Tonight I attended a presentation by a local technology consulting company, and Novell to a local Linux user group. After the conclusion of the sordid affair, I was left with one overriding question: How do so many people survive when they leave home without their critical thinking skills?

Nearly everyone there was completely caught up in the Novell marketdroid's spiel, which was frustrating.

The marketdroid showed a slide, and then showed another slide with information that completely contradicted the first slide. What happened when I call him on this? I was made out to be the bad guy. Marketdroid showed contradictory slides time after time after time.

Of course, the presenters (who tried really hard to take boring to places it has never been and has no business ever going), were well trained in Pavlovian techniques. Those who asked questions friendly to the presenters were presented with Novell swag, while those who asked probing, critical questions were showered in scorn.

To make the evening even more entertaining, not one person (other than myself) ever asked the presenters why we should care about what they are saying. It seemed to be assumed by all that the Novell clowns were bringing the Word down from the mountain (or Utah, such as the case might be).

To make matters even worse, why on Earth didn't anyone else call the presenters on the fact that they showed up with Windows laptops to demo Linux products to a Linux user group?!? That's like driving up a convention of Ford truck dealers in a Chevrolet.

What ever happened to Linux users possessing a sense of the cynic, the skeptic? If I wanted to hang out with a bunch of marketdroid believers, I'd find a Windows user group.