Understanding Microsoft

Part 14. The Pharoah

Back in the bad old days, when kings, dictators, and tyrants ruled the earth, there was a certain empire that had a particularly high level of power -- Egypt. The empire of the Egyptians (actually several successive periods of empire) was marked alternatively by harsh periods of conquest, interspaced with long periods of calm. It was during these periods of calm that the ruler, or Pharoah, started worrying.

Now what, we may ask, did Pharoah have to worry about? To most citizens he was a god. His power was unquestioned, and his wealth was extreme. Yet there was one thing that any Pharoah worthy of the title knew, and that was the fact that someday, he would no longer be Pharoah. He would be dead. And that meant that somebody coming afterwards would have authority and power, perhaps even power enough to wipe out the current Pharoah's record of achievements. After all, historical revisionism is not something knew, but rather a 5,000-year-old tradition.

Many of the Pharoahs, particularly of the early kingdom, made sure that no matter what, they would be remembered. They made sure that no matter how great or powerful some future Pharoah would be, there would be a lasting monument to the current ruler's power, success, and godship. Nobody was going to come along and remove a 100,000-ton monument. And that makes the pyramids of Egypt far more than just burial tombs. Building a great monument was a task that the people could be enslaved to construct, brick by brick, level by level, for decades, but nobody would bother enslaving people to remove such a monstrosity.

Thus we see a pattern for future generations, that no matter what level of power or wealth or achievement that is acquired, there is both a fear of death, and a fear of what that eventually leads to: the "Dustbin of History," as one politician put it. Yes, someday somebody comes along with new ideas, and the accomplishments of the past seem obsolete, outdated, and perhaps even boring <shudder>. If there is one thing that Microsoft does not want to be remembered as, that one thing is "boring."

What Microsoft seeks to do today, by its fanatical zeal for control in industry after industry, from computers to entertainment to education to utilities, is to build itself into a monument of such gargantuan size that nobody can come along, 50 or 100 or even 1,000 years from now, and put them into the dustbin of history. Microsoft's motivation in enslaving whole populations of users to use *only* its own products is to ensure that no genius or reformer or inventor can come along even 1,000 years into the future and distribute products that prove the obsolescence of the Microsoft regime. That is why eradication of alternatives and control of public opinion are the paramount objectives of Microsoft. The motivation is not limited to greed (as it would be for the typical monopolist), but rather the craving for a thousand-year reign of its own technology at the expense of society. Microsoft's chief motivation is in reality *FEAR*, fear of the dustbin of history coming to sweep it into oblivion, just like every world empire of the past and present, just like every ancient technology now superseded by today's global technological systems.

But just like the empires of Egypt, whose pyramids have been exposed as nothing more than blocks of burnt wheat and chemical agents, Microsoft will indeed be swept into the past just like all the rest. The pyramids are nothing but glorified haystacks, just like Microsoft products. Humble down, Microsoft, the dustbin is coming for you, too. How boring.

Most recent revision: December 24, 1997
Copyright © 1997, Tom Nadeau
All Rights Reserved.

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