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Post of the Day
September 13, 1999

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RedHat Software Folder

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Subject:

Red Hat Board Rant

Author: dewyn

<begin rant mode>

What the heck is going on? I thought this was supposed to be a message board on the Motley Fool. Where are all these Wise coming from?

Over the past month and a half I keep seeing the same themes recycled over and over again: short Red Hat, you can't make money when the product is free, Red Hat has to be the next Microsoft in order to succeed, Red Hat's value is really worth XXX, its business model can't make money, you have to be brain dead to think RH/Linux has a chance, etc.... Frankly, I'm getting tired of all the noise. There have been some really neat discussions and educational opportunities out there, but they keep getting drowned out by all the clutter (a pattern that's become the bane of all democratized forums.)

I'm starting to wonder if some of the troublemakers around here actually read any of the Fool philosophy before getting an account and whaling away on their favorite target. One guy even told everyone to watch a financial program on CNN so we could anticipate The Fall of Red Hat. Come again? Someone on a Motley Fool board told the rest of us to listen up for the Wise to speak? Good grief.

"Come again? Someone on a Motley Fool board told the rest of us to listen up for the Wise to speak? Good grief."

Look: most of us pay attention to this board in order to Educate, Amuse, and Enrich. We want to explain how Linux works in terms of technology, sociology, and business to those who don't yet know the territory. We want to be clever and use puns, tongue-in-cheek remarks, and shared jokes at favorite targets. We want to support Linux AND make ourselves money at the same time (keeping Foolish about it and thinking long term.) My first and best experience with this board came with post 180 and the wonderful responses I got. Look back at that and you'll see some sharp folks (esp. Eirikur's prognostication in #182 and the advice of dbsf--wonder where he disappeared to?)

But it seems that there's a crop of people who are hanging around to Condescend, Taunt, and Gloat. Before you either recommend a strong long-term buy or a right-now short, it's Foolish to know the stock/company/industry you're talking about. But I'm seeing people say this and that based on a flimsy numbers game and cackle over how much money they're going to make.

If you're anxious to share a strategy and trade perspectives and advice, this actually is the place for it; people who know the territory know Linux has some real challenges and some current flaws. But if you're going to say, for example, that Red Hat is going to flop just because you can get the product for no cost off the Internet, then it's obvious that you haven't done your homework and don't have any notion of the terrain.

"If you're anxious to share a strategy and trade perspectives and advice, this actually is the place for it; people who know the territory know Linux has some real challenges and some current flaws."

This sums it up: I'm appalled at seeing FUD on a Foolish site. FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) is for the Wise. It's a technique of using smoke and mirrors to suggest that someone else knows better than you do about what's happening without giving any actual reasons why. I'm tired of seeing the major activity of this board become a thrust-and-parry of FUD and FUD-defusing. It's a waste.

So here's my Declaration of Independence (if I can keep to it): I'm not going to respond to any more of that junk. If you think you can time the market and make a bundle shorting Red Hat, more power to you; I don't have the money to invest at these levels right now anyway, so it won't hurt me any. (Nor will it hurt the long term investors since they don't live and die according to daily or weekly results.) If you're magical enough to know how much the company is really worth or exactly how the stock price is going to react in the next six months, I hear the Weekly World News is looking for filler for when Nostradamus is on vacation. If you want to chortle over what losers and idiots these Linux folk be, I'll just smile, glance at my test scores for reassurance, and go have a lovely evening with my marvelous wife.

Hopefully, the gunk will get cleared out of the system sometime, and people will either get Foolish or get out. I'm not holding my breath, though.

And to my Favorite Fools: keep on keepin' on.

<end rant mode>