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[tlug] Re: Why the shirts? Why TLUG?

On 4/19/2007, "Shannon Jacobs" <> wrote:

>Yes, there are a few rosy statements on the website about the
>objectives, but I've been assessing TLUG mostly by the members'
>behavior. Mostly the beer-drinking behavior?

Not sure what you're trying to say here. If you don't like nomikai,
then don't go. Nobody's forcing you. The only point of a nomikai is to
drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of food, and yack about Linux or
whatever. Or yack in the gutter on the way back <g> I don't know what
other behavior you're talking about other than that, but if you're
possibly referencing the fact that TLUG doesn't go in for handholding
of newbies, well, no, we don't. Our philosophy is one of helping those
who help themselves, and we firmly believe that there are times when
RTFM is a perfectly valid response to a question. If that bothers you,
then perhaps you're not sitting in the right pew and might indeed be
better served elsewhere. I'm not suggesting that you leave or are
unwelcome, but we do things our way, and our way is not for everyone. If
it's not for you, that's fine. Just be advised that it's not going to
change, either.

>involving more people in Linux. Some people like to feel they are
>special and elite.


Well, if we have chosen to use an OS that is better than the competition,
it only stands to reason that people who have made that choice may
believe we are doing something better/smarter than people who have not.
After all, it's true. Is the TLUG membership (overall) more well-versed
in computers than most users of either Windows or Mac? Yes, absolutely.
I don't think it's necessary to apologize for believing that, or for
believing that Linux is special relative to other OSes, especially ones
that are not in the *nix family.

But elite? Nope, sorry. That's dead wrong, and I'm reaching for my BOFH

TLUG has high standards, and there is tremendous talent here. Beginners
are welcome, and many people have gone from beginner to veteran as
members of TLUG (myself included; when I came to TLUG I had zero prior
*nix experience but was a Windows; I studied hard and learned a lot
here). We have little tolerance for people who don't want to read the
manual and help themselves, preferring to be spoonfed information. We
have even less tolerance for people who demand things, and less still
for those who want to do nothing but whine about what they perceive to
be the inadequacies of Linux, by which they usually mean "I don't know
how to do it this way and can't be bothered to learn, so Linux better
change to suit me."

TLUG is absolutely a meritocracy, and we have little tolerance for those
who neither have merit nor wish to get it (and by merit, I do not
necessarily mean *nix expertise. A total newcomer to *nix who has a
desire to learn and - very importantly - to allow her/himself to be
shaped in the *nix way - has merit and will get more). That is not,
however, elitism. Elitism is the belief that you/your group are
intrinsically better than others and that others cannot attain your
level even if they try. We believe that others can and should attain
Linux expertise. We are glad to help them up the mountain, it's one of
our main reasons for being here, but they have to climb it on their own.
We won't carry anyone.

I'm not saying you have any of those attitudes. I don't know you and
couldn't say if you do or not, but you may have observed this TLUG
"personality" and been bothered by it. If you have, and if it bothers
you, all I can say is that we like it that way, we have been very
successful that way, and we are not about to stop being that way. If
TLUG was not that way, I would not have spent the last 9 years in *nix
jobs. It works for me. It works for a lot of other people, too. I  know
I'm far from the only TLUGger who would credit TLUG as being a major
contributor to their professional success.

>I'll probably attend the next technical meeting, but I'm increasingly
>averse to saying much in public.

Why, specifically, is that?

> I'm even more averse to the idea of
>running for any office in any political sense. 

I rather suspect the feeling is mutual, based on what you've written so
far. TLUG is, really, exactly how we want it to be. All of these things
have been debated before, years ago, and often more than once. Who/what
we are is a very settled thing. TLUG has come very near to civil war on
occasion in settling those things, but settled they are and settled they
will remain.

I hope you decide that TLUG/the TLUG way/the *nix way are right for you.
They are good ways. But if not, no hard feelings. It's not for
everybody. That's part of the beauty of the *nix way: there are many
paths within it, and everyone can find the right one somewhere.



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