February 23, 2019

The StartX Files: Between the Sheets with Siag

Seeing the Obvious

  • February 11, 2002
  • By Brian Proffitt

3,500 feet, over Morse Reservoir, central Indiana.

"Oh my God, it's so flat down there!"

These were the words of my passenger as I swung the plane around over the man-made lake below, looking out for other planes and just generally taking in the view.

These words, of course, were pitifully obvious to me. Having lived in Indiana nearly all my life (except for three years in New Jersey that I don't want to discuss), pointing out to me that the terrain is flat is akin to saying something something like "gee, the Sun's really hot" while standing on the surface of Mercury.

In my rural centrism, however, I had forgotten that the rest of the world is not like central Indiana. My passenger, a fellow parent from my daughter's school, was a subject of Great Britain, where the land (I am told) is much more hilly. And populated. This was a beginning flight for her, as she plans to start taking flying lessons of her own soon.

On that flight, I showed her some of the things the airplane could do, like steep 50-degree turns, and slowing down to fly at a mere 42 knots, stall horn twittering the entire time.

She, a world traveler recently transplanted to the middle of the Midwest with her family, managed to remind me of a few very important things. That Hoosier English and British English really do need some sort of online translation Web site, for one thing.

The issue is perspectives. What seems completely normal for someone is often an alien concept to someone else... until the new concept gets shoved in their face and they think "oh, well, of course that's the way it has to be."

Lessons like this are something many of us have experienced time and time again. We try something new, we see something new, but we don't think about all the impact this something new will have--until we experience it for ourselves.

Change is a natural process. Change brings turmoil.

Obvious statements.

Things are changing around the kernel introduced by Linux Torvalds nearly 11 years ago. We see evidence of this every day.

Nothing new here. But before we, as a community, get all in an uproar, we can remember one thing: Linux is not one set of standards, Linux is diverse, Linux can move in whatever direction (Server. Desktop. Embedded.) programmers can think of.

Another obvious statement--but something to remember.

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