David Coursey dismisses StarOffice. I find the style that Coursey adopts and the language he uses a bit odd, though. He attacks StarOffice and, indirectly, the open source movement. What's odd about the article is how Coursey goes about discrediting StarOffice's significance.
Based on the fact that Coursey wanted to get a hold of a copy of StarOffice, but was unable to obtain one, he establishes just how marginal the software is. He alludes to the fact that StarOffice is trying to beat Microsoft at its own game by spreading FUD on "upcoming" and "soon to be released" vaporware.
On route to the climax of his article, Coursey goes for some additional credibility by using a tactic most-often seen in debates, in which you concede a point to the opponent. It makes you sound just plain reasonable. Coursey stoops--just barely--to admit that at some point in time, a few years ago, an alternative to Microsoft's Office "seemed like a good idea".
The real bomb Coursey drops totally blows me away.
I like open software for the same reason I find communism attractive, if totally unworkable. Wouldn't it be great
to live in a world where human nature was subservient to the common good? No homelessness, no crime, one for all and all for one. It would be heaven—OK, boring, too—if only it worked.
There are a few truths that every half-educated dimwit of western culture knows. These are learned on a very fundamental level and they lie dormant somewhere in the depths of the collective western subconscious. One of them is "communism is a great idea but it can't work."
Droves of Finnish teenagers are downloading Che Guevara icons for their cell phones without knowing who he really is. They are surprised when they learn who Guevara was and what he did. The most common reaction: ". . . He was a communist!?"
I'm neither disputing nor confirming the truth of the statement. I just think it's a dangerous symptom of collective ignorance. "No need find out about communism for myself, I already know the gist of it." Call it a product of sound bite culture, call it a remnant of the years of cold war propaganda. Either way, I find it disgusting that a "common truth" like this is used as proof of a point.
Coursey's language is filled with figures of speech that belittle both StarOffice and the open source movement. Coursey's tone is meant to be sarcastic and witty. What bothers me, is that his choice of words and manner are so blatantly used to prove the point he is trying to make. He has an opinion. He actually has good grounds for his opinion and facts that that back his arguments. Why, then, does he use such an indirect approach?