The Instigator
soldierboy
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
Ragnar_Rahl
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Linux meets the needs of the average, adult computer user

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Ragnar_Rahl
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2008 Category: Technology
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,003 times Debate No: 5755
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)

 

soldierboy

Pro

Firstly, I'd like to present some ground work:

-This debate is solely on the subject of "Linux meets the needs of the average computer user." Therefore, the refute can only be contained within the scope of "Linux does NOT meet the needs of the average computer user." This is not a debate of the merits of different operating systems (ie, Windows vs. Linux, Mac vs. Linux, etc) or why someone should or should not switch.

-For simplicity, I'd like to limit the discussion to an opening statement, 3 points and a small closing statement.

*** Begin argument ***

Linux, has for some time now, met the needs of the average computer user. I hope we can agree that a "computer user" can, in the simplest possible definition, be defined thusly: A person who uses a computer.

For the "average" part we need to use some statistics(1), a sampling of which is shown below. Here are the top 3 reasons for using a computer for the average adult, broken down between both work and home:

Home:

Internet and Email - 89%
Word Processing - 55.8%
Games - 49.9%

Work:

Internet and Email - 75.4%
Word Processing - 67.8%
Spreadsheets - 64.4%

With this information, we can conclude that the average computer user, utilizes his or her computer to surf the web, email, type documents, game and manipulate spreadsheets.

1) Linux can handle all of these tasks with ease. An office suite, created by Sun Microsystems, OpenOffice, includes much of the same functionality of the most widely used office suite, Microsoft Office including word processing and spreadsheets. It even retains compatibility of document types of different office suites to include MS Office.

2) Internet and Email can be handled in a variety of ways. One can either use online email (using Firefox for example) or use a dedicated application installed on the machine for the task (Mozilla's Thunderbird for example). Many browsers exist for surfing to include Firefox and Internet Explorer (IE4Linux).

3) Gaming is possible with the vast availability of free, open-source games built for Linux or by using games made for Windows by utilizing Wine or by using virtualization technology to run Windows from within Linux.

As you can see, Linux can handle the average computer user's needs (and more) with ease. Linux is readily available to the average computer user and will run on his or her machine, regardless of the architecture. I would like to note that many flavors of Linux exist that cater to the "average user", Ubuntu to name one, which is very easy to use and install.

(1) http://www.census.gov...
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

The average adult computer user needs immortality. Linux does not provide immortality. Without immortality, the average adult computer user will die (the greatest need is that which is needed to survive, all other needs are contingent on this). Thus, there is a need of the average adult computer user that is not fulfilled by linux. Thus, the statement "Linux meets the needs of the average, adult computer user," when given as an absolute, is false.
Debate Round No. 1
soldierboy

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for taking this debate and thank the audience for watching it unfold.

My opponent makes a couple very outlandish claims. I'll go through them.

"The average adult computer user needs immortality."

For the sake of debate, I'll fore go my opponent's lack of supporting evidence on this one, completely disregarding the implications of actual immortality which can include some nasty side-effects such as a devolving of the human race to the point of extinction and I'll assume what he really means is immortality in the metaphysical sense.

In the metaphysical sense, then, when my opponent says...

"Thus, there is a need of the average adult computer user that is not fulfilled by linux."

...I can whole-heartedly disagree and provide supporting evidence in my favor. It is quite easy to make your self immortal in Linux. I'll cite two examples: By creating your own Linux distribution(1) (or distro as we geeks call them) or by simply maintaining a solid and respected package for a well-known distro like Debian for instance. Either of these two routes will allow you to become "immortal" well after you're dead and buried.

Whether your distro was really terrible and had relatively few users or became a huge success, your name would be recorded in the annals of Linux history and lore.

As you can see my opponent is making wild claims, while citing no facts or examples to back up his claims and all while under the guise of "human needs for the average adult computer user".

(1) http://www.linuxformat.co.uk...
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"
For the sake of debate, I'll fore go my opponent's lack of supporting evidence on this one, completely disregarding the implications of actual immortality which can include some nasty side-effects such as a devolving of the human race to the point of extinction"

This contradicts itself, since extinction would mean the immortality was not actual.

And I already gave the evidence- if you will die without something, obviously, you need it. Just as if you will die without food, you need food.

"I'll assume what he really means is immortality in the metaphysical sense."
This assumption is the fallacy of equivocation. I made it quite clear that immortality here was something that would change whether you live or die. Your nonsense about "Creating a linux distro" does not affect whether you live or die, thus, is does not address my point. Further, I think the word you are looking for is "metaphorical." Metaphysics is the philosophical branch investigating general principles of reality, and by no general principle of reality can something die and yet be immortal.
Debate Round No. 2
soldierboy

Pro

My opponent is yet again taking this debate in a new direction. This is what we call 'misdirection'. The first one was by turning the debate into a philosophical one. It became philosophical when my opponent suggested that "immortality" is a human need, when we all know that immortality is impossible in the real sense of the word. My original argument, which is so clearly about computers and what people do with them (as evidenced by the statistics shown) combined with the fact that this debate is posted in the "technology" section was completely ignored while my opponent tried a different angle.

I then suggested that perhaps what my opponent meant was a metaphysical definition of "immortality". Once again completely ignoring what I have laid out for him, he contends that:

"This assumption is the fallacy of equivocation. I made it quite clear that immortality here was something that would change whether you live or die."

So, in my eyes, we have yet a new direction: immortality in the real sense of the word. For debate purposes, I will ignore yet again how far we have deviated from the original debate plan as I have laid out in the first post and refute his points yet again. But first, I must correct my opponent on a definition.

"This contradicts itself, since extinction would mean the immortality was not actual."

Dictionary.com defines extinction as:

"1.the act of extinguishing.
2.the fact or condition of being extinguished or extinct.
3.suppression; abolition; annihilation: the extinction of an army."

If we think about human life in general and its corresponding evolution, we know that, in order to survive as a species we must create new life to thrive. To suddenly make everyone on the planet immortal would be in essence extinguishing the human race as we all know it save for the yet remaining immortal souls. So, immortality == extinction.

Since I have already stated that immortality is as of yet impossible in the real sense of the word, I think we can agree that the closest that one can get to becoming immortal is by living longer. Studies have shown that happiness is equated to a longer life.(1) With this, I contend that Linux users are happier as evidenced by the article(2) (and its subsequent comments). If you browse through the comments you will find a vast majority switched to Linux from other OSs because of dissatisfaction and general unhappiness of their current OS. So one can easily conclude that Linux is making them happier than when working with other OSs.

So, with this argument, I say that Linux users are happier thus live a longer life thus are the closest to becoming immortal as one can become.

(1) http://health.usnews.com...
(2)http://www.linuxjournal.com...
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"It became philosophical when my opponent suggested that "immortality" is a human need, when we all know that immortality is impossible in the real sense of the word."
We do not in fact know that. Simply because a thing has not been achieved does not mean it is known to be impossible.

Further, whether something is possible has no relevance to whether it is needed. It is not possible for all people on the kidney transplant waiting list to get a kidney if there are fewer kidneys donated than people waiting, but this does not alter the fact that those people need the kidneys.

"My original argument, which is so clearly about computers and what people do with them (as evidenced by the statistics shown) combined with the fact that this debate is posted in the "technology" section was completely ignored while my opponent tried a different angle."
Because your argument, I hold, was not relevant to the resolution. The truth or falsity of the resolution is the fundamental issue here- you must prove it, I must rebut your attempts at proving it. That is how debate works.

"
I then suggested that perhaps what my opponent meant was a metaphysical definition of "immortality". Once again completely ignoring what I have laid out for him, he contends that:

"This assumption is the fallacy of equivocation. I made it quite clear that immortality here was something that would change whether you live or die."

So, in my eyes, we have yet a new direction: immortality in the real sense of the word."
This is not a new direction. This was the original direction of my argument. It is not my fault you did not see it, it was glaringly obvious that is what I was arguing.

"
If we think about human life in general and its corresponding evolution, we know that, in order to survive as a species we must create new life to thrive. To suddenly make everyone on the planet immortal would be in essence extinguishing the human race as we all know it save for the yet remaining immortal souls."
This is the fallacy of the stolen concept. The statement "In order to survive as a species we must create new life" is only true in the context of mortality. It is not true in the context of immortality, thus, to advance it in that context is not sound . Those "Yet remaining immortal souls" are sufficient to prove that extinction has not occurred- the species is not gone, not suppressed, not abolished, not annihilated, not extinguished, not extinct.

"
Since I have already stated that immortality is as of yet impossible in the real sense of the word, I think we can agree that the closest that one can get to becoming immortal is by living longer."
Since you have stated, we therefore must all agree? Are you a deity? In order to have us all agree, you would have to prove it, not merely state it, and even then, that would not alter the need for it.

"
So, with this argument, I say that Linux users are happier thus live a longer life thus are the closest to becoming immortal as one can become.
"
This is not a policy debate, in which we accept plans for getting us close to a goal, so this "uniqueness" argument is invalid. This is a debate about the truth or falsehood of the specific statement "Linux meets the needs of the average, adult computer user." Whether immortality is achievable has no affect on whether it is included in the category "needs of the average, adult computer user."
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by scissorhands7 9 years ago
scissorhands7
Point-wise at least
Posted by scissorhands7 9 years ago
scissorhands7
Therefore this debate results in a tie.
Posted by scissorhands7 9 years ago
scissorhands7
Scissorhands as a cleaner

Before the debate I agreed with R_R there is a learning curve to linux. This first didn't depend on R_R's argument just my prior convictions.

After the debate: I still have the same opinion.

Better Conduct: Neither debater (in my mind exhibited good conduct.

1. No introductory hello how are you doing, thanks for the debate etc.
2. R_R, instead of arguing the debate the way it was intended to be argued - from a computer perspective, has decided to semantically argue this argument. If the user had been skilled and had multiple debates on this site this would not be included, however since this is his first debate, this is definetly bad conduct by R_R (being a skilled debater)
Thus Conduct goes Pro not because he exhibited good conduct, but because R_R exhibited poor conduct. Furthermore R_R also made a snide comment even upon hearing the debater had his first debate.

3. Grammar and spelling. Copying and pasting this into word reveals both opening paragraphs being good with the exception of both debaters not capitalizing Linux. Additionally both debaters go on to make fairly equal grammar mistakes. Therefore Tie for grammar.

4. Convincing arguments - First debate or not, it is clear that Con provided a substantially good argument which disproved Pro's resolution. I recommend that in the future Pro post a clear resolution and then go onto define his terms such as "Average every day needs" doing so would have prevented Con's exploitation of the debate subject. However, I digress, points to Con.

5. Reliable sources: This is debatable to say the least. Pro provided many sources to support his argument. While Con did not necessarily need sources (since his argument was common sense and logic based) he still did not provide any sources. Had Con provided just one source pertaining to his arguments I would award him points, however since he did not I award points to pro for an excellent group of reliablesources
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Glad ya learned something :D
Posted by soldierboy 9 years ago
soldierboy
Yes, I will admit, I was baited nicely. Lesson learned (first debate).
Posted by wjmelements 9 years ago
wjmelements
I think that CON's ability to manipulate this debate has earned him my vote.
The debate became over whether the debate was over the basic needs of survival or the quality of software. The lack of definitions has lead me to believe that this debate was properly manipualted and that will not effect my vote.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Abusive huh? You can vote for whatever reason you wish, but if you're going to comment about it, explain what you mean :D.
Posted by Sweatingjojo 9 years ago
Sweatingjojo
Booo on Con.

Pro will get my vote automatically for con being abusive.
Posted by soldierboy 9 years ago
soldierboy
Sure you can, you can either pop in the Vitamin C CD and play it with your favorite music player or you can download Vitamin C MP3s and play them that way:

http://www.faqs.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
No, it doesn't have you're daily value of vitamin C.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by wjmelements 9 years ago
wjmelements
soldierboyRagnar_RahlTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Vote Placed by s0m31john 9 years ago
s0m31john
soldierboyRagnar_RahlTied
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Total points awarded:07