Solaris and The Assault on Reason

Two reasons this is my first blog of the week. First, I had to make my way to Europe for some very important Solaris and HPC announcements we will be making next week. Second, I've been trying to keep up with the 100's of emails on the Indiana-Discuss mailing list over at OpenSolaris.org. It seems like everyone has an opinion on what the OpenSolaris community should or should not call the OpenSolaris binary distribution planned for Project Indiana. On the flight over, after getting half way through the mailing list, I picked up The Assault On Reason, Al Gore's new book. It is a good book, I would highly recommend it. But in case you are too busy reading OpenSolaris mailing lists, let me summarize. The main point in Gore's book can be summarized as this:
  • The U.S. used to have a lot of good newspapers and even good TV news reporting that played a roll in how we shaped our opinions and reasoned about world events
  • Most people in the U.S. now form their political opinions on watered down network TV news broadcasts and 30 second add spots and for the most part have lost their ability to reason intelligently on a wide range of topics

    Apparently OpenSolaris community members don't fit this norm. Clearly at least a few of them are spending 30 hours a week interacting with the OpenSolaris community, as measured by the volume of mailing list discussions and couldn't possibly have time to match the average U.S. citizen's 30 hours of TV a week. I really do urge those who are interested to read The Assault on Reason and to check out Indiana-Discuss. There are a lot of different opinions being expressed on OpenSolaris.org about how Project Indiana should progress, and that is exactly what we want. The community is smarter than any of its individuals. Yes, that means sometimes one has to wait a little longer than some people want to take the next step, because we need to let the community reason about what they are doing, and what better way than through open, online forums. We are not going to decide the future of Solaris with a 30 second assault on reason.

    Now for my blatent, unpaid, product endorsement. I had to drive from Frankfurt to Brussels to Dresden on the trip. Well, I could have flow to Brussels but the Dresden airport is closed for re-paving this weekend and having to be in Dresden at 9 am Monday morning left little choice but to drive for part of the trip, so I decided to just stick to the road the whole time. So before I left I went shopping for a GPS and was able to pick up a Garmin StreetPilot 300 on Amazon for less than $300. They absolutely have the art of the simple user interface down. There is a power button and a volume slider on the unit, that is it. Inputing your destination, by address or by point of interest was as simple as could be and the directions were flawless. In both Frankfurt and Brussels there were a couple of streets that were closed for repairs and the StreetPilot quickly rerouted me. You can easily pay twice as much for a GPS with more features, but do you really need another MP3 player built into your GPS? Save the money and go for the StreetPilot. My unit came pre-loaded with US maps, and I did have to purchase a separate SD card with European maps which cost almost as much as the base unit, but it was still well worth it to not have to fumble with maps or online directions.

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