When I hear the words 'geek culture', I reach for my +6 Dagger of Slay Orc.

DC Parris of LXer to Linux community member: shut up!

Date/Time Permalink: 05/09/07 03:36:27 pm
Category: General

NOTE: If you're just joining us, this is more tux500 commentary. Check the links to the right - I've been quite vocal about it. I finally said I'd shut up about it. I wish I could. But...

I saw this LXer thread yesterday, and decided not to comment. Then I thought about it again last night, but decided not to blog it. Then I had a hard night sleeping, and this morning it popped up again. What was bothering me?

Oh, yes, my conscience.

My conscience tells me that it's the wrong thing to do, to silently stand by while people are insulted, maligned, and degraded for offering their honest opinion in a polite manner.

We howl with indignation when Dell tells us to get lost despite twenty thousand of us asking for a non-Microsoft option on their computers. We overwhelm Digg with posting a 128-bit number simply because we've been told not to do so. We protest the US government's passing of increasingly restrictive media-control laws. And we have built the concept of a Free and Open Source software society through GNU, Linux, BSD, the FSF, and the EFF - why? Because we wanted to have our own say about our computers, and not let a billionaire have all the control.

So, when a gang of bandits is shaking us down for money and tells us, with blistering vitriol, to go to Hell when we simply ask for some input into how the money is spent, why are we suddenly lying down and taking this? Last I checked, we were human beings possessing pride and decency who live in a free country with the right to express our opinion.

Note the poster identified as "notamonopoly" in that link: calm, cool, collected, just offering some opinion. Even says that it's good to see people wanting Linux to have some publicity, but expressing a concern as many others have, that it doesn't sound like a worthwhile project to be paying so much money for.

And note DC Parris' response: (1) ADMITTING that he's one of the people holding the money for the collection gang and that he shouldn't comment on it. (2) Coming after other forum members have already flamed back at notamonopoly with such spit-spraying hate speech as "put up or shut up". (3) Abusing his power as Editor-in-Chief of LXer (4) Then actually BACKING UP the other trolls, telling yet ANOTHER Linux community member to essentially stick it where the sun don't shine.

You're welcome to start your own fund raiser, he is told. If you do, you will be criticized, he is assured. But you're not allowed to criticize tux500. You might think there's this thing called the First Amendment, and it would especially apply when it's money coming out of our pocket. But no, just ask DC Parris, and devnet, and helios, and the rest of their little clique of Texas businessmen. You and your First Amendment are full of crap. Now give them your money, or it will "come back to cause you grief later"!

Update: Most especially when they plot to "Digg-storm". After all, we couldn't let genuine public interest just happen by itself, now could we?

Honestly and truly: tell me with a straight face if you collected money in a fund and then put it up to a vote for the contributors to decide what to do with the money to promote Linux, would you be getting criticism for your actions?

Community feedback. It's what built Linux in the first place. It runs the web.

I think it's time for an organized protest. Of LXer, of tux500, of everybody who endorses it, of the Indianapolis 500 itself if that's what it takes. Better Linux should never be advertised at all, than to be advertised at this horrific cost.

I don't mean the horrific cost of this $350,000 sticker (tidy sum of blood money though it is). I mean the horrific cost of the freedom that built Linux. What's next? Will this gang copyright Linux and take it away from us? When that day comes, will we have the right to protest then?

After all, I've gotten Tux stickers FOR FREE at trade shows. So, where's the $350,000 going? I know this much: it could buy a lot of lawyers.

Well, my conscience feels better now. I know I'll take some more harassment, more threats, more fury from the FUD-amentalist Church of LXer, but it's worth it.

Because this post, Mr. or Mrs. notamonopoly, is just for you. Allow me to quote you:

Not exactly constructive criticism. I do my part. I run two businesses, both use open source software. I promote open source to every client, co-worker, family member and friend. What more can I do? I don't have the time to organize a campaign so I would gladly contribute to something that I felt was worth it. Have you stopped to question why there are so many "armchair critics" of this campaign? Maybe there is a good reason.

You are not alone. There are thousands more just like you, who have been treated as bad as you and worse. Just search Google for "tux500" and follow the links.

The full series on the tux500 scam:
Is the Tux500 racecar advertizing project a scam? Just asking the question...
Tux500 scam - news and links history Showing the circular links and promotion.
the tux500 scam of the Linux community A blogger cracks, more false promotion, an example of a racecar advertising scam perpetrated recently in NASCAR.
WHY the tux500 promotion is a pump-and-dump scam An in-depth analysis of driver stats, and some very serious cases of extortion, threats, slander, and intimidation on the part of the scammers.
The Final Analysis of the Tux500 Scam The source of the news story on indy500.com. A final summary.
Further Developments since I broke this story:
Dear Newsforge: I am not devnet. Newsforge links to devnet and says that's me. Best thing to happen to devnet and worst thing to happen to me. Other developments.
DC Parris of LXer to Linux community member: shut up! I wouldn't have half the problem with these thugs, if they didn't abuse EVERYBODY who crossed their path.
tux500 crew caught rigging Digg - with screenshots! Somehow, even documented proof of their own admission of blatant spamming fails to get them shut down. Wake up, Internet!
Are the tux500 people really all THAT bad? Or, why being on tux500's case 24/7 is one of the most important and necessary things I've ever done.

Give some consideration to chronological order. At the beginning, I was groping around, and chased a lot of dead ends before I honed in on the important facts.

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