Most of the flamewars you see computing geeks engage in
(eg emacs vs vi, Perl vs Python, do you hang braces and
cuddle else's) are not fundamentally meaningful.
One of the reasons is that in programming there is a lot
of domain-specific information which you need to know.
Many times there are different but roughly equivalent ways
of doing things. Which one you choose doesn't really
matter. Not having to deal with both at once, does.
A lot. In other words expertise is fragile. Guru-hood is
easily lost from apparently small changes in your working
So before your next flame war, stop and think about what
you are arguing about. The odds are pretty good that it
is one of these important irrelevancies. This is almost
certainly true for most of the "religious wars" that you
Hiding that behind an attitude that you are, "Just pointing
out the facts, Ma-am!" is disingenuous at best. You are
being destructive. Before doing that give it careful
thought. Why do you feel so strongly? Do you believe
that the other person will find an immediate improvement
in their life from taking your advice? Are you being a
rigid asshole who refuses to change because you are scared
to suddenly be incompetent in a new world?
Yes, there are things that matter. But most of the
ones that matter to you personally are not based on anything
more meaningful than the fact that they preserve your
domain based expertise. (Which I assure you will largely
be lost by changes in programming over the next 5 years.)
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