Friday, September 11, 2009

Why I chose Linux!

Another podcaster in the linux community has been doing a series of shows called "How I found Linux" that contains user contributed audio clips of people telling the story of how they found their way into the free software community. It's very likely when I get the time I will record my story and submit it and I hope you do the same.

Thinking about this it led me down the path of thinking not just about how but about why.

I have a firm belief that one of the strongest human emotions is the need to feel like you belong to something that is greater than yourself. I think that this need is more intense for some than others and is a driving force for good and evil. It could even explain some of the darker times in human history. But, that's a discussion for another post, or maybe not.

For me, I've always had deep need to feel like I belong and am accepted. I can think back on many periods of my life where this has had a profound effect on the trajectory of my life. I think it's the human need to be a part of the community that draws most people into the Linux/free culture. Not the geekyness of it or the software itself. Computers are cool but I don't think that is why free software is successful. Further more, I don't think the thing that will win people over to Linux will be more or better apps. I think it will be the draw that everyone has a place in the community and everyone is important to its success.

What people don't use as an argument for free software enough is:

  1. No matter what your interest there is a sub-community that is dying to have you as a member.
  2. No matter how insignificant your contribution to free software might seem, it's the rich tapestry of different abilities that make Linux great. We will always need wide diversity in the community.
  3. Free software people are not just friendly, they take great pleasure in helping you find a place in community. We love it when some one new finds that feeling of acceptance that we do.
  4. Black, white, skinny, fat, pretty, ugly, rich, poor, genius, average, cool, geek, religious, agnostic, political or not? No one gives a crap. I've never heard anyone not getting accepted because of their background.

So, If you feel like you need to find some where that people not only accept you but need you. Where you can find people just as exited about your interests as you are. We would love to have you as one of our own. We want you! We need you! Jump in, the water is just fine. What are you waiting for?
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