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Technology Religion?

Has technology development always been so religious? 

I remember an argument with a few developers on how the Crusades prove how religion is evil and how modern society helps bring everyone together.  After that, they continued their year long fight over why there Mac is better over Windows (luckily they were software developers and not battle ready soilders...the personal attacks can get pretty vicious at the end).  It ended when they just stopped talking to each other. 

For me, a computer is just a bunch of transistors working together in a way we instructed them to operate.  Nothing much to go crazy about. 

Could it be the long hours at work that does this?  The lack of work-life balance?
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Passion plus the baffling need to have other's agreement.
Steve Hirsch Send private email
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I think that when people dialog, and get feedback like "Yes", this has a moderating effect on them: they like to have been heard.

You don't get this feedback from online conversations (while you're writing it's like talking into a vacuum).

Furthermore, 'geeks' might be concentrating on the subject matter and not on the person talking:

You might think that the experience of talking into a vacuum would tend to make a person shut up, but actually it can cause them to turn *up* the volume.
Christopher Wells Send private email
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Jimmy Jones
Thursday, June 12, 2008
"Has technology development always been so religious?"

Yes.  It's probably similar to the idealism that exists in great amounts during the college years, that fades away as people become more world wise (or world weary) -- or plain just get older.

I used to be a technology zealot -- my way or the highway -- in my early days in software development.  Nowadays I'm far far more technology agnostic.

Unfortunately that also makes you boring, so be sure to hold onto a few inflexibles.  You know... important stuff like the way all you people who put an open curly-brace on the end of a line instead of on a line by itself are heathen devil worshipers who will be first against the wall when the revolution comes.
Dan Fleet Send private email
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Right, having a debate about the merits of technology is EXACTLY the same as violent bloody wars that go on for centuries and include the murder of innocents, torture, rape and famine. Exactly the same.
Tony Chang
Thursday, June 12, 2008
> Exactly the same.

In the last chapter of _Civilisation_, Kenneth Clark wrote,

  "We are so much accustomed to the humanitarian outlook that we forget how little it counted in earlier ages of civilisation. Ask any decent person in England or America what he thinks matters most in human conduct: five to one his answer will be 'kindness'. It's not a word that would have crossed the lips of any of the earlier heroes of this series. If you had asked St Francis what mattered in life, he would, we know, have answered 'chasity, obedience and poverty'; if you had asked Dante or Michelangelo they might have answered 'disdain of baseness and injustness'; if you had asked Goethe, he would have said 'to live in the whole and the beautiful'. But kindness, never. Our ancestors didn't use the word, and they did not greatly value the quality - except perhaps in so far as they valued compassion. Nowadays, I think we under-estimate the humanitarian achievements of the nineteenth century."
Christopher Wells Send private email
Thursday, June 12, 2008
" ...the same as violent bloody wars that go on for centuries and include the murder of innocents, torture, rape and famine"

Finally! Someone who understands the VI vs Emacs conflict. Emacs is truly the scourge of god and the root of all evil. My bet is that if Dick Cheney was a programmer, he'd be the VI VP, bless his heart.
SumoRunner Send private email
Thursday, June 12, 2008
So what's new? Ford vs Chev vs Dodge. American/European vs 'rice burners' (as in Harley/BMW vs Japanese bikes). Harley vs everything else :) Saskatoon vs Regina (cities in Saskatchewan). My Team vs Your Team.

Mine vs Yours has been with us always and I see nothing to indicate we'll ever leave it behind. Fortunately, most of us have learned to paint our faces and get weird at a sporting event instead of killing the next guy because he prays or looks different. Mac vs PC? Not even on my radar, but it really wouldn't hurt for some people to just calm down.
Ron Porter Send private email
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Jonathan Swift mocked this human characteristic in Gulliver's Travels. Where a war was going on over which end of the egg to break first: the big end or the little end. Motorola and Intel microprocessors repeat this conflict: big endian or little endian (no, I can't be bothered to remember which is which, and I suppose that makes me an infidel).

People always divide groups into "like me" and "not like me" for all sorts of characteristics. It is very human and one won't be able to "cure" it without changing the fundamental hardware in our brains.

>"It is obvious to the most simpleminded that Lokai is of an inferior breed."
>"The obvious visual evidence, Commissioner, is that he is of the same breed as yourself."
>"Are you blind, Commander Spock? Well, look at me. Look at me!"
>"You're black on one side and white on the other."
>"I am black on the right side."
>"I fail to see the significant difference."
>"Lokai is white on the right side. All of his people are white on the right side."
caution: do not click this at work or you won't get anything done all day :)
Peter Send private email
Thursday, June 12, 2008
...flint arrow heads vs. bone arrow heads.

(I'm sure they did!)
Jimmy Jones
Thursday, June 12, 2008
"Has technology development always been so religious?"

Perhaps you need to watch Apple's 1983 keynote where they first introduced the (first graphical computer) Mac.  Listen to his overtones about IBM, that's 25yrs ago.  IMHO Apple customers (and Linux fanatics) take the same with Microsoft today.  So no, nothing has changed, just the name of the "big guy" that everybody wants to take down.
TravisO Send private email
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Just in case an example cited by the OP be accepted without examination, it should be at least mentioned that the Crusades were not an example of Western imperialism.  That came much later.  The Crusades were a reaction to the successes of the Muslim armies in conquering one Christian territory after another.
Anon Send private email
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Neat answers.

Funny thing is, I hear this lots of times "I'm a rational, logical, and thinking person with very little emotions."  A few hours later comes an heated emotional arguments about why everyone should use Rails. 

In the end, I guess people are people and we all are highly emotional creatures who really can't perceive ourselves well as we think we do. 

What happened during the IBM punch card mainframe days?
Friday, June 13, 2008
Some people like to hide behind the armor of calling is passion.  I see it for what it is.  It is just a sophomoric male pissing match.  This is no different than the jocks that used to beat them up, but this time they believe they have something important to say.

Too bad 99% of what passes as "technology" out there is just the same old crap with a new name, new buzzwords, and some shiny objects hanging off it.

I've been in high tech long enough to have seen these fads come and go.  Of course companies (including open source profiteers) are more than happy to hype the myths and make a buck off of stupidity.

Heck sometimes these pissing matches are so ridiculous it makes me want to switch from engineering to marketing and start screwing money out of people too!  :-P
Friday, June 13, 2008
"The Crusades were a reaction to the successes of the Muslim armies in conquering one Christian territory after another."

Correct.  The Muslims slaughtered Christians up through Spain.  And by Mohamed's teachings took their women and very young girls as their conquests.  Many of the techniques applied by the Crusaders were the very same ones first applied to Europeans.

Of course in today's dumbed down edutainment systems people don't get taught history any more.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Actually Histoss, what the Moslems brought to Spain
was bathing, which was lost to the other "Christian"
(ie ex-Roman) territory during the Dark Ages. In fact
I am told the Spanish do not have a name for "Dark Ages"
because for them, life was just as civilized before
the Renaissance period as after it. I don't see any
place for this evangelical neocon propaganda tosh you
call "history" even in textbooks, so why the hell
should it turn up in a technology thread where it is
completely irrelevant?
Object Hater
Saturday, June 14, 2008
There are whole schools of thought that explore what actually happened in Spain under the Umayyad Islamic Empire that utilize the informal or vulgar (vulgar pertains to common culture in this context not obscene) traditions to get a clearer understanding.  The empire entered the Iberian Peninsula as a conquest.  It was not a pleasant intermingling.  It was a conquest and they used the same tactics that Mohamed used.  You can not wish this away.  It was brutal and its a fact.

The Muslim conquest was around 718 and by 722 with Covadonga being freed by native Iberian forces the region was slowly reclaimed by the original inhabitants.  The struggle of the Iberian peoples went on for a very long time, but they eventually took back control of their various lands.  Considering that the Iberian people wanted their land back from the very start and eventually took it back I think proves that life under Muslim control in the peninsula was not perfect.
take a step back
Saturday, June 14, 2008

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