I'm going to deviate from my usual ranting by speaking out on geek-dom and Open Source. Good times. Good times.
Many of you may not know but I am currently enrolled in cosmetology school to be a hair geek. Yes, I apply the term "geek" even to hair. Why do I say "hair geek"? When I look at hair I see it in dimensions. I cut hair better than I color hair because I can see geometry. Thus...geek. When I have a young client and they offer any hint of their geekiness, I drop into geek-mode and chat Linux with them. They love it!
But I want to relate all of this on a more open source level.
During cosmetology school we are required to "shadow" other stylists in salons. One day I was shadowing a rather nice gent who showed me a great way to deal with one type of cut. After he showed me this he looked at me and said:
"I want you to spread this method around. It was taught to me by someone and I do not own it. I feel a responsibility to pass this one and since I, nor anyone, claim ownership to it, it is my responsibility to pass it on."
So I did. And as I taught the technique to others I requested they do the same. It was the open sourcing of hair.
I do that all the time. Either learn something or create something and pass it on. Or I work on someone's style and, as I chat with them, pass on free knowledge of the Linux operating system (or anything for that matter).
I always remember a creedo (coined by Sir Francis Bacon) that "Knowledge is power." A very true statement that. But is a singular power more useful to society than a power spread?
Knowledge is best when it is freed. Like open source software, the bits and bytes of education must be spread around so that those around us may benefit.
Every chance I get, I educate people in the ways of Linux and open source. I have opened many an eye and heart to these ways. I do not plan on stopping any time soon. There are so many out there ignorant of the possibilities that await their keyboard-tapping fingers. I want to enlighten those and help them understand that open source software is waiting to free them from the confines of computing oppression.
Is that idealistic? Of course. Is it possible to open the entire worlds' eyes to Linux and open source? Of course not. I have come to understand there are those who are just as fanatical about Windows or OS X as I am about Linux.
But I will continue, with every client I meet, to hope to show them the light of Linux.
I would ask you to do the same. Spread the word. Help educate those wanting to learn. Be an advocate of Open Source. Be a geek on every level. But how? You can start by doing a little Linux advocacy. You can:
- Attend a PC group meeting and chat about Linux
- Hold a good ol' fashion Linux install fest
- Start a LUG (Linux Users Group)
- Do some charity work by setting up Linux PCs/Networks for non-profit organizations
- Talk your friends into trying Linux
- Bring your Linux laptop to work and show off your coolest desktop
- Write a letter to the editor of your paper
- Hold a Linux-only LAN party
- Wear a "Born To Frag" tee shirt
Whatever you can do, do it on every level. At work, at home, at play...there are so many ways to broadcast your geekness with Linux. And let's face it, fellow geeks will look at you differently when you start talking CLI, kernels, and /usr/bin.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.