Now that I'm about to be a TA for my Regulatory State class, there's a new thing I can't blog about: students. (Simply put, it would be an invasion of their privacy, probably worry some of them, and besides would just be crass. Not gonna happen.) But so many things I'm considering now lead my mind to consider their Reg. State implications.
For instance, Heidi responds with a mostly reasonable post detailing how it would make more sense for our archetypal grandmother to run Linux if her support (that is to say, her grandchildren) were Linux users. She is, of course, correct that much of the dominance of Windows is due to network effects, path dependency and lock in. There's a lot of interesting debate on what such effects signify, especially in the economics literature, and of course Linux/Windows is not the first lock-in issue to come down the pike. Of interest to readers might be--if they can find it, which I can't online--an article entitled The Fable of the Keys. 33 J. L. & Econ 1 (1990). There's also a brief rebuttal available here, and a counter-rebuttal from Stan Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis available at Reason. All interesting stuff.
But of course, Heidi then ends her piece with a statement of dubious merit indeed:
If you don't care about any of [the supposed advantages of Linux], you probably found this post befuddling. Bully for you. You don't have to run Linux.
But you'd be a lot sexier if you do.
No doubt some of her usual flippancy, so I'll answer with my own. It is true that I've yet to meet someone who found Windows "sexy." I suppose that a Linuxphile would respond that this is because Windows simply isn't sexy, a statement with which I would very much agree. I'm left wondering why any person hoping to be reasonably sexy was spending time fetishizing an operating system.