Geek Wars

I was thinking the other day about my positions on various Geek Holy Wars. Then I figured I’d might as well blog about them, since, well, I’ve been a bad blogger lately. It’ll be fun, right?

Star Wars vs. Star Trek: I HATE THIS QUESTION. When people ask me this, I usually tell them not to make me choose between my children. I grew up with both series and I love both series dearly. That said, if I was forced to pick, I’d have to go with Trek, just because it has more sentimental value to me. I’ve often said that Star Trek was a second set of parents to me– and I mean it.

Kirk vs. Picard: This one is interesting, because when I say “I grew up with Star Trek”, what you have to understand is that from, well… from as-early-as-I-can-remember up until I was about 13 or 14 years old or so, what that meant was “I grew up with The Original Series and the movies”. I didn’t really get into TNG until my teenage years. Kirk was my original captain, and the crew of the NCC-1701 was my original crew. I actually have a picture of myself with George Takei somewhere.

…BUT I’ve gotta give this one to Picard. Kirk is who we want to be but never will be, but Picard is who we want to be and can still aspire to. Plus he’s classy.

And drinks Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

DC vs. Marvel: I’m a Marvel fan, sorry all you Batman lovers. Spidey + XMen + Iron Man = No contest.

Now let’s move on to some Linux goodness:

KDE vs. Gnome: We all know by now that I’m a KDE fan, but what most people don’t realize is that this is largely by circumstance. Way back in the day when I was first discovering Linux, it was KDE-based distros that just happened to work with my wireless internet where Gnome-based distros did not. So it was KDE that I started with and became comfortable with.

As time went on I would attempt to use Gnome every so often but I inevitably found it to be very buggy and far from the stable desktop environment that everyone kept telling me it was. It wasn’t until earlier this year when Gnome finally became stable enough for me to use. I used it for about two months because KDE4 was being stupid, and enjoyed it, but switched back to KDE once they had their own bugs worked out.

Currently I use KDE for two big reasons: 1.) it’s familiar, and 2.) I like to customize my desktop to look like a Gnome/KDE hybrid, and it’s much easier to do that with KDE, which is designed to be endlessly customizable.

Ultimately I have no problems with Gnome anymore, as I said my experiences with it used to be pretty universally negative but they seem to have fixed all their problems so I’m okay with them now.

(As an aside I would love to like XFCE but it’s still buggy for me.)

Emacs vs. Vi: I don’t use either very often but when I do I use vi.

“Open Source” vs. “Free Software”: A quick backstory behind this for those who are not aware: “Open source” and “free software” are pretty much interchangeable terms when it comes to a technical definition– i.e., software with the code freely available to view and modify. Where they differ is the political ideologies behind the two: use of the term “free software” implies the belief that “software should be free” and that this is a moral issue, whereas “open source” implies that it is strictly a matter of business and getting good results.

What I have found in day-to-day geek life is that most geeks fall somewhere in the middle of this “belief” spectrum and choosing which term to use largely comes down to just how crazy you think Richard Stallman really is. (Spoiler: he’s pretty crazy.)

As for me, I see both sides of the issue. Yes, I’m a Freetard. Yes, I’d love to see all software be free to tinker with, as an extension of my deep-seated inkling that anything restricting creativity is Bad. But I’m also a realist and, let’s face it, a world based completely off of “Free Culture” is not gonna happen anytime soon. Plus, it’s easier to get this stuff into the hands of people if you can pass it off as a business decision.

Ultimately I use the two terms interchangeably or just call it “F/OSS”.


Okay, what’d I miss? I know I missed some epic Geek Holy Wars. Ask me stuff and I’ll toss it up here!

8 thoughts on “Geek Wars”

  1. Emacs vs. Vi: I don’t use either very often


    but when I do I use vi.

    …I’ll allow it.

    (As an aside, that sounds like a Dos Equis commercial.)

  2. You can’t go and say you love Trek and Wars equally, and then choose Trek! You meanie. (Not that I am very strongly in either camp)

    Coke vs. Pepsi. I mean, honestly, that’s pretty much character-defining.

  3. still dont quite understand you bugginess with xfce. it was the one that worked best for me, always.gnome second, kde was always buggy as all hell for me. 🙂

  4. I wrote my 2008 Nanowrimo words (I can’t call it a novel because I made the word count, but what I wrote is just a bunch of rambling about characters – the plot is nowhere to be seen) in vi.

    …Wow. I wrote 50,000 words in vi in one month. That’s sort of awesome now that I think about it.

    Only thing I disagree with is Gnome vs. KDE. I was always a Gnome person, though at the end of my Linuxing before I switched to Mac (I know, I know…), I was running Enlightenment underneath different gnome/xfce programs.

    Picard all the way. The tea I drink the most often is earl grey. I am in love with TNG. Especially Geordie, because I would see LeVar Burton on Reading Rainbow and Star Trek and thought that was just amazing. My very early years were TV-less so I missed out on The Original Series.

    I have no opinion on Marvel vs. DC because I don’t know which comics are which. I’m a bad geek. [goes off to make breakfast with bad geek shame]

  5. Coke vs Pepsi (as mitsune said)
    iphone vs android phone
    ms office vs openoffice
    laptop vs desktop
    yahoo mess vs msn mess
    gmail vs yahoo mail vs hotmail
    picassa vs flickr
    wordpress vs blogspot
    facebook vs twitter

    There are probably much more 🙂

  6. Asimov vs. Heinlein vs. Clarke

    PS: Star Trek and Star Wars are for nub trendy geeks, and Stargate SG-1 is superior to both anyways.

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