Will the ranting on this website ever stop?

Published on 2022-10-31.

Admittedly, I do occasional rant on this website - sorry! Feel free to only read the tutorials, avoid my website all together, put it in your ad blockers spam list, or simply block it on your firewall :) No one is forcing you to read any of it if you don't want to.

However, what I have experienced more than once is that some people tend to simply skim an article, misunderstand or simply read things completely out of context, then make a whole LOT of assumptions (without bothering to email me and try to get clarification about the issue), and then comment emotionally about it on Hacker News, Lobsters, Reddit or somewhere else.

Let me present a very simple example.

The other day, someone commented on Lobste.rs to someones post of my article called, systemd isn't safe to run anywhere, saying:

I hate this guy. In another rant on systemd he says it's a US military backdoor.

Now, I don't mind this guy hating me, but why would someone "hate" another person whom they have never met, don't know anything about, just because they express their opinion about what they consider or analyze to be, the true motivations behind a piece of software?

If I where to ever experience this kind of emotional reaction, to actually feel hate towards some blogger I have never met, because of an article like this, even if the article is "ranty", or perhaps especially if the article is "ranty", I would seriously consider getting therapeutic help from a professional psychologist because that simply cannot be healthy!

Generally (with some exceptions) I don't believe that social media voting platforms are any good and perhaps that is the reason why this guy is having such an emotional reaction in the first place.

Downvotes on such sites should ideally be used to silence the completely irrelevant and useless comments, but it is instead used to remove dissenting views and views that goes against the popular opinion. This leads to a form of radicalization where people are only ever exposed to the popular opinions because people with conflicting views eventually stop wasting their time on these platforms, or they simply get banned because of their unpopular opinions.

In any case, where in the article did I say that systemd is a US military backdoor?

What I said was:

Red Hat cannot be trusted from a security point of view and if the U.S. Military, or some other three letter organization, wants Red Hat to put a backdoor into systemd, then this can easily go unnoticed for many years, just like it did with the Heartbleed bug.

This statement was based upon the fact that the U.S. Military has been Red Hats biggest customer since 2002 (PDF) and they have been a major source of motivation behind several of Red Hats decisions.

Nowhere did I say that such a backdoor exists, or that the U.S. Military would ever do such a thing, or that Red Hat would allow such a thing. However, history has proven, more than once, that such things are not "too far out". Often companies cannot be trusted, especially not blindly, and we must not forget how the Edward Snowden documents shocked the world with many unexpected, illegal and unsanctioned operations.

So, what I meant was simply that Red Hat cannot be trusted blindly, and that such a thing can actually happen, not that it has happened in any way.

Anyway, my advice dear reader, if you are one of those people who have strong emotional reactions to something you read on this website or other blogging websites, like I said, feel free to block the site and relax, at least it's cheaper than getting help from a professional therapist, because no, the "ranting" is properly not going to stop.

Have a nice one ;)