Part 62. The Missionaries
For about 500 years or so, missionaries of Christendom and other religions have
crisscrossed the globe looking to spread their version of the Good News. The results
have been mixed -- in some cases, civil order and literacy have resulted; in others,
civil war and an amalgamation of pagan and scriptural beliefs. Often the term "rice
Christian" is used to describe the resulting "convert" as someone
who doesn't really care about the details of doctrine or philosophy; they really
just want a convenient handout and are willing to submit to whatever ritual or sermon
gives them the reward of a free meal. In this way, a dependent class of followers
may be produced, one that will allow unscrupulous clergymen to fleece a village
or a country for years. This gives a bad name to any honest ministers who may come
onto the scene later.
Similarly, Microsoft's minions have been willing to make any promise, claim any
specification, proffer any innuendo, recite any buzzword, and laugh at any alternative
in their quest to build a dependency class of "rice Windowists." These
"converts" are the corporate managers and B-school dupes that don't care
to investigate the realities behind the Microsoft whitewash. All they want is a
quick and easy "free meal" of comforting, soothing words to silence any
worries or guilt they may have about the future of their information infrastructures
being dependent on the blowhards from Redmond.
It's easy to play the missionary game when truth and reality are not part of the
formula. Simple techniques like selective exclusion of statistics are very effective
in hiding the facts. For example, when IBM OS/2 had 5% market share and Windows
NT had less than 1%, it was convenient for Microsoft's twisted minds to simply lump
OS/2 into the category called "Other", and round up Windows NT to 1%.
A statistical report of operating system marketshare in 1994 or 1995 would thus
have reported Windows NT while refusing to print the name OS/2. In this way, the
subtle assumption was planted that OS/2 was dead, disappeared, or at the very least
less than 1% market share and also less than Windows NT. This was, of course, a
Another favorite technique of the mullahs of Microsoft is to plant magazine headlines
that are the exact opposite of the truth, often with a question mark to imply that
they are not really lying. For example, when 26% of OS/2 sites surveyed were planning
to *increase* their OS/2 investment and only 16% were planning to *decrease* it,
a front-page trade magazine article blared "OS/2 Users Head for the Exits."
For those whose local Windowist clergyman had already planted the false threat
of a disappearing OS/2, the headline was all that was needed to make a confirmation.
People subjected to four or five years of this deception came to believe that Microsoft
representatives were some kind of visionaries who knew the future, when in fact
they were merely building a self-fulfilling prophecy by scaring off the indecisive
and misinformed managers.
Microsoft's self-professed "solution providers" know all too well that
just like some kind of illiterate native class, most managers are technologically
uninformed and too busy with the daily affairs of life to fix that problem. As
a result, decisions that are made now are often based on emotional dependence and
feel-good philosophy instead of a thorough examination of the facts. Sadly, it
will take a Year2000 data doomsday to wake up many of these dupes.
Most recent revision: August 9, 1998
Copyright © 1998, Tom Nadeau
All Rights Reserved.