This is a very difficult editorial to write. Normally at this time of the month, I've got all kinds of things to say about the tech industry in general and Linux's place in the grand scheme of things. But this month is different.
This is a very difficult editorial to write. Normally at this time of the month, I’ve got all kinds of things to say about the tech industry in general and Linux’s place in the grand scheme of things. But this month is different.
It’s not that there was a shortage of material to write about this month. Actually, the situation was quite the opposite. During the first week of September it looked like the entire technology landscape was going to change when Hewlett-Packard and Compaq announced that they were merging.
For a moment it seemed like that event was of such colossal importance that all of us needed to stop and ponder its implications. We were all asking, “What does this say about the market for technology? What does it say about the economy in general?”
However, on the morning of September 11, terrorists attacked New York City and Washington D.C., and our perspective was instantly shattered. Almost immediately, all of the mundane concerns that dominated our thoughts just 24 hours earlier seemed to lose their significance.
And that’s what is making this a very difficult editorial to write. On the one hand, it is very important that we try as hard as possible to get back to a “normal” routine (or as close to one as we can under the circumstances). On the other hand, it sometimes feels disrespectful or odd trying to get back into our routines in light of what has happened.
Which again brings us to the issue of perspective. While everything I’m doing right now seems somehow far less important, I know that it’s important that we move forward.
Along those lines, I have to take my hat off to many of the people I work with. It just so happens that a lot of the folks who bring you Linux Magazine every month are located in New York City, and without exception, all of them did an incredible job of turning out another excellent issue, despite the chaos and suffering that surrounded them.
While the work we are doing pales in comparison to the work being done by rescue workers and those involved in the cleanup taking place in lower Manhattan, it represents our small contribution to the larger effort of bringing things back to as close to normal as possible.
Speaking of normal, one interesting thing I noticed over the past week or so was that the tragedies we witnessed did not seem to stop some people from continuing to send us e-mail expressing their incredulity over the fact that we are running an advertisement from Microsoft. I found it unbelievable that some people were able to send such e-mail at a time like this.
While I’ve already said how important I think it is that we try to get back to “normal,” it’s also important that we try to learn something from these events. If there’s any lesson to be gleaned from this that might be even remotely applicable to the world of Linux, it’s this — the zealotry we sometimes see in the Linux community really needs to yield to more practical concerns. That has always been our goal here at Linux Magazine, and it’s a goal we will continue to pursue as best we can, even as we mourn the loss of so many of our countrymen and our own innocence.
One reader who wrote in to us this month said it best — “This nation has seen enough fanaticism recently to last eternity.”
Now let’s all try to do our best to rebuild what we’ve lost.
See you next month,
Adam M. Goodman
Editor & Publisher