The Five Partisan Canned Replies


Following up on my jab at platform partisans, here are the five kinds of replies you should expect whenever you come out and say something against someone's pet platform (and yes, you can apply this to editors, HTTP servers, MTAs, you name it...).

  • "I don't have any problems, so it must be your fault" - usually served with a hint of "you must be (daft, blind, incompetent or unwilling to spend five hours figuring out things)". Most often used by the Open Source crowd, usually because they assume you're willing to either think the way they do, or have enough time to read every shell script that runs since init is spawned by the kernel In The Beginning Of Uptime - for extra brownie points, go to Google and Slashdot and try to find out how many times they wrote "my granny could use it".
  • "Ha, you're just saying that because you hate (Linux, Apple, or Microsoft) - a typical opening for the kind of reply that pointedly ignores whatever you actually wrote, or even tries to distort any facts you present. This kind of comeback assumes that there can be no such thing as a dissenting opinion, and that the speaker is furiously typing away gospel truth (for surely the original author is one of those profoundly wrongful people who have strayed from The True Faith and needs a good telling to to see the light). From there on, the argument soon escalates into fundamentalism - "freedom at all costs", "think different", or "there is only one true platform" (the personality cultists usually slip in a mention to Linus Torvalds, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates as well).
  • "If you're ranting about that, you're just another zealot as well." - a variation on the above in which the writer tries to pull you down into conformity. You see, the true partisans, like sheep, would rather troll the internet playing whack-a-mole in blog comments than flesh out (and stand for) their own opinions - this is the kind of comeback that is most often associated with anonymous comments, and that quickly degrades into mild insults or "l33t" posturing (or worse).
  • "How on earth can you complain about (free software, the absolutely perfect Mac, what everyone else uses in the office)" - everyone's favorite, which shows the confusion in people's minds regarding cost, design or ubiquity with actual value. Economics teaches you the difference between all of those things, but that knowledge (or sheer logic) is worthless when debating along these lines - even if you point out that a poor implementation will always turn free, well designed, or commonly available software (or hardware) into junk with no value whatsoever, the partisans will just keep on coming.
  • "The Amiga is going to bury all other platforms - you just wait." - The mark of the true believer. Tread with caution, this is the only kind of comeback that has an inkling of a chance of being right.


Note: Again, commenters are expected to have a sense of humor. Kudos to Dan Ridley, who came up with this brilliant comeback last time:

Actually, there were a dozen Amiga fanboys, but one of them realized he actually wanted to live in the past and invented a time machine. Unfortunately, he overshot a little and is now living in our history as a C64 fanboy.
Now there are just eleven. A moment of silence, please.


See Also:

Mac