:Cheap shot (Score:5, Interesting)

          Actually, I am.
          I'm rather... sheepish... about this now. In fact, I wish I could delete a few posts. Why on earth would anyone listen to this guy if he wasn't the Dvorak I was thinking about?
          Now I can stop reading his columns with even the shred of respect I had. Are the two related? It seems that Dvorak might be a rather rare name in the computer industry.
          • I still remember (Score:3, Interesting)

            by MerlynEmrys67 (583469)
            The days when Dvorak started touting a wildly popular software patch that increased your computer performance by huge ammounts, double digit percentages even.

            Turns out that his benchmark of choice read the system clock - did something then subtracted 1 from 2 and reported the time to do an operation.

            He apparently didn't notice that his computer was loosing 6 hours of time a day.

          • by museumpeace (735109) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @03:22PM (#12558694) Journal
            Dvorak is used to having his work garbled by publishers. When he wrote his 5th symphony, his publisher went and labled it symphony #9 just to goose sales. I am not surprized that Dvorak is so crabby and tends to repeat himself, what is amazing is that he is still alive at all and knows anything about computers.

            ;^)
      • Re:Cheap shot (Score:3, Insightful)

        by suso (153703) *
        Nice points. In regards to A: Not a leader per se as much as just role models. When I entered the Open Source community, I saw many "Leaders/Role Models" that I looked up to, to help determine what I could do with my time and talent. I don't see so much of that anymore, all I see now is just news stories and big corporations throwing around their weight.

        Being the leader of the local LUG, I can see that there are lots of people who are looking for leadership. There are many new Linux users (from the
    • by cnelzie (451984)
      Dvorak states that 'Crazed Lunatics' are something that normal people simply don't want to associate with and that if Linux becomes associated as the OS of the 'Criminally Insane', the OS will be dropped by regular people. That's absolutely not true.

      What has crazed fanatic lunatics done to set back religious groups?

      Absolutely nothing.

      There's still plenty of Christians, Jews and Muslims running around, even though each of those major world religions has more then a few criminally insane followe
    • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RealProgrammer (723725) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:03PM (#12556952) Homepage Journal
      What the Linux community needs right now is a good leader. Someone to make everyone realize that the community is the one that is in charge of the direction of things and help them to focus their efforts.

      We need a leader to tell everyone we don't need a leader?

      No, we don't. Why bother putting the weight of a world-wide movement onto one individual, when the thing is doing fine on its own?

      I'm reminded of a story from the Book of Judges (in the Bible). Israel had been more-or-less confined to the hill country by the Philistines because they kept failing to listen to their judges, who were sort of like Linus, ESR, RMS, et al. It was a meritocracy of sorts. Israel clamored for a king, though, so they could be like the other nations. Through Samuel, they were told the king would take away their freedoms and tax them for his own purposes, but they insisted. They ended up with King Saul, a megalomaniac of, er, biblical proportions.

    • Re:Cheap shot (Score:5, Interesting)

      by shotfeel (235240) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:12PM (#12557051)
      No, he's just doing what he's always done -he alludes to it right in his article. "In the olden days, O'Gara would have been given a medal for generating readership."

      He writes an article for the sole purpose of upsetting a large group of people, because he knows it will generate tons of hits (that's the name of the game). In the old days, there was a word for this, Troll.

      Then in a week or two he'll write another article about how offended he was by all the lunatics in whatever community he attacked previously.

      Bonus points if he can incite someone to threaten him. If he gets 10,000 reasonble posts and one threat, he'll make the next article about that one threat, completely ignoring the rest.

      Its a scam. And nobody does it better than Dvorak. He's not where he is because of the quality of his "journalism", its his ability to incite "hits".
      • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @02:26PM (#12558039)
        Bonus points if he can incite someone to threaten him. If he gets 10,000 reasonble posts and one threat, he'll make the next article about that one threat, completely ignoring the rest.
        The article will state: "In response to my last article, I got THOUSANDS of angry responses, some of them quite THREATENING."

        That is the way these "journalists" handle it.

        Since we cannot see the actual email, he is free to describe it in any way he desires.

        Given that he has already characterized the Linux community as "criminally insane" and "lunatics", you can be sure that he will be portraying the emails as from such individuals.

        BUT you will also NOT see a SINGLE case of any email being forwarded to the cops/FBI for legal action regarding communicating a threat.

        Not
        a
        single
        one
        .

        Meanwhile, if it were you or I who received an emailed death threat, we would have the appropriate message and headers carried to the local authorities for investigation and possible arrest.

        No arrests will be made.
        No criminal cases will be opened.
        No email will be sent to the authorities.

        But much will be said in his articles about the tone of the threats he received for his unbiased and fact-filled article about Linux extremists.

        Today is the 16th of May, 2005 and it is 11:25am Pacific time.

        That is my prediction.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @02:33PM (#12558130)
        I'm posting anonymously for reasons that'll become blindingly obvious in about three sentences.

        My employer asked me to do this. We are involved with a particular industry that is rampant with Old Fogeyism. As I tend to rant anyhow, I posted a rant on a highly visible mailing list. My boss came to me and, to my horror, prodded me to keep flaming away. Flaming customers, mind you. Not usually a good business strategy...

        I had my reservations, as an old-time Troll. I couldn't see the benefit. But my boss has an understanding of business that I lack, and I've learned to trust him. So I did it. I was my usual asshole self. I put fifteen years' experience in net.flaming into a post that was factually sound and very logical, but with my inner asshole coming out like Fran Drescher's voice in a granite cathedral. (Not that you have to dig deep to find the inner asshole where I'm concerned, mind you). It was so offensive, that only the people who already agreed with me already could agree with what I said, no matter how sound my logic was.

        The next day, the boss told me: Now apologize to everyone.

        Since then, I can actually see the repercussions. Many of them are just ripples from other things happening off in the distance, but the effect is clear: It was a kick in the ass to an industry that needed it, and suddenly people are wondering why that asshole on the mailing list was so damned mad. They're digging deeper.

        You see this with SCO. Whenever SCO says something stupid and outlandish, the Free Software community will retaliate with venom, but others will also dig deeper to see: Do they have a point, and if so, how can we prevent this? Groklaw has become useful for this very reason -- for this purpose of getting the facts straight. Linus changed how he maintained the kernel. A lot of due diligence is being done on GNU/Linux that might never have been done anyway.

        The whole O'Gara situation is causing people to look and think critically about the relationship between publishers, editors and content who haven't looked at such things before.

        I was surprised to see the results of my little public flamewar. I wasn't surprised that people were pissed off; I was surprised that there was a genuine positive and creative response to it. My boss was fucking brilliant.

        It shows that provocative writing does have a point from time to time. It is the little ego of the industry, goading people out of their complacency. Thank God this shit is not the only motivation we have, but it does have that use.

        I thought the quote in the leader to this article was offensive, but it got me RTFA, and when I RTFA, I have to admit I laughed. I am laughing at myself, a true blue anti-MS zealot, when he says about the Linux community "Too nutty even for the Mac community? We welcome you!" It hits close to home, but he's right. I -am- too nutty for the Mac community.

        So I think it's a bit more useful than just a scam to draw enough eyes that advertisers are happy; columnist journalism can occasionally benefit the industry.

        Although most of the time, we're just trolling assholes.
      • He writes an article for the sole purpose of upsetting a large group of people, because he knows it will generate tons of hits (that's the name of the game). In the old days, there was a word for this, Troll.

        I think that Dvorak is just upset that he can no longer write articles under his "Maureen O'Gara" penname.
    • Re:Cheap shot (Score:3, Insightful)

      by skubeedooo (826094)
      Yes, every community has delusional lunatics, but not every community mods them +5 insightful. (Maybe I'm just bitter because nobody thinks I'm insightful myself :-s )
    • Re:Cheap shot (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 2names (531755) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:18PM (#12557125)
      What the Linux community needs right now is a good leader.

      Why can't a group of people ever do something right without resorting to being led around by some charismatic figurehead?

      • School Board screwed up? Get a new leader!
      • Company stock falling? Get a new leader!
      • Economy in the trash? Get a new leader!

      Christ, people, work together and do things right - without all the arguing and petty bullshit - and you will soon find out that most "leaders" (can also be read as "managers") are simply not needed.

    • by yintercept (517362) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:25PM (#12557211) Homepage Journal
      What the linux community needs right now is a strong leader

      IMHO, the worst think that happened in the personal computer world was the appearance of a strong leader in the form of Bill Gates and Microsoft. MS corralled the PC industry and dominated it.

      In the build up to the MS dominance was a great deal of talk about the need for a leviathan that would dominate and curtail the computer industry. We got what the pundits wished for.

      What the computer industry needs is a framework that allows development on multiple fronts.

      That people develop rivalries or have egoes is really not a problem. The communitarian belief is that we will have paradise when everyone has denied their ego. If no-one had egoes, then we would all be zombies. The existance of feud between two linux pundits really is not a problem. Nor is the fact that different businesses want to define their place in the market.

      The fact that there's too many ideologues like me who want to bubble on about our ideologies is annoying, but not quite a category killer. Although it is a sign of problems in the linux community. Personally, I had a ton of ideas I wanted to develop. I've looked at open source as a way to bring some small new businesses into fruition, but really only see pitfalls and dead ends in linux development. Not being able to see a way to participate in open source software development that does not leave me destitute is a big problem.

      It seems to me that the way for a business community to thrive there needs to be a way for the members of the community to invest their time and resources into the community, and receive returns for that investment. Historically, the best way to do that has been with the establishment of property rights.

      The last thing open source needs is another leader. It needs a stronger business framework where people are making money and thriving.

  • by Skyshadow (508) * on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:34PM (#12556518) Homepage
    So if I'm reading this right, Dvorak is saying that (a) O'Gara was wrong in what she was writing, (b) wrong in doing what she did and (c) just doing it to drudge (no pun intended) up a few more pageviews, and that (d) the "Linux community" was in the wrong (or, better yet, had "imploded" and turned into "paranoid Amiga user"s) for kicking her and her half-assed reporting to the curb.

    Okay, yeah, I think I see your point here, John:

    We should be more understanding towards useless "journalism" and media flamebaiting, because without those practices you might actually have to come up with something insightful or worthwhile every week to fill out your column and earn page hits. Hey, I can see where you're coming from -- that'd take legwork, insight and generally staying on top of the industry. I imagine that's hard work, and trust me: I'm right there with you on the "I don't like hard work" page.

    BTW, congrats on getting your flamebait article on the front page of Slashdot. It's good to know that *some* "journalists" are still able to use (a) and (b) successfully to drum up (c). It's gotta be a good feeling to walk into your boss's office at review time and wave around yet another spike in ad impressions courtesy of the Slashdot crowd -- I hope you're appreciative enough to include Zonk on your Christmas card list!

    Anyhow, hope preparing your standard self-righteous indignation column for when (d) inevitably rolls around is going well. Aw, who am I kidding, I know you're an old pro -- I'm sure you were already writing that one when you handed in this last article to your editor.

    A little trolling, and two columns done and in the bank. Must be a nice life.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      You're right. If Dvorak wants to be taken seriously, he should start stalking a target. Linus, perhaps?
      • I seem to remember reading someplace that Tove is a karate champion of one variety or another.

        So, yeah, Dvorak should definately start stalking Linus. And he should bring along a crew to videotape it -- when that one hit the net, I'd watch it every morning while I ate my Cheerios.

    • wow that's the nice version of what I thought.

      thanks for writing it before I could.

      I had all sorts of names to call him, but the polite way is always more fun. People don't expect it.
    • by MoonFog (586818) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:38PM (#12556591)
      Well, he lives by his own words doesn't he? He drums up an article or two on controversial subjects, gets them posted on Slashdot and his column gets more hits than the rest of the articles combined (stages scenario, I don't know the exact figures off course).

      The problem is that the Slashdot editors also seem to love the controversy a Dvorak article is sure to bring in, having someone to bash is just good for business I guess.
    • by killjoe (766577) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:55PM (#12556841)
      What amazes me is that O'Gara was literally stalking PJ and published personal information about her on the web and this bozo thinks open source people are dangerous.
    • by soconnor99 (83952) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:02PM (#12556931)
      Why do people confuse articles with editorials? He's not reporting news, he's voicing his opinion.

      Windows over Linux == trolling.
      Linux over Windows == advocacy.

      Right?
    • by Decameron81 (628548) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:11PM (#12557047)
      Oh, brother. In the olden days, O'Gara would have been given a medal for generating readership. But in today's world of the so easily offended, she's apparently let go instead, and things calm down as the hissy fit subsides.


      In today's world of the so easily offended you sure look like one too, John. Otherwise I fail to see what this troll is all about. Are you protecting bad journalism here?

      You should remember who your clients are before talking that much. Do you really fail to see why the kind of visibility that O'Gara received and that you seem to admire so much is actually bad?

      Now these lunatics are issuing death threats? I can tell you that my mere mentioning of any of this will result in incredibly hateful attempted postings on this forum and on my moderated blog. What is wrong with these people?

      If anything is going to kill Linux and the open-source movement, it's the presence of certifiable lunatics in the ranks representing the users. It may be that this is actually a deep Astroturf PR campaign orchestrated by Microsoft to discredit open source and Linux. It sure seems like something weird is going on.


      First of all I would like to know what kind of proof you have that any of this is real. You wrote that Groklaw's claim about O'Gara working for Sco are just words, yet you publish an article saying that the death threats existed, and that they come from this community.

      Get your facts straight. The whole effort that you descrive as an act of violence from this community was just a ton of complaints to Sys-Con regarding O'Gara.

      Reporters have the freedom to speak up their minds just as much as we do. You should never forget that it works both ways.
  • Says Dvorak, the wise, all knowing sage...oh wait.

    Maybe this was a subconscious self-referential compliment.
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:35PM (#12556529) Homepage Journal
    I'll say Dvorak has some good points.

    I don't believe that either PJ or O'Gara are paid shills and Dvorak does a good job of explaining why.

    I also believe that O'Gara was merely being controversial.

    Interesting conspiracy theory that the rabid zealotry may be astroturfing on the part of MSFT, etc... I'll point out that said zealotry has existed for much longer than MSFT has been concerned about FOSS as a threat. Case in point: Stallman.
    • by Alpha Prime (25709) * on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:45PM (#12556691) Homepage
      I also believe that O'Gara was merely being controversial.

      Publishing someones phone number and address, and even their mother's address, goes way beyond being controversial. It's a privacy violation.

    • MoG's motive (Score:3, Insightful)

      by schon (31600)
      I also believe that O'Gara was merely being controversial.

      MoG has had a hate-on for IBM since the days of the antitrust trial. If she has a chance to slam IBM, she takes it.

      She sees PJ defending IBM, and so she goes after PJ. I think Darl & Co. played on her hatred of IBM, but she allowed them to, and she got what she deserved.

      It was more than just being "controversial" - MoG wanted to hurt IBM by hurting PJ.
    • Where did he do a job explaining why? Let alone good? IMO part of explaining why MOG is no shill would include explaining

      Where did she get PJ's phone number from? (Seems fishy to me that the same phone number was used by PJ to call into the SCO press conference a few weeks ago.

      Why did McBride practically predict the article in said press conference?

      And it's not as if this was the first article by MOG. How about checking out her trolling history? ("Linux kernel will be rewritten due to IP problems", ROFL)
    • Daryl McBride makes a statement about 'exposing' the Groklaw writer for what she is (attempt to discredit) on or about the 13th of April [eweek.com]. O'Gara carries out that attempt - but fails miserably some time afterwards - as we all saw explode in /. this week.

      Is that a mere coincidence? Are we paranoid to think there is any linkage between SCO and Ms. O'Gara? Or could it be that she took his statement as the lead for a story? Who knows?

      However, it is incorrect to paint the FOSS movement as a bunch of crimina
  • ...with veiled accusations that the entire Groklaw site is a front for IBM in its battle with SCO

    I thought Groklaw is a front for Jehovas's Witness? (No flames please. PJ is great.)

  • by DaGoodBoy (8080) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:36PM (#12556556) Homepage
    ...than a toadying suck-up to vendors.

    DaGoodBoy
  • by null etc. (524767) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:37PM (#12556575)
    Listen, you know what would truly be news? The day that Dvorak says something Score +5: Insightful. This guy is less coherent and competent than my grandmother, who is dead.

    As it is, all pending Dvorak story submissions should be entitled:

    Opinions are like assholes - no one wants a whiff of Dvorak's.

  • Dvorak trolling? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:38PM (#12556584) Homepage Journal
    Curious. Dvorak (a) suggests O'Gara's reporting may be "nutty" but perfectly worthy of publication:
    Oh, brother. In the olden days, O'Gara would have been given a medal for generating readership. But in today's world of the so easily offended, she's apparently let go instead, and things calm down as the hissy fit subsides.
    and (b) castigates O'Gara and Jones/The Entire Linux Community for claiming the other is a stooge for some evil entity:
    That said, the Linux community figures that O'Gara is being paid by SCO or Microsoft or someone bad. Again, if this were so, and if it was ever proven or stumbled on during the discovery process (nothing to take lightly), it would be a disaster for the litigation chances of the company doing the paying. It just wouldn't be worth the risk. It appears to me that O'Gara is just being overly provocative to get readers.
    while speculating that the presence of people offended by O'Gara in the Linux community is in fact... wait for it... a giant conspiracy by Microsoft!
    If anything is going to kill Linux and the open-source movement, it's the presence of certifiable lunatics in the ranks representing the users. It may be that this is actually a deep Astroturf PR campaign orchestrated by Microsoft to discredit open source and Linux. It sure seems like something weird is going on.
    Oh brother.

    Here's the deal John:

    1. There were many reasonable people offended by O'Gara and her attempts to intimidate Jones. And that's what you have to call it, because if you're trying to find out if someone's a stooge for IBM (Dvorak suggests this is all O'Gara was trying to do), you're not making your case by publishing the address of their mother.

    2. Calling for a journalist to be disciplined, up and including being fired, for a clearly inaccurate and evil piece of journalism is not, in any way, "nutty" or indicative of "mob rule". To lump those who have done so with those on the fringes making death threats is to lump all christians with anti-abortionist murderers of doctors, or all muslims concerned about the US presence in the Middle East with Osama Bin Laden.

    It's really that simple. Something did something clearly wrong to many of us, so many of us publicly expressed our disappointment. Some did so angrily, some didn't.

    It's the height of paranoid fanaticism (and yes, I use the word paranoid quite justifiably):

    I can tell you that my mere mentioning of any of this will result in incredibly hateful attempted postings on this forum and on my moderated blog. What is wrong with these people?
    to lump together a diverse group of people with differing opinions and charge them with some conspiracy to attack you.

    That's assuming you're not trolling for webpage hits. I assume the editors were by posting this article.

  • Oh god not dvorak (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FidelCatsro (861135) <fidelcatsroNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:38PM (#12556585) Journal
    Oh, brother. In the olden days, O'Gara would have been given a medal for generating readership. But in today's world of the so easily offended, she's apparently let go instead, and things calm down as the hissy fit subsides.
    In the good old days she would of been fired on the spot for unethical behaviour , i think he is confusing the good old days with the 1980s .

    So Dvorak has seen another chance to jump in the lime light and play the under-dog
    and stir up some controversy by calling all of us who called for O'gara to be fired "lunatics" (not just those who issued death threats , who are quite likely a bit mad)

    Don't buy into this , he is just trying to kick up his readership .
    • Re:Oh god not dvorak (Score:5, Informative)

      by Martin Blank (154261) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:44PM (#12556677) Journal
      He's actually right, to some extent. Go back further, and you'll find people like Walter Winchell, who, while bringing some really interesting stuff to light, also went out of their way to work with some really sleazy characters to get dirt on people that they didn't like, offended them, or otherwise were deemed worthy of public ridicule for their beliefs, actions, words, or other aspect, whether taken in context or not.

      It never really went away. It was just relegated to the fringes of journalism.
  • by multiplexo (27356) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:38PM (#12556589) Journal
    the incredibly insightful babblings of techno-pundit John C. Dvorak. What else can we do to lower the signal to noise ratio and generate more heat and less light? Has Enderle weighed in yet?

    Dvorak is on crack if he thinks that there are any businesses that are going to give a shit about the MoG/PJ flap. Businesses adopting Linux and other FOSS products are looking to reduce TCO and also trying to make sure that they don't end up being 0wnz0r3d by Microsoft into perpetuity by having their corporate data locked into proprietary file formats that change from release to release and by being locked into licensing schemes that become ever more onerous and increasingly expensive as time goes on. The antics of the various players in the MoG/PJ flap are going to have about as much impact on the adoption of Linux and FOSS as Steve Ballmer's video, the one where he jumped up and down like a chimp, had on the adoption of Windows XP.

    • by GPLDAN (732269) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:37PM (#12557372)
      On that note, I heard Enderle on NPR... again. Can we start a email campaign to NPR to get them to stop interviewing this idiot? Seriously, something has to be done. NPR has to be educated as to who that crackpot really is, and why most everyone regards him as a moron. I'm getting tired of NPR jacking up the guy. Often he is the ONLY guy interviewed in the piece. It's sickening.
  • I wondered where those guys hung out when they're not trashing others points of view over at OSNews!

    Now we know.
  • by MoneyT (548795) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:40PM (#12556621) Journal
    that on the one hand he says that the linux community needs to grow up and denounce and eject extremists and fanatics, and on the other hand, criticises them for doing just that with OGara
    • What Dvorak doesn't understand is that no one is issuing membership cards to a "Linux Community." And there is no tollgate on Linux Island, so the barrier to entry is pretty low.

      In any event I've met quite a few Microsoft Loonies on the net, and the only thing interesting about them is they are not just insane, they are usually on the mild end of retarded.

      Crackpots and ignorant teens are going to be around, there's nothing we can do about it. Here let me try: "Crackpots, get out!" Hmm, nothing happened. M
  • O'Gara's article was bullshit but if obvious bullshit engenders the sort of response we saw then people are gonna start wondering about just how grounded in reality you really are.
  • Lunatics are always among the first adopters of any emerging technology. The same kind of people buy so called "environmentally friendly" electric cars, so that the instead of converting fuel directly to mechanical energy, it's converted to mechanical energy, then electicity, then chemical energy, then electricity again, and back into mechanical energy to move their car.

    You don't have to be a lunatic to hate Ms. O'Gara though.
  • >> ...cheerleaders being paranoid crackpot leftovers from the waning days of Amiga...

    Suits me. I loved my Amiga. It was a great machine for its time and got me through university just fine.
  • Like all trolls, if he doesn't get a rise he'll stop eventually
  • Please please please could the Slashdot editors stop giving these blatant troll writers so much advertising revenue by linking to them. Tech news sites will keep writing all this crap about Linux etc because they know it generates page impressions from outraged geeks.
  • Observations (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dasein (6110) <[tedc] [at] [codebig.com]> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:46PM (#12556718) Homepage Journal
    1) In any sufficiently large collection of people, there will be some who are unstable.

    2) Linux will not wither because of the nuts -- there's too much value in Linux to business and as long as the value proposition is there, so will Linux.

    3) John, and almost any journalist, is probably feeling a little threatened by the MOG story.
  • Ethical Issues (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shadow Wrought (586631) <shadow...wrought@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:47PM (#12556722) Homepage Journal
    What's missed in the article by Dvorak is that the O'Gara went beyond the bounds of ethical journalism. It was not intended to inform or to even comment on events, it was designed to make one individual look bad. I think that the LinuxWorld editors did the right thing in leaving because any ompany that doesn't have an issue with that kind of journalism, is not one that you really want to work for.

    I think that that point was lost on Dvorak. Whether or not O'Gara is a paid shill or not is beside the point- what she did was not, and should not be considered by Sys-Con, to be appropriate.

    • I think that that point was lost on Dvorak.

      Nope. He just doesn't believe that she violated anything. From TFA:

      Whatever the case, I've seen this feud become ridiculous and invasive, but I've seen worse on network TV with less-public figures than PJ. I would have paid no attention to the whole thing if I represented the collective thoughts of the Linux community. What difference does it make?

      What MOG did wasn't so bad. He's seen worse.

      Oh, brother. In the olden days, O'Gara would have been given a m

  • by Cecil (37810) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:47PM (#12556733) Homepage
    From the article:

    Oh, brother. In the olden days, O'Gara would have been given a medal for generating readership. But in today's world of the so easily offended, she's apparently let go instead, and things calm down as the hissy fit subsides.

    This is the key, right here. It's actually slightly shocking that he let himself shine through so clearly in this paragraph. Dvorak is actually just upset because, y'know, that's his schtick. Generating readership by making inflammatory and offensive articles? That's pure Dvorak. It strikes fear into his black little heart to see someone get fired for doing exactly what he does, so he lashes out at it.

    Who needs to be right when you can be controversial?
    • Controversy over news is what Slashdot lives on. Most of their stories are either meant to generate a good flame war, or are so biased in one direction or another it's not even funny.

      If the average /. Story, or the average reader commenting on said stories limited themselves to rational, intelligent stuff, this site wouldn't exist. We have our OSS zealots, our Mac zealots, our "If MS mentions it, it's evil!" zealots, our "I want to have Google's love child" zealots etc... We're not interested in fair an
      • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:44PM (#12557471) Journal
        While your first point is valid, I think a number of us who hve been here since the beginning actually regret that Slashdot has devolved into a giant flamebait and remember when things were different. You contradict yourself by claiming that there are many different types of zealots here, but all that any of these zealots want is to have their own worldview reinforced. If slashdot only reinforced a particular worldview, eventually everyone who didn't think that way would leave, and there would be no flame war. Finally, slashdot isn't calling Dvorak on his crap, the slashdot readers are. We aren't journalists, so we don't have journalistic integrity but we can damn sure demand it in people who are calling themselves journalists and getting paid for it.
  • by frag thief (757953) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:48PM (#12556735)
    Dvorak: "In the olden days, O'Gara would have been given a medal for generating readership."

    Earning another medal then, John?
  • Is it not the case that back in the day, the sort of article written by O'Gara would not have caused such a reaction simply becuase writing a letter to the editor to complain required effort? Now that it is easy to fire up your favourite email editor and compose your protesting prose WITH CAPSLOCK ON, every fanboy and his dog is going to do it.

    I'm not defending O'Gara - I think that her article was appalling - but I don't defend the unthinking responses that were generated either.
  • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:49PM (#12556755) Homepage Journal
    Consider the following application of Dvorak's thought processess:
    Fact : many Christian groups believe abortion is wrong
    Fact : A small number of Christian groups contain wackos who advocate killing abortionists and blowing up abortion centres and who issue death threats against them
    Deduction : the Christian Church is slowly evolving into a state of mob rule, with the cheerleaders being paranoid crackpot leftovers from the waning days of the Spanish Inquisistion
    And there's only one thing wrong with that logic.

    It's complete bollocks.
  • We don't need people like him. Look at what happened to Byte. Look at Dan Gilmour, at least he's trying to ride the wave and get with it.

    Funny thing, I've been using linux since SLS, I use it every day, I stay in tune with what's going on within the Linux world (or at least I like to think so) and I had no idea what Linuxworld was or who maureen o'gara is until this thing blew up. From what I gather, she's just a tool like Dvorak who still doesn't "Get" the 21st century and the changes in media.

  • by bluGill (862) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:51PM (#12556784)

    There is such a thing as journalistic integrity. Apparently Dvorak doesn't believe in it, but most people do. When a reporter doesn't stand up for doing the right thing people get mad. Then heads have to roll. You can ask a number of people who used to work for CBS news until they faked a report on Bush's service just before the last election.

    Come to think of it, yesterday NewsWeek was forced to retract a story, because they didn't check the facts sufficiently. I wouldn't be surprised if someone resigns at NewsWeek of the issue.

    The Linux community did nothing unexpected when you consider the facts. Some reporter did something unethical, and the community forced his/her bosses to fire him/her. It has happened before, it will happen again. The only thing that has really changed is that today someone who discovers media abuse has an easier time letting people know.

  • He thinks idiot fanbois are going to make Lunix look bad, and that's going to kill it? That's a good point: Consider the Playstation's penetration into the enterprise market.

    Talking about the death of Linux guarantees that he's full of shit. Linux will be imortalized in routers and handhelds and webhosts until the end of time. No matter what John C. Dvorak thinks of the comments here on Slashdot.

    What would the death of "Linux and the open-source movement" even look like? What would the Amiga lunatic community look like right now if their holy OS had always been available as source code? IMHO, a lot like it looked in it's fucking heyday (not that that's a good thing), even if they were abandoned by the platform provider. Kill Lunix how??
  • by Alien Being (18488) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:56PM (#12556850)
    He got one thing right...
    First let's get a few things straight. All of O'Gara's assertions are nutty.

    Some of them go way beyond nutty. Dvorak acknowledges that O'Gara tracked down and photographed PJ's home and PJ's mother's home and posted pics in her column

    But rather than point out the problem with this type of "journalism", he praises it.

    Oh, brother. In the olden days, O'Gara would have been given a medal for generating readership. But in today's world of the so easily offended, she's apparently let go instead, and things calm down as the hissy fit subsides.

    Right, thank god we have PC Magazine to sustain the flame of responsible journalism. What an asshole.
  • by Halo1 (136547) <jonas.maebeNO@SPAMelis.ugent.be> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:57PM (#12556865) Homepage
    LinuxInsider also has a pretty strange track record. I've only followed it on the topic of software patents, but at least there they are only publishing pro-swpat lawyer opinion pieces without giving any room for rebuttals. See the collected documentation on the FFII wiki [ffii.org]
  • by njfuzzy (734116) <ian@nOspAm.ian-x.com> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:02PM (#12556926) Homepage
    John Dvorak used to be a professional Mercutio, sniping left and right, but usually accomplishing something interesting along the way.

    In recent years, he has become a professional internet Troll. He knows that he can get a lot of page views by saying things to inflame passionate groups (Mac users, OpenSource advocated, etc.) and he does so at every opportunity.

    My advice for you is the same as with any other Troll: Do Not Feed.

  • by Snap E Tom (128447) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:02PM (#12556940)
    This whole article is flamebait and doesn't provide any new insight. Dvorak's taking a fringe minority of the Linux community and presenting them as the larger group. There's nothing new about death threats. Small groups of angry people make death threats all the time over everything. It's always happened in society and will continue to happen.

    What is new these days, and I think Dvorak and other "journalists" are having trouble grasping, is that the media is now being held accountable. Since the late 90's there's been a larger number of reporters who have had to resign in disgrace over fabricated stories. Jayson Blair, Dan Rather, and just this week, Newsweek is being raked over the coals. News execs are certainly afraid with some comments lashing out at "bloggers." They should be afraid because in their history, they've never been under more scrutiny by their audience. Journalists are more afraid these days, and I don't think that's a bad thing. For once, there's a checks and balances system for them.
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @02:41PM (#12558228)
      There's nothing new about death threats.
      And there is nothing substantiated about the claims that ANYONE has made ANY death threats against anyone.

      The ONLY substantiated evidence is that the cops were called when MOG was harassing PJ's mom.
      They should be afraid because in their history, they've never been under more scrutiny by their audience.
      Be careful, that could be taken as a "threat" by one of those "journalists".

      And that is the biggest problem with these "journalists".

      They don't know the tech or the industry, so they attempt to get by on National Enquirer style sensationalism and rumour.

      Read John's column again and you'll see him reporting the allegations of "death threats" as if they were established fact.

      Pure sensationalism and sensationalism can be had from any "journalist". It is harder to maintain readership for a sensationalist rag than for a real tech magazine.
  • by brennz (715237) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:06PM (#12556983)
    I believe John is severely deluded.

    First of all, PJ's articles have been very accurate.

    MOG took a role in media sensationalism, inaccuracy, and FUD. When her articles descended into ad hominem attacks, people reacted.

    People emailed SYS-CON advertisers.

    Fuat Kircaali called up individuals emailing advertisers, and threatened to sue them.

    Instead, the OSS community threatened a boycott of SYS-CON. We made our positions on anti-OSS publications well known.

    I guess because I received an unfriendly phonecall from Fuat Kircaali threatening to sue me over my emails, that I am somehow one of these crackpots?

    Instead, I will rebut with this:
    John Dvorak is not fully acquainted with the overall tone of the MOG articles, and the SYS-CON support for her anti-OSS sensationalist agenda.

    If threatening a boycott, is somehow construed as a death threat, John Dvorak should stop pointing fingers and instead enroll in english 101.

    We still haven't seen any evidence of a DDOS. No logs, no IP addresses, no documentation.

    We still have an unapologetic publisher (Fuat Kircaali)

    We do have "media analysts" pontificating on subjects they appear to be thoroughly ignorant in.

    I guess John Dvorak is following in the MOG tradition. Will he be syndicated by SYS-CON next?

  • Ethics (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Skjellifetti (561341) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:06PM (#12556984) Journal
    Oh, brother. In the olden days, O'Gara would have been given a medal for generating readership.

    To which olden days do you refer, Mr. Dvorak? Perhaps you mean those olden days of yellow journalism [pbs.org]. Sorry, but I prefer a more ethical style of online writing. Dan Gillmor says it best: Be honorable [typepad.com].
  • by Blitzenn (554788) * on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:07PM (#12556987) Homepage Journal
    I have to agree with Dvorak on this one. I have been saying this for months on Slashdot and usually get modded to troll or flamebait for it. The fanatic members of the linux community are going to bring it to it's knees. I am an IT professional who has made a living in this fashion for 20 years. Yea, that's a long time for IT. I don't flaunt it, because it actually means nothing. I do however know that to be successful, you HAVE TO be able to weight the pros and cons objectively on every software/hardware decision that is made. Quite frankly, those decisions end up being an MS product much of the time. I am not saying MS's products are great, heck I am not even saying that they work decently sometimes, but it is necessary in many cases, due to the constraints of the software, the job/project needs and so on. It's a fact of life right now, It's not a Linux world out there,... yet.

    With all of that said, I cannot survive in the industry, if I am viewed as belonging to a group of fanatical left wing blow hards who absolutely refuse to look at the pros of anything that competes with their prize product. It would shut the door for me as professional. I have also long stated that the fanatical representations of Linux and the over-bashing of MS shed a poor light on the community and cause outsiders to shy away. Very few people wish to be associated with a group that refuses to acknowledge that any choice but theirs is a ticket to damnation (accept maybe in the case of the factional Christian faith denominations). If Dvorak is stating this, should it not be clear to everyone that there are a fair number of ot Iher important people who also have this perception? I am not saying it is right, but we HAVE TO do something to correct it, or we all are going to painted in the same light. That is not what Linux is and it is not what it's future could be. If the perception rules over the facts, as Dvorak said, the trash heap of history is where this (linux) is - headed.
  • Hmmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by Sierpinski (266120) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:07PM (#12556990)
    I've figured this whole mess out!

    O'Gara = Jones!

    This was just a scam to escalate O'Gara/Jones to a media frenzy!

    Don't forget, Einhorn WAS Finkle! Finkle WAS Einhorn! Einhorn was a man!
  • by Bun (34387) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:10PM (#12557031)
    Don't bother with RTFA. The article is a complete troll. I feel had for having read it. The gist of the article is, "So two women got in an online argument. What's the big deal?" Dvorak conveniently ignores the central issue behind the uproar - the publishing of PJ and her mother's addresses, complete with photos and (practically) driving directions. He replies to several messages in the forum, but never to one covering this most central of points. So either:
    A) Dvorak thinks this is within the bounds of ethical journalism, or
    B) His articles weren't getting much attention lately, and he knew which buttons to push.

    I vote for (B).
  • state of mob rule, with the cheerleaders being paranoid crackpot leftovers from the waning days of Amiga

    Cheerleaders: Score +12. Hopefully naked cheerleaders.
    Paranoid: +2. Everyone should be paranoid.
    Crackpot: 0. Have you ever tried to smoke crack from a pot?
    Leftovers: 0. Ambiguous score. Are they chinese takeout leftovers from last night, or 3 month old covered in an as yet unknown species of mold?
    Amiga: + Eleventy trillion.
    Author: +2. Has-been industry sycophant with mediocre technological expertise -3, shares surname with inventer of superior keyboard layout +5.

    Total score: Eleventy trillion + 16. Dvorak would never compliment linux advocates, so this confirms my theory that he has mercury poisoning and is saying random things in his mad ranting. I vote to remove his feeding tube.
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:25PM (#12557210) Homepage
    What really happened at LinuxWorld is described here, by Martin Brown [mcslp.com], one of the staff who resigned. LinuxWorld's web site has been automated.
    • "We have no control over the website; even the new one, which went live recently, is completely out of our control. Many people don't understand how this can be the case - even with the recent issues, many assume we have full and absolute control over content on the website. This simply wasn't the case. Instead the LinuxWorld.com website is an automatic amalgam of articles and posts from across Sys-Con that may, or may not, be Linux related. Our only direct way into providing content for our site was through our also recently enabled blogs (http://mc.linuxworld.com./ [mc.linuxworld.com] We have no control over the articles automatically added and syndicated on the site."

    Remember, LinuxWorld's "staff" wasn't paid. So with no pay and no control, of course they quit. "Quitting" is barely a meaningful concept in a situation like that.

  • by ecklesweb (713901) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:48PM (#12557542)
    FTA:
    It may be that this is actually a deep Astroturf PR campaign orchestrated by Microsoft to discredit open source and Linux.

    Yeeaaahhhh.....that's the ticket: PJ isn't a stooge for IBM as O'Gara would purport. She's a stooge for MICROSOFT! Yes! That's it! Microsoft pays...no, no, wait, Microsoft invents PJ and has this so called "journalist" post some seemingly insightful but in hindsight clearly superficial and superfulous pro-Linux articles to gain acceptance and credibility among the Linux wackos. Now they pay O'Gara to pretend to aggrevate "PJ" with real and veiled threats, which sends PJ -- and therefore all of the Linux wacko sheep -- spiraling into oblivian and the entire Linux community implodes under its own weight.

    That, my friend, is some solid investigative reporting.
  • by generationxyu (630468) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @02:11PM (#12557854) Homepage
    The weirdest thing I've seen lately has been the craziness provoked by a feud between tech writer Maureen O'Gara of LinuxGram/Linux Business News and her apparently bitter rival, blogger Pamela Jones (PJ) of Groklaw. It began some time back when the two exchanged barbs over intimations that Jones was somehow a stooge for IBM in the SCO-Linux battle and that O'Gara was somehow a stooge for SCO. You can see where this is headed.

    So over the past week O'Gara tracked down and photographed PJ's home and PJ's mother's home and posted pics in her column, with veiled accusations that the entire Groklaw site is a front for IBM in its battle with SCO. Once this article appeared, all hell broke loose in the Linux community, with editors scrambling. There was removal of the offending article with apologies all around. Then came accusations of this and that; staffs of editors quitting in protest; publishers befuddled; veiled threats of lawsuits; vituperative attacks on multiple parties, including the LinuxWorld publisher, editors, O'Gara, and PJ; several worldwide denial-of-service attacks on LinuxWorld's parent company, Sys-Con Media; calls to Interpol; O'Gara's "firing"; and a flamestorm on Slashdot and elsewhere.

    Oh, brother. In the olden days, O'Gara would have been given a medal for generating readership. But in today's world of the so easily offended, she's apparently let go instead, and things calm down as the hissy fit subsides.

    Although her article was removed, you can usually find it on the Google cache (an interesting situation if you think about it), and I'm sure someone will mirror the piece eventually. Whatever the case, I've seen this feud become ridiculous and invasive, but I've seen worse on network TV with less-public figures than PJ. I would have paid no attention to the whole thing if I represented the collective thoughts of the Linux community. What difference does it make?

    First let's get a few things straight. All of O'Gara's assertions are nutty. And I'm not talking about the yet-to-be-proven assertion that PJ is a 60-year-old dowager stooging for IBM. That's just ludicrous on the surface. Yet that is what is claimed.

    First of all, IBM has lawyers, and it sure doesn't need to have someone find out via the discovery process that it's fronting a Web site about this case. That would simply never happen. Besides, IBM is not that clever. There are also enforced policies against this sort of thing.

    It's wrong to assume that IBM expected the SCO battle to drag out like this from the outset. Unlikely! And I should mention that just because I, for example, developed an early timeline of the SCO history doesn't mean I'm a stooge for SCO or IBM either.

    That said, the Linux community figures that O'Gara is being paid by SCO or Microsoft or someone bad. Again, if this were so, and if it was ever proven or stumbled on during the discovery process (nothing to take lightly), it would be a disaster for the litigation chances of the company doing the paying. It just wouldn't be worth the risk. It appears to me that O'Gara is just being overly provocative to get readers. And apparently it doesn't take much provocation, as the Linux community is slowly evolving into a state of mob rule, with the cheerleaders being paranoid crackpot leftovers from the waning days of Amiga. "Too nutty even for the Mac community? We welcome you!"

    Now these lunatics are issuing death threats? I can tell you that my mere mentioning of any of this will result in incredibly hateful attempted postings on this forum and on my moderated blog. What is wrong with these people?

    If anything is going to kill Linux and the open-source movement, it's the presence of certifiable lunatics in the ranks representing the users. It may be that this is actually a deep Astroturf PR campaign orchestrated by Microsoft to discredit open source and Linux. It sure seems like something weird is going on.

    I can tell you this much: Normal people do not like being associated with fanatics and lunatics. Once Linux gets the image as the OS for the criminally insane, it's a dead duck. Unless the community gets a handle on this, grows up, and rebukes the extremists, the trash heap of history is where this is all headed.
  • by Dalroth (85450) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @02:25PM (#12558023) Homepage Journal
    Can we please get a seperate category for Dvorak editorials so I can filter them out?

    Thanks,
    Bryan
  • by SpecBear (769433) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @02:25PM (#12558029)
    From the article: Normal people do not like being associated with fanatics and lunatics.

    So the question here is, which side are the lunatics and fanatics on? The community rises up against mudslinging journalism, Sys-con editors resign when it becomes clear that their CEO is a sociopath, and these are the signs of a community imploding? Standing up for your principles is fanatical? And of all of the incidents that he could have chose to support the idea that the Linux community is full of nutcases, he chooses this one?

    Dvorak's really stooped low on this one. The reason is clear: If more communities responded to sleazy journalistic behavior the way the Linux community has in this case, he'd be out of a job.

    I think I'll email him now:
    To: John Dvorak
    CC: The horse you rode in on
    Subject: **filtered**, EOM
  • by Lulu of the Lotus-Ea (3441) <mertz@gnosis.cx> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @03:11PM (#12558576) Homepage
    This really ought to just be a categorical principle. Nothing by or about Dvorak goes on the front page. He's a slight step above O'Gara, but only a slight one. He *does not* deserve or warrant extra readers.

    His argument is:
    (1) Sure O'Gara tried to instigate stalkers to commit violence against PJ and/or her family.
    (2) Sure O'Gara violated privacy rights and trespassed.
    (3) Those hysterical "Linux fanatics" get worked up over the silliest things.

    This matter is *not* about merely bad journalism, which O'Gara (and Dvorak) have been doing for a long time. OK, fine, publish another "study" that proves Linux will irradiate your brain, and Windows will bring you inner peace. Whatever. It's propoganda and fluff, but ultimately within free speech rights.

    What O'Gara did is criminal incitement of violence, and probable RICO violations.
  • by donscarletti (569232) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @03:16PM (#12558635)
    Who the hell is this guy, what has he done and why should I give a shit about what he says? If you are committed to open source software, don't reply to this, just open up Emacs, Vim or whatever you use and start hacking some code, don't even read the rest of this comment. Pompous self-rightious and inflamitory bloggers really are worthless to listen to, so ignore this John C. Dvorak, Maureen O'Gara and for that matter anyone else who'd rather be blasting you with their opinion than coding. Open up your console and start hacking, you heard me.

    Are you still reading this? You better not be.

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