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osOpinion: Religious affairs: How holy wars start

Mar 28, 2000, 14:14 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Simon Cozens)

"For as long as there's been computers, there seems to have been computer bigots. Ever since the first ITS hacker aimed a proverbial rock at the head of the nearest Unix user, and probably well before, the computer community has been rife with holy wars. And I've got to admit, I love them."

"I know It's very easy to get me started - and no, I'm not going to tell you how. Because recently, I've been thinking about why I get into these religious debates, and how I respond when I'm there. It's lead me to see a few things about hacker - and I mean that in the true sense of the word - culture more clearly. It's also lead me to believe that holy wars are actually more good than harm."

"For some, the very name 'holy war' isn't that far from the truth: these things really do reflect a semi-religious belief some people have in the superiority of their chosen hardware, software, science fiction author or pizza topping, and a fervent desire to convert others to their preference. Most people would say it looks bad on the community - and especially on the Open Source community, where these sorts of arguments are more common. Before we decide that, though, let's look at why these things happen."

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