[CentOS] SELinux threads, cynicism, one-upmanship, etc.

Bryan J. Smith thebs413 at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 16 20:36:46 UTC 2005

Lamar Owen <lowen at pari.edu> wrote:
> As an IT Director (and the entire IT department,
> if I were hiring a sysadmin I know for a fact that someone
> whose first response to a question on why something doesn't
> work is 'turn it off' would not get a job here.

Don't read too much on what other people say on a list --
including the person I'm sure you're referencing here (It's
actually not me for once!  Whew! ;-).  Sometimes people just
don't like things, and their opinions would come off much
better in person than e-mail.  I _always_ think that, even
when I completely disagree with someone.

As far as "one-upmanship," in just the last 2 months, I have
catelogued no less than 21 separate incidents of
"one-upmanship" (yes, I was part of a number of them -- but I
was also not part of a _majority_ of them -- especially when
I wasn't posting for awhile), and the total is by _more_ than
1 dozen different people.

Anytime you get enough intelligent people in a group, you're
going to have differences and varying opinions.  Trying to
label someone based on them in e-mail is rather poor, so no
one should try.  Even in my own, local LUG, people vary in
e-mail from in-person, but at least we see each other
in-person.  God knows at a place of work, I go to someone's
office (if they are local) or pick up the phone and/or use
remote meeting capabilities (if they are not) to explain

E-mail _sucks_ as a medium for explaining ideas clearly.  ;->
It's only good for log files and cut'n pasting things.  ;->

That's why question/summary-only mailing lists like Sun
Managers and Linux Managers are best when you reach a certain
level of subscribers who never see each other.  You can't
read sarcasm, sincerest humility and the fact that someone
might not be giving you their relevant credentials just to be
arrogant (especially not after you gave your own first! ;-).

> Neither would a sysadmin with as much cynicism as has been
> displayed, or an automatic 'it broke things' when something
> new (and in fact improved) comes along get a job here.  Do
> realize that this list is archived, and that many people
> are hiring might use Google to find your name (or mine, for
> that matter).

Then according to that logic, I should _never_ have a job. 


Just because the majority disagrees with you doesn't mean
that you're necessarily wrong.  Ironically, I've gotten no
less than 2 salaried jobs and more than a dozen clients
because I was someone on a list _very_few_people_ openly
agreed with in a discussion.  This has happened time and time
again to me -- I'll get a call with an offer for a job
because I did not bow down to "popular view" on something!

So excuse me if I don't really care for this continued stream
of meta-discussions about what goes on here (I'm not saying
you're responsible for that -- many others have already
preceeded yourself).  People are right, people are wrong,
people are whatever from their viewpoints.  I don't like the
"absolutism" I see on SELinux, Red Hat, etc... and I'll sound
off, but I leave it there.  I don't "hate" anyone -- in fact,
the only things I really mind are the people that regularly
bring up the fact that they are blocking me, but feel the
need to comment on me (So you're blocking me so you see
anyting so you won't talk about me?  Or you just like making
a "big deal" about me? ;-).

In the end, I _never_ say people aren't entitled to their
opinions -- no matter how misguided or narrowminded I might
feel they might be.  Why?  Because I'm sure many others think
the same about me too -- so I can't fault people for doing
what I also do in the eyes of others.

Now if you're a hypocrite, then you'll get my scorn.  ;-> 
Don't try to lecture me about my commentary when you've done
the exact same things.  That's a sure-fire way to lose my
respect.  But as long as you aren't a hypocrite, I could
_care_less_ what you do in e-mail, because most of us have
_all_ done it too!

> Bryan Smith, for all the verbosity he is known for, doesn't
> seem to be lazy and could likely hold the job;

Others might disagree.  There have been several incidents in
my professional life where people got so disgusted with me in
e-mail that they call my employer or, in the case of one
person, even made criminal accusations against me to the

Did I ever work with these people?  No.

Ironically enough, it's been the ones I show the most
chartity to in real-life (consulting for free, writing
scripts/programs for free, etc...) that I find get "fixated"
after I've "bailed them out.  Including the one who made a
criminal accusation, I helped him more than anyone in my

[ Of course, in doing that, he cut his own throat, and very
few in our LUG will help him every again, and the few that
have tried now agree with me. ;-]

> The main reason I think sysadmins in general seem to hate
> SELinux is the 'Mandatory' part of 'Mandatory Access

Once again, you say it shorter and sweeter than I could ever.

I really thought my analogy to a firewall with a deny-all
outgoing default policy was a good one.  Apparently not?

> Also, as one poster wrote, SELinux is NOT a *service* but
> is indeed the Bully Boss of the system.

Agreed, and that's how I responded as well.

Bryan J. Smith                | Sent from Yahoo Mail
mailto:b.j.smith at ieee.org     |  (please excuse any
http://thebs413.blogspot.com/ |   missing headers)

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