Taoism and Linux

Seeing the connections between ancient meditations and the development of the Linux community.
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Phil Hughes

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Re: Taoism and Linux

Anonymous's picture

Fascinating article.

It reminds me of Neil Stephenson's article " In Search of the Command Line" ( http://www.cryptonomicon.com/command.zip ). He discusses the philosophical differences between the ideas implemented in various operating systems.

It makes sense when you consider that Taoism about how you do things, and Open-Source Developement is about how you do things with computers. In the simplest sense they are both about dealing with activity, Taoism in general and OSS in specifics.

One thing I've found interesting in the computing field, is the balance of ancient and modern ideas that are expressed in the technology. I came across a counting game that was used by the vikings, where the earliest written form was dated to 1050-1100AD. This was identical to the interleaving systems that were developed for optimising HDD access times.

Anyone got any other examples?

Re: Taoism and Linux

Anonymous's picture

good!!!!!!

Re: Taoism and Linux

Anonymous's picture

Although I respect Mr. Hughes' comments. I think it is dangerous pasttime to start connecting the Linux revolution with any particular religion - even if you don't like like to call it one. Especially on a site of a publication that many consider to be the voice of Linux.

I would think that Linux has more in common with humanity in general. The thought of giving freely to benefit others as well as yourself is a universal theme.

Do we really want to see conservative government officials start mouthing off at Linux as a buddhist hippie cult and block government agencies from using it ?

Just a question...

Re: Taoism and Linux

Anonymous's picture

to quote a very untechnical and untaoist book:

It is bad when one thing becomes two. One should not look for anything else in the Way of the Samurai. It is the same for anything that is called a Way. If one understands things in this manner, he should be able to hear about all ways and be more and more in accord with his own.

--Hagekure, The Way of the Samurai (as quoted in the film "Ghost Dog, way of the Samurai")

Re: Taoism and Linux

Anonymous's picture

But what is Linux, if not a religion (besides the *obvious* answer that it's an operating system)?

Mr. Hughes is simply pointing out the obvious here, that on the surface, Linux and Taoism have a lot of similarities and taoism, as a religion or philosophy, is a lot more tangible than "humanity in general".

Linux is already seen by *many* people as a hippie cult movement -- that's not going to change any time soon. And I sincerely doubt that Mr. Hughes' thoughtful editorial piece is going to change anyone's mind -- one way or the other.

Re: Taoism and Linux

Anonymous's picture

This is an excellent atricle.

I think "anonymous" has shown a correlation between the absolute and the relative here. Toaism, being as old as it is, has had the time to weed out all of the relative values of any given era, to be boiled down to it's essential truths.

I (personally) believe that there is only ONE TRUTH, and that "IT" is ABSOLUTE!

"Anonymous" was very keen to point out the parallels between Toaism (a belief system that has evolved very far from values to survive in the absolute), to the evolution of Linux (an OS that is designed according to what a computer does, and not according to what an unenlightened user wants. A person with that type of mentality would just go looking elsewhere for a nice and easy set of values that would cuddle them back into their comfort zone. Not what I would call a "survivable species").

If I had to guess what kind of person Linus really is, I'd say he is probably very "spiritually intact", and therefore recognizes that the "absolute" is the "real truth" and that "values" are a temporary, usually narrow, and distorted reflection of that truth.

If Linux were just a set of values, then it would probably be just like windows, or not exist at all.

Toaism, and Linux alike, exist today because they have passed the test of evolution's own principle: "Is the truth in you strong enough to survive?"

I think Linux was more an expression of the absolute principles that Linus saw fit to manifest. I can see that by virtue of Linux's design.

I don't like to speculate, but if I had to, I'd say that Linux will be around long after the current "popular values" have evaporated. That doesn't seem far-fetched, does it?

Thanx, "anonmous", for giving my brain something to chew on, I tip my Red Hat to you.

Hierophant

Re: Taoism and Linux

Anonymous's picture

bad

Re: Taoism and Linux

WillyNilly's picture

Have we learned Nothing? I am learning, perhaps you shall also.

But at this time I believe I know that Taoism and Absolutism are contradictory.

Humility is required to accept that your One Truth MAY NOT be the only truth.

Perhaps that which each of us honestly believes is but one's perception, one's portion, of the whole.

As one approaches a point of light, does the point grow finer, or more diffuse?

I've known nothing. Perhaps "Aw Crapp" above knows IT as well.

The journey continues.

Peace

Willy

Re: Taoism and Linux

Anonymous's picture

Being a zen buddist(?) I can see why linux will outlast Wintell. MS cant hurt a system that is free!! and has no center to attack!

Simple and it works.

Cheers

Bob

Re: AOL and RedHat

Anonymous's picture

Offtopic: Has anyone anything to say on AOL's impending acquisition of RedHat?

NL

Visit http://www.computercontractor.net for the latest industry news.

Re: AOL and RedHat

Anonymous's picture

Nothing polite! I hate to see something good destroyed.

Re: Taoism and Linux

pnb's picture

I think Taoism is a great way to view the Linux community/ the way the operating system has come about. Linux success, any success for that matter comes in following the Tao. I'm no expert on Linux or on the Tao but I know what sounds good. This is a great way to keep perspective folks.

Re: Taoism and Linux

Anonymous's picture

Aw crapp

Re: Taoism and Linux

Anonymous's picture

This is an excellent atricle.

I think "anonymous" has shown a correlation between the absolute and the relative here. Toaism, being as old as it is, has had the time to weed out all of the relative values of any given era, to be boiled down to it's essential truths.

I (personally) believe that there is only ONE TRUTH, and that "IT" is ABSOLUTE!

"Anonymous" was very keen to point out the parallels between Toaism (a belief system that has evolved very far from values to survive in the absolute), to the evolution of Linux (an OS that is designed according to what a computer does, and not according to what an unenlightened user wants. A person with that type of mentality would just go looking elsewhere for a nice and easy set of values that would cuddle them back into their comfort zone. Not what I would call a "survivable species").

If I had to guess what kind of person Linus really is, I'd say he is probably very "spiritually intact", and therefore recognizes that the "absolute" is the "real truth" and that "values" are a temporary, usually narrow, and distorted reflection of that truth.

If Linux were just a set of values, then it would probably be just like windows, or not exist at all.

Toaism, and Linux alike, exist today because they have passed the test of evolution's own principle: "Is the truth in you strong enough to survive?"

I think Linux was more an expression of the absolute principles that Linus saw fit to manifest. I can see that by virtue of Linux's design.

I don't like to speculate, but if I had to, I'd say that Linux will be around long after the current "popular values" have evaporated. That doesn't seem far-fetched, does it?

Thanx, "anonmous", for giving my brain something to chew on,

Hierophant

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