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Re: [vox] OT: Folk Heroes
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Re: [vox] OT: Folk Heroes

On 22 May 2002, Richard Crawford wrote:

> A friend of mine, an ardent M$ junkie, asked me why I was so excited
> that Rasmus Lerdorf is coming to speak to LUGOD.  I tried to explain,
> and the subject turned to "folk heroes" in the GNU/Linux/OSS community. 
> I threw out names like Eric Raymond, Larry Wall, Linus Torvalds, etc.,
> etc.  Then we tried to come up with some similar names for the M$ world,
> and I couldn't come up with a single one.
> So, before I go out into the world and explain to people that one of the
> reasons why the Linux community is so cool is because it lends itself to
> the creation of folk heroes like that while the Microsoft community
> really doesn't seem to, can anyone come up with similar folk heroes for
> Windows?

Only one...Nathan Myrvhold.  Someone who *should* have been a *nix
head.  Brilliant, multi-talented, and driven by a passionate desire to
create. He was the Chief Scientist for MS for a while until he decided
he'd rather study anthropology and astrophysics than deal with  Billy's
tantrums....he only made one predictive boner that I am aware of (he did
not see the commercialisation of the Internet coming).
> On another note, if my thesis is true, then I find it really interesting
> that GNU/Linux/etc., the "IPR destroying virus" which discourages
> innovation, has more well-known names among the developers than the
> millions of faceless Windows coders whose rights are so well
> protected...

I would attribute this more the the difference between a dispersed
meritocracy (POSIX space) and the faceless bureaucratic corporate
society.  With the exception of guys like Stephen Wolfram or Bill Joy,
recognition is rare, because the *important* part is the view that the
corporation is a solid entity that produces X for a profit.  The
corporation IS the personality, rather than the individula or small group
that sparks an idea.  

There are positives and negatives to both.


> -- 
> Slainte,
> Richard S. Crawford

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