Bonum Certa Men Certa

Who Are the 'Zealots' Anyway?

Boy charging



Summary: GNU/Linux advocates face aggression from the Microsoft ecosystem

HOW EASY it is to stick labels and stereotypes [1, 2, 3], continually assigning them to people whose ideas of Freedom do not intersect with the ideas of those who abuse and exploit for profit. To stigmatise is sometimes to daemonise.



Some month ago we saw friendly Boycott Novell protests in India getting dismantled by force [1, 2, 3] and there are other examples where defenders of the Microsoft ecosystem went over the line to suppress dissent.

Ken is a Free software advocate from Texas. He installs GNU/Linux on the computers of many children and families. He soon rose to fame for his success in this area and arguably became a local star after plenty of media exposure, so to hear about people verbally or physically attacking him for harming sales of Microsoft software is not quite so shocking. Here he is telling the story of what he needed to cope with.

In response, writes one person:

It already happened to me a few days ago when I was out wearing my new KPLUG T-shirt. In the parking lot at CV center, I was forced to physically defend my person and the honor of KPLUG from some moron who claimed that FOSS was illegal and had cost him his job, and that he couldn't find work because he couldn't do Linux. He likened the money I make teaching and consulting with Linux to blood money and expressed a desire to make me pay. I perhaps made a mistake in saying I taught a class in Linux and would be glad to teach him about it, because he grabbed my shirt in his fist and I responded aggressively. Um, luckily for me, our side won decisively.


Microsoft likes to characterise its opposition as "radicals", "zealots", "haters" or "fanatics". How does it feel to see these perceived roles reversed? And how come the bully claims to be a victim? To merely antagonise crime is not to antagonise Microsoft, unless of course Microsoft and crime are synonymous.

So, to conclude, who are those 'zealots' anyway?

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