Angus: Cultural leanings

Aaaah, the wonder of the internet! The power of allowing the masses to voice their opinions. Once upon a time, one had to make an effort and write/type the letter, stamp the envelope and mail it to a newspaper. Letters to the editor are still revered in some circles, but the internet, that wondrous internet, drags that genre into the pond.

Not only do comments on internet news articles and blogs provide a voice for the ignorant (read ‘uneducated’), they seem to even have mastered their own blogs. It is such a slog to filter these looking for actual education, intelligent perspective and positive opinion. Worse, it is disappointing that there are sheeple who follow the trail of the ignorant, and thrive on negativity, conjecture, speculation and sensationalism.

Take the recent Swine Flu epidemic. Apparently, if you read the noise, this is a politically motivatedpandemic. Depending on how narrow and to which side the typist belongs, this was caused, exacerbated, and solved by the party to which they do not have an affinity. My favorite comment on a Yahoo! News report titled “Obama vows tougher overseas tax policies” goes like this (complete with punctuation, grammar, but quite well spelled): taxing them is way overdue. bush let these a****** get by without paying any taxes while outsourcing american jobs. if youre an american, you should be pissed that other americans lost their jobs so these greedy bastards could manufacture crap overseas at slave labor rates and then ship it back here to sell to the same americans whose jobs were given to foreign slave labor. if people would quit buying cheap crap from walmart chinese factory outlet and the government would start taxing these outsourcing slime companies, it would send a message. and if they go under, who gives a s***”.Trying to make sense of this comment can cause brain confusion. Please do not attempt interpretation when compos.

Back to the IBM i world where the ignorant claim fealty, yet complain about the ‘name change’. Not stopping to read of the merging of the platform, they rush through their typing so they, too, can express their opinion. For the most part, these ‘experts’ remain ignorant and negative – not even the act of typing their uneducated spew results in any kind of cleansing. In my blog entry ‘Narrowosity‘, I whined about the whiners (ok, so I had a positive suggestion) and, since then, I have become more sensitive to their complaints.

In fact, at the COMMON Annual Conference last week, the IBM i Q&A session was quite the success. Held in a smaller room than the glory days of Town Hall meetings or Sound-Offs, and later than the Opening Session, the people who had something to say to IBM made sure to attend. Instead of being on a stage or on elevated stools, the IBMers were sitting in the front of the room facing the audience. The session was intimate, the IBMers were dressed casually, and there was so little tension.

Yet, at the Meeting of the Members later in the week, there was a complaint about the Sound-Off not being scheduled. I expect the complainant did not care quite as much as he espoused, since he did not make the effort to read the schedule and find the appropriately-named ‘IBM i Q&A’ session – in fact, the same name as the 2008 conference session. Yet, he still had to register a complaint. For me, he joins the ignorant in their quest to dumb down the planet.

What was enjoyable about the IBM i Q&A session was the commitment from the IBMers who were there. They are all dedicated to the IBM i, and to the Power Systems on which IBM i runs. They work hard, receive little, or no recognition for their efforts, for their loyalty, for their talents, and for their dedication. While IBM may be the target of much noise, angst, negativity and slamming, very few people in the iCommunity consider that we would not have IBM i without them. And these are the people who are being held responsible for every one of IBM’s perceived sins.

From me, I thank them all. They are the reason many of us are still employed. They fight for IBM i inside IBM – not for themselves, but for the future of our platform.Maybe, just maybe, if enough of us were to recognize them for their efforts, it might have an impact in combatting the noise pollution of the ignorant, the naysayers, and those looking to glorify themselves alone. Of course, we don’t want to stop calling IBM out and keeping our positive voice heard. But, let’s change the culture of anti-, and make it one of pro-.

Get to it..

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