The game was created to demonstrate the futility of individual effort.

There are no rules.

The Game of Linux must be played over and over on an ever changing board. Here's a parable on open source software to give you some idea of what things are like:

How do open source projects happen? I think it goes something like this:

Developer: Look! This is old and unmaintained, it must be redesigned to make it shiny, new, and if that makes it incompatible, then you can't make an omlette without breaking eggs!!

User: But it works perfectly exactly the way it is. It does the job people need it to do, and everyone knows how to use it.

Developer: But it is old! It must be rewritten. Everyone knows that new is always better. You aren't being constructive at all. I'm not paying anymore attention to an obstructionist like you. I'll go over here to, they always provide useful feedback.

Chorus: Oh yes! Developer is right! New is better! It must be rewritten! We can apply the latest quantum software Feng shui development philosophy in the total redesign of the interface. Yes, Developer has come to right place for most excellent feedback on his new design.

Months pass, Developer burns the midnight oil, the fierce light of total dedication to improving the open source community burning in his eyes...

Finally, the long awaited moment has arrived. With a thud! the large package sails over the wall and lands in linux distributions world wide. Downloads hum, users install, till finally:

User: What the hell? Where is the tool I used to use?

Chorus: It was old. It has been replaced.

User: But I knew how to use the old one, the new one doesn't have any documentation.

Chorus: Infidel! How dare you question any aspect of this project! You should know Developer has better things to do than document such perfection! If you had followed the development on you would know how it works.

User: Okay, okay! I abase myself. I'm a bad user for spending my time on things like work and life rather than using every available moment to seek out and follow every detail of every open source project that may someday affect me. Now can you give me a hint? Pretty please with sugar on top?

Chorus: Very well. First you login with your facebook account...

User: Facebook! I don't have a facebook account! I don't want a facebook account! I didn't have to login before at all. What kind of a moron would tie this thing to facebook?

Chorus: SHUT UP YOU WORTHLESS DOG! Do you have any idea how hard Developer worked on this? You had plenty of opportunities to participate constructively in the process, but you are just a complainer! It so happens we did an extensive survey and all our responders had facebook accounts. You could have participated in the survey, but you chose not to. You have no right to complain!

User: By any chance, was this survey conducted on facebook?

Chorus: Of course it was! What kind of snide question is that? You just go SHUT UP!


This phenomena is so common, it must have a name. I hereby dub it the Vogon effect:

“There's no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you've had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it's far too late to start making a fuss about it now. & What do you mean you've never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven's sake, mankind, it's only four light years away, you know. I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that's your own lookout. Energise the demolition beams.”

Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council speaking of the destruction of earth. (from Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's guide to the Galaxy)

Of course, this raises the question: Why do so many linux distros so willingly go along with jerking the rug out from under their users time and time again? I have a theory about that.

Game of Linux Entry Game of Linux Site Map Tom's Fabulous Web Page
Page last modified Mon Jan 23 20:00:45 2012