Last week, Grammy award-winning singer Lady Gaga confessed that she is an avid fan of Ubuntu, the Linux-based operating system. Reports are that Ubuntu’s desktop market share has shot up from 1 percent to 7 percent in just two days. Furthermore, due to a huge rise in traffic, Ubuntu’s website suffered a downtime of about 8 hours on Tuesday.
While Ubuntu is a really slick OS, made slicker by its price tag (free), it’s hardly a new kid on the block. The Linux distro has been around for years, struggling to make inroads against Microsoft and Apple. It’s got a fair following among the geek crowd, but has yet to make big inroads into the mass consumer market… until now.
Many Ubuntu enthusiasts as well as developers and investors are overjoyed, and understandably so. But what does this say about the sanity of the average person? Lady Gaga’s advice might be worth following if she opined on music, popular culture, or fashion. But if we’ve intellectually regressed to a point where we will change our computer operating system based on an offhand remark from a celebrity, what else will we buy?
It’s hard enough to figure out which experts to trust in a sea of competing voices on a topic, but there has to be some ability to discern who should warrant consideration as a person to whom we should listen. Or have we really reached the point where we are unable to discern that Lady Gaga shouldn’t even get a voice as a tech expert? Alternatively, are we just so awestruck by celebrity that we’ll do anything a celebrity says?
Even sheep are smarter than that.