Summary: Burying the facts by discrediting their bearers, collectively
AS Microsoft turns to more aggressive tactics, independent Web sites like Groklaw provide succinct evidence of anti-competitive behaviour, especially in the realms of sub-notebooks [1, 2].
So despite clear evidence of Microsoft misbehaviour in sub-notebooks, the Guardian now lays issues where Microsoft wants them to be. They are trying to blame GNU/Linux, not kickbacks, intimidation, availability games and collusion with hardware companies that simply dread low-end equipment (and thus low cost). How much more transparent need it become?
Here is a complaint someone recommended to us regarding what ASUS did to GNU/Linux.
Having been on vacation for 5 weeks — with my Eee PC —, I only just became aware of your new site It’s Better With Windows *), and the fact that you no longer sell netbooks with Linux. Unfortunately, you have not provided a way for your customers and potential customers to comment on this site, so I’m left with less-efficient means to publicly let you know what I’m thinking about this move. In short: You’re making a big mistake!
Very recently we showed that LinuxInsider (now owned by ECT) was gently vilifying GNU/Linux, which is normal for this particular publication. We wrote about this when the same author who daemonised Mono opposition also wrote about the ASUS scandal and tried to dispel its existence using foul-mouthed people. Might it be the case that LinuxInsider is again attacking the character of GNU/Linux by putting forth stereotypes with the headline “How to Advocate for Linux (Without Coming Across as a Lunatic)“?
These headlines matter a lot and the latest example is suggestive — insinuating that advocacy of GNU/Linux is lunacy. Remember how Microsoft evangelism formally works:
“Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.”
–Microsoft, internal document
As such, those who advocate GNU/Linux will see themselves coming under attempts to associate character with mental (or sometimes physical) deficiency. There are many real-world examples of this strategy.
“In layman’s terms, it’s a cheap shot and it is unprofessional because it only gives an illusion of balanced reporting.”On a separate note, people who want to bury our message/voice try to associate — even falsely — this Web site with someone who goes by the name "Mark Fink". He annoyed us too, as IRC logs have shown from the very beginning (few people bothered to fact-check beyond the cherry-picking and selective quoting from Mono proponents). “Mark Fink” is a zealous reader who makes us look bad. There are several others and it’s hard to tell them off. They misrepresent and misinterpret, but they think they help. They only get quoted to discredit the Web site by association, capitalising on total lack of censorship.
So, it is not surprising that our critics who include Bruce Byfield (for the uninitiated) only bother quoting “Fink” as though it is a messenger but never quote reasonable arguments from the Web site they actually refer to. What we don’t like is when defenders of Mono quote the likes of Pat Robertson (and “M$”-speak types, or hard-liners) to make Mono opposition look boorish, irrational, and aggressive. The same tactics are used in more political arenas. It makes for very weak argumentation. In layman’s terms, it’s a cheap shot and it is unprofessional because it only gives an illusion of balanced reporting. It symbolises weak journalism or punditry (see comments here). █