Religious arguments, fear of the unknown

A friend said this to me today:

it's really odd, why do fans of dynamic languages often have this cult-like approach?

It's an interesting thought. I know many people who love dynamic typing and reject static typing without knowing much about it. (Of course there are many people who love dynamic typing but who do know lots about static typing.)

It got me to thinking, I reckon if you only know X and know nothing about non-X, you might start to fear non-X. Your fear might express itself by reinforcing your belief that X is the best, that non-X is no good.

I'm sure this is a standard human emotion, but I've absolutely no idea what it's called. "Fear of the unknown" perhaps.

Anyway, an hour later I experienced a similar emotion when reading this:

I have absolutely no idea what this article is on about. I know so little about Windows. I always deploy on UNIX or Linux. I always have. There's so much to know about Windows. And all that stuff that there is to know: I don't know any of it.

I reckon, when being hit with a volley of emotional, religious, and cult-like arguments about why all things other than X are bad, one should take into account the possibility that the arguer doesn't know anything other than X, and is afraid of everything which would expose that lack of knowledge.

This article is © Adrian Smith.
It was originally published on 25 Mar 2013
More on: Life