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#1 2013-01-16 12:50:03

Gligan
Member
Registered: 2012-09-24
Posts: 4

Some thoughts I'd like to share regarding a phenomenon with Arch

Hello. I'd like to share some abstract thoughts regarding the use of Arch. The topic is a bit more philosophical than technical, I hope I can start a nice discussion from this.

I'll start with this that for the 2 years I've been using Arch linux, I've grown very fond of it. I feel at place when I use it, configure it, with the community and the general idea behind it. My fondness has gotten me into thinking why is this happening and these are the ideas that came.

I'll start with this that I have come to a conclusion that many users feel that it is necessery for their system to represent and accurately reflect their self-image. The most interesting thing about this is that above all other things the main urge is to build in your personal ideology, phiposophy, idea or charcter within the system. So basically if you have an ideological filter which restricts you from making certain actions or accepting certain ideas, you can construct an almost identical filter within the system, which represents you and your beliefs regarding how to behave in the dimension in which the system operates. And this is all for your sense of personal well-being. So now we have a system which clearly says : "This is a system that is built for people with this and this ideological principle.", for example The Arch Way clearly states with which users will be most in sync with. By this I don't mean that Arch is based on this one reason, I just find it fascinating that this is a time when you can merge something so strictly human with something so utterly logical as the machine. It's like laying the foundation for human essense within it. It's a little freaky from this perspective.

This is not a phenoment stictly found in arch, however. Every other distro out there has it's own philosophy more or less it's like every system is striving to be the host of a mind that is most comfortable with. This has led me to ideas like:

1. The machine at one point acts as a most faithful servant and follower of your ideological principle, because it doesn't reject, alteast not by moral or ethical means, it can reject for logical purposes but that doesn't mean it rejects the logical filter you may impose on it.

2. By building a system in which you encroporate yourself you extend the domain in which you operate, you extend yourself to the machine and thus extend youself to a network of machines. In most cases the machine is a peripheral to your perception but in a case where the software in this machine is so closely resembled to you, you can count it for part of yourself and thus extending your perception.

I realise these ideas are a bit extreme, but I was having fun while thinking about them, so I hope you have fun reading them.

The reason why this is in Arch Discussion is because I think some users of this system have given a lot of time and effort, knowingly or not,  to achieve something like the things I talked about and I don't think this is so frequent within other communities.

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#2 2013-01-16 12:59:06

jakobcreutzfeldt
Member
Registered: 2011-05-12
Posts: 1,033

Re: Some thoughts I'd like to share regarding a phenomenon with Arch

For the sake of argument, I'll disagree. I would say that our personalities influence our work habits and our work habits give shape to the ideal system in which we would like to exercise them. So, the system only indirectly reflects personality or self-image.

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#3 2013-01-16 13:15:04

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,966
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Re: Some thoughts I'd like to share regarding a phenomenon with Arch

I'm reminded of "The Extended Phenotype" - a book any biologist should  have read, and I'd encourage everyone else to read (in contrast to some other of R.D.s more "popular" books).

Our computers are our own caddisfly house.

Last edited by Trilby (2013-01-16 13:15:30)


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#4 2013-01-17 11:31:46

Gligan
Member
Registered: 2012-09-24
Posts: 4

Re: Some thoughts I'd like to share regarding a phenomenon with Arch

jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:

For the sake of argument, I'll disagree. I would say that our personalities influence our work habits and our work habits give shape to the ideal system in which we would like to exercise them. So, the system only indirectly reflects personality or self-image.

I wonder if there is a difference between product and consequence. Because I think you'd rather say the system is a product of the user and thus personality and Trilby post more suggests that system is a consequence. I'm not sure of my own position between these two. I think the end systems will be different in something but not sure in what.

If you look at The Arch Way as a equivalent of gene information, and every user has this information as a method of configuring and contributing, then Arch linux becomes a stable organism without mutations, because every individual cell has the original information. I believe this is somewhat a reason why users are so aggresive against arch-based distros but accepting of structuraly different ones. I'm not sure if I should thing Arch as a mouse and arch-based distros of mutated mice or all different distros are different types of mice but still mice. I got a bit off..

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#5 2013-02-18 01:59:11

spottedgeckgo
Member
Registered: 2013-02-08
Posts: 31
Website

Re: Some thoughts I'd like to share regarding a phenomenon with Arch

Not sure if I'm reading you quite right, are you saying that the distro of choice is in fact part of "putting yourself into the machine" or that the configuration of any distro is somehow instilling your essence into your daily workstation?

If it's the former I would agree slightly, but only for the standard distros, i.e. fedora, mint, opensuse, etc.  i.e. before I came to arch I was distro-hopping like crazy.  It didn't take me long to get comfortable enough with ubuntu (I'm discounting my high-school years of linux experience cause I didn't gain much) that I found it unweildy and cumbersome and took off putting a new distro on every week (sometimes it would only last a day) until I could find something better.  Oddly enough, till I got my new lappy, I was running Bodhi which is a minimalist distro but still very easy to set up, yet let me play with debian architecture a bit more and really get comfortable.  So, the distro-hop linuxes, yes, the distro probably reflects a lot about the user philosophy.

For arch I don't think it is so.  Since switching I quickly went from distro-hopping to WM/DE hopping.  During the process I have fallen in love with arch because it allows me to express myself completely without being bound by proprietary splash screens and silly little nuances that other distros bring.  When I wake up and walk into my office (I live at work for weeks at a time) I see MY laptop sitting there waiting with MY operating system on it.  I think Arch and the few other distros like it enable people of any philosophy to build a system that reflects them best.  Just because Arch is bleeding edge doesn't mean that you are limited from building a modest setup if you wish.  Just because Arch is minimal doesn't mean you can't run a KDE desktop bloated with widgets, video games, and fancy web tools.  It can be anything you want it to be.  So when it comes to Arch (and slackware, gentoo, etc), I think the "personality" of the machine just depends on the user alone, and not so much the distro or even the community. 

just my two cents. smile

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