Bonum Certa Men Certa

Of “Cranky Old Nutcases”...

Boycott Novell cup of coffee



Summary: Syndromes of taboo (forbidden subjects) and the impact of talking about particular truths

OUR reader "The Mad Hatter" has written this post which highlights Microsoft's role in ruining the Internet for everyone. One in two Windows PCs is said to be a zombie and the consequences are obvious.

Barry tweeted a Newsweek article titled The Evil (Cyber) Empire - Inside the world of Russian hackers. What the article doesn't mention (possibly because Microsoft is a Newsweek advertiser) is that what holds the 'Russian Business Network' together is a vast botnet consisting of millions of compromised computers running the Microsoft Windows Operating System.

That's right. Windows. Not OSX. Not Linux. Only Windows.


But it's never Microsoft's fault. Those who blame Microsoft should go see a doctor. [sarcasm to be noted here]

Jokingly, the above person calls his blog "Cranky Old Nutcase". We previously explained how those who criticise tend to be portrayed as angry/grumpy and thus irrational [1, 2, 3, 4].

Some readers may already be familiar with TechDirt, which is a site that antagonises abuse in the areas of copyrights, patents, and journalism. It usually tackles Internet matters (mostly those relating to abundance versus scarcity in the digital age). TechDirt's lead, Mike Masnick, has just written a special post for the new year. It is one that many critics can probably relate to. In it, Masnick explains that TechDirt (or himself) is being described as a site of hatred or anger rather than calm expression of opinion.

Last year, for our final post of the year, I wrote a message On Staying Happy. It seems, at time, that people think that I am filled with anger or rage, because of all the annoying or "bad" stories that show up here all the time. Of course, for folks who know me, this is pretty funny. I'm pretty laid back and quite happy and content for the most part -- which was the point of last year's post.


One strategy for dismissing a critic is to pretend -- or sell the illusion -- that the critic is very angry and driven by hormones rather than mind. In some cases, those who wish to daemonise the critic will therefore libel, harass and make very angry this critic, striving to make him/her say things out of temporary/spontaneous bursts of emotion (retaliatory, but then conveniently pulled out of context).

There are other daemonisation tactics, such as the ones we wrote about early in the week. We ask our readers not to pay attention where these tactics are being applied. Boycott Novell is under constant pressure for its relatively unusual views (no matter the supporting proof) and there are many sites like that*. To damage their reputation is a cheap task, especially when there is a PR team of hundreds or thousands of staff members (including TEs) at one's disposal. And yes, we have already proven that Microsoft does smear this web site with its employees. Novell employees so this too (amongst others with vested interests). _____ * Watch what happened to Groklaw when it 'dared' to criticise Microsoft's precious Mono. Some publications that we know about consciously abstain from criticising Mono and even spike stories that do so. They are afraid of publishing something truthful that would harm their reputation simply because of Mono bullies and the likes of them. In order for truths to be voiced, the media must become less shy a lot bolder. Ownership issues aside (corporate shareholders), it is clear that there is a problem and it must be solved for trust to be regained; as CBS broadcaster Dan Rather put it a few years ago, American journalism “has in some ways lost its guts.”

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