[CS-FSLUG] Microsoft Technology Mandated in GA Colleges?

Yama Ploskonka yamaplos at gmail.com
Tue Jan 8 09:20:25 CST 2013

allow me to fully concur.

If anything, this proves that whatever good comes, it will not be out of 
consensus of full agreement, yet the basic principle is to enjoy life 
and brotherhood as God gifts us with

Thank you!


On 01/07/2013 04:52 PM, Tim Young wrote:
> Yama,
> One of the problems with email is I cannot read body language as well 
> to know how far to take a conversation.  For me, I always enjoy 
> talking about this subject even though we (I, or the people I talk to 
> about it) rarely change our opinions.  There is often a lot that I can 
> learn.  I try to keep in mind that the "great commandment" was to love 
> the Lord and then to love our neighbor as ourselves, not to "defend 
> our opinions."  So as such, I am not going to pursue a "defense of my 
> opinions" much deeper.  I have seen some of these discussions (Linux 
> vs Microsoft) drive people off of email lists (and actually cause more 
> damage than that; I know a few relationships that were shattered by 
> some vocal discussions on this topic), so I would much rather stop, 
> what is to me, an interesting discussion, before it gets too close to 
> being painful.  If it has gotten painful for you already, I do 
> apologize.  I suspect you and I could have swapped a few more emails 
> before things got too heated between us, but we are, after all, on an 
> email list, and I also do not want to give other folks who are reading 
> along any heartache.
> I will say, lest you worry about me personally, that I joined this 
> list because I do like Linux, and I do like how the use of Linux can 
> help the body of Christ.  There are a few areas in our discussion 
> where my opinion does not mesh with yours, but I am fine with that. I 
> would much rather keep the community together than to knock heads.
> I have enjoyed this set of emails; I hope you have too.
>     - Tim Young
> On 1/7/2013 1:22 PM, Yama Ploskonka wrote:
>> Tim,
>> I want to honor the time and effort you put in your thoughtful 
>> answer, but will be brief.
>> I will respectfully disagree that it makes any sense, anywhere, to 
>> have computers that are merely browser terminals run Windows.
>> It simply is bad use of resources, and, in itself, speaks tomes about 
>> management of the given institution (be it based on donations or 
>> taxes) versus whatever platitudes are recited in the classroom or the 
>> pew.
>> One of the main reasons why it is "necessary" to teach Microsoft, and 
>> Photoshop, and such in missionary land is that access to pirated 
>> software is so easy. There is no "reason" to go Linux. I know of no 
>> church in Bolivia that would care about the issue as being immoral or 
>> whatever. Which in a certain way I am happy to stay out of, but still 
>> feels odd.
>> I cannot imagine a single scenario where it would make any sense in 
>> the US for a church or school to pay for software either, sorry.
>> Except Tradition. Tradition based in the ignorance of the flock 
>> trumps principles pretty much any time.
>> Also, paying for buggy software that then you have to "protect", 
>> well, let's not be surprised that "education" cannot seem to help 
>> people stay out of debt and away from ludicrous life choices.
>> As to the disservice thing...
>> It all boils down to what is the goal of "Christian" education. In 
>> the world or of the world?
>> Is making someone employable the primary goal of Christian education?
>> I agree it should be "a" goal.
>> Which of Linux or Proprio ecosystems is closer to walking the Way?
>> Believe it or not, there is an answer, and it's not just the software 
>> (we use Linux in many appliances without noticing. What matters is 
>> the attitude)
>> Again, it's a walk the talk thing, all over.
>> Oh yes, it takes a LOT of guts for a school (or church) to walk away 
>> from bowing to Tradition.
>> Which should be a model, shouldn't it?
>> Or are we saving ourselves to make a stand for the REAL clash of 
>> cultures? :-)
>> If Linux (not just the software, but the whole community thing) is 
>> too much of an "inconvenience", then, ahem...
>> It's a start to have students think. It's good when they take action 
>> that makes sense.
>> You can call success when your students make good choices. Software 
>> may be a small one, but then, it's a one.
>> My comments regarding employers is what I see around me.
>> We all know the education in Universities is a shame nowadays, yet, 
>> we all know that degrees are worth a lot.
>> Why?
>> Not because of what was "learned" in class, but because of the 
>> "molding" of the person toward something that is circumstantially 
>> valuable, in entry-level positions.
>> On 01/07/2013 01:45 PM, Tim Young wrote:
>>> On 1/7/2013 10:39 AM, Yama Ploskonka wrote:
>>>> Thank you, Tim.
>>>> As with anything Christian, there's the talk ("teaching") and then 
>>>> there's the walk, "use", for real life, all over.
>>> I do not know of any universities that teach that there is "one way, 
>>> and only one way, and that is Linux."  I do know that some of the 
>>> issues pertaining to OS choice have been worked through in the 
>>> "computer ethics" class at Taylor University, and that a goodly 
>>> percentage of the CS students leave with a good desire to use Linux 
>>> at home.  BUT, I believe it is actually a dis-service for schools 
>>> NOT to teach MS products, at least in part.  The plan is that people 
>>> who leave a university are employable.  Most places you go to get a 
>>> job will already have their technology in place, and the majority of 
>>> businesses use Windows desktops. Sorry, but that is just the way of 
>>> it.  I do agree that it is great for people to do Linux at home, and 
>>> if you are able to set up your own business using Linux, that is 
>>> awesome.  But it is good to get experience in multiple OSes as a 
>>> user, if you wish to be employable.
>>> When I set up cyber-cafes overseas and techno training facilities, 
>>> we usually try to teach a mix of technologies. Both Open Office, and 
>>> MS office, both Windows and Linux. (Macs are very rarely used in 
>>> Africa due to the cost of purchasing and maintaining them). If you 
>>> are trying to give someone a skill that they can use, you need to 
>>> give them the skills the employers will be looking for, but also the 
>>> understanding for how to use things.  For example, the people who 
>>> only knew what icon to click on to wrap text were totally floored 
>>> when MS switched to their "ribbon" interface (Word 2007). If you 
>>> knew the concepts behind it, it is easier to adjust to a different 
>>> interface.  Teaching people how to think, not just rote 
>>> memorization, is paramount for equipping them to function well in 
>>> the world.  )
>>>> Austin Community College, where I did some Wind Energy past Fall, 
>>>> also "teaches" Linux, as an option among the usual junk.
>>>> Most of the administrative tasks are web-based - that is, 
>>>> administrative employees and students interacting with 
>>>> administrative matters do so using a browser. You would think then 
>>>> that the OS could be any - just put a browser on top. Nope, it's 
>>>> some Redmont spawn, with antivirus, etc., the works.
>>>> We know that universities are often the farthest away places from 
>>>> real world issues - their main duty is to certify that a given 
>>>> person will spend enormous effort in obeying nonsense.
>>> Heh heh.  I *worked* at Taylor University, and the philosophy of 
>>> their faculty is nowhere near what you are stating.  Maybe that is 
>>> why the Taylor University computer people are in such high demand. 
>>> Taylor goes through a lot of pain making sure students think. What 
>>> I, personally, get from someone who has a degree is that the student 
>>> has learned how to learn and hopefully has a broad understanding of 
>>> the basics.  My job is to teach missionary computer people, and they 
>>> usually have a great desire to learn but have not faced the broad 
>>> spectrum of computer basics that I have had.  I certainly can see 
>>> the difference in people who have had a good, broad set of computer 
>>> teaching from those who have not.  If you are programming a 
>>> multiplayer game, it helps to know about basic networking.  If you 
>>> are choosing which technology to use for streaming teaching media to 
>>> students, you should be aware of how the different options are 
>>> affected by home networks and IPv6. People who do not have a broad 
>>> spectrum of knowledge often make poorer decisions when looking at 
>>> some of these things.  For me, that is what these colleges are for, 
>>> forcing you to have a broader scope of knowledge than you might have 
>>> chosen if you just learned on your own, as well as making sure you 
>>> have learned how to learn.
>>> But I will be the first to say that I am biased by my in-depth 
>>> knowledge of the Taylor University staff and their teaching 
>>> priorities.  Not all universities may do it the same way.
>>>> That is the actual meaning of a degree: as an employer, I have in 
>>>> front of me someone obedient, compliant, and reasonably devoid of 
>>>> initiative. Of course I complain that my managers are no good, but 
>>>> at least they are "safe".
>>> Maybe for you, but I know many people do not see it that way, as I 
>>> stated above.  I have taken on many interns (college students who 
>>> are still taking classes, most of who get college credit for their 
>>> time with us), and it has not been my perspective to look at their 
>>> education as you are saying it. I look at the actual classes they 
>>> have taken so I know what knowledge they have, I look at their 
>>> grades and recommendation by faculty to know how "self driven" they 
>>> are and how sharp they are.  And I look at their choice of major to 
>>> determine somewhat where their interests lie.  But again, that is 
>>> me. That is how I think. How I think has somewhat been shaped by my 
>>> time at Taylor, but also by my 15+ years working in missions tech.
>>>     - Tim Young
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