The G-d Box

NOON -- A reader wrote in response to my recent story, Xirrus & the Big Box, complaining about the use of the term, "God box," to describe enterprise wireless LAN equipment that handles radio coverage, security, and management in a single box.

Here's what our aggrieved correspondent has to say:

In your story on Xirrus you use the term "God box". While I realize the term was not coined by Unstrung please refrain from using it in the future. It is highly offensive to cheapen his name by using it as an adjective to describe a piece of electronic equipment. How about 'multi-function' or 'multi-feature'?

I'd be interested in hearing from other readers about their views on this one. It's not like there isn't some prior art here -- some of the older hacks in the office told me that this term has been used in networking circles since at least the 1990s. Then they tried to tell me about token ring networking, too, but I ran off, mumbling something about having a case study to finish.

Anyways, if we lose "the God box" do we have to cut the concept of "intelligent network design" as well?

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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frnkblk 12/5/2012 | 4:07:29 AM
re: The G-d Box I have to agree with the other commentator that it's not appropriate to call it the 'G-d box.' His name has been used so callously in our culture that it's become common place, but that doesn't make it right. I'm sure most people would think twice about using some other religion's god carelessly, but it seems that God's is easily misused.


WhyMax 12/5/2012 | 4:07:28 AM
re: The G-d Box Oh dear. Better not offend the evangelicals. Why not call it the Allah box instead, eh?
RBMartin 12/5/2012 | 4:07:23 AM
re: The G-d Box Oh, I don't know -- India tested a nuclear weapon in 1974 that was commonly called "the Smiling Buddha." (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... ).
Now that's misusing a religious figure's name --
data_sub 12/5/2012 | 4:07:21 AM
re: The G-d Box

"It is highly offensive to cheapen his name..."

Why is god a man? Are you really an engineer and still believe in "god"? If words cheapen your belief then you are living a cloudy existence on top of a shaky foundation. Consider that most of the world does not share in your Christian beliefs and that only a sensitive Christian would care about a term as silly as "God Box".

I happen to like the term since most vendors slideware plays their product to be nothing less than sublime. This may be a result of overzealous sales engineers but the term is fitting.

This is not your world. Freedom of press is more important than your sensitive little existence.
sokolov 12/5/2012 | 4:07:10 AM
re: The G-d Box Do dyslexic agnostics wonder if there is a dog?

Ah, well, maybe "god" is Swedish after all. It ,eans "good", like in "God Jul og Godt Nytt+r", which would be translated as "Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year".
WhyMax 12/5/2012 | 4:06:58 AM
re: The G-d Box Of course, it's a bit awkward of Christians to call their god "God". It means they can get miffed whenever anyone uses the word "god".

Maybe other religions should start to complain about Christian claims on the term God? Maybe the evangelicals might agree to back off if we use a small "g".

Actually, if the evangelicals succeed in eliminating the use of the term "godbox" then they might (at long last) have done something useful.

Face it, "godbox" is a lame name for a bit of network kit. It's embarassing to see journalists reaching for a level of excitement that the kit just doesn't warrant.
cbeard 12/5/2012 | 4:06:54 AM
re: The G-d Box Thanks for asking.
I agree with frnkblk, and your reader's original comment that started this conversation. Actually, all Christians find it offensive for the name of God to be so cavalierly used, because God says it is offensive to him. It is one of the ten commandments -- Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

We do not, on the whole, get violent about such things, for two (2) reasons that come quickly to mind:
1) we know that God can take care of Himself "God will not be mocked",
(Yes data_sub, I use "Him", since the Holy Bible uses that term to describe God, and Jesus refers to Him as the Holy Father) and
2) we were commanded by Christ himself to "love your neighbor as yourself." We, as his children, are to respect him, and we are to teach others, in humility, when they do wrong.

You asked, so I am letting you know. Certainly the name "God-box" is about as ridiculous an idea as marketing can possibly conceive. If this is the "God-box," what in the world would you possibly name the improved version or the next generation, which is certainly already in committee or on an engineer's computer somewhere.

WhyMax, with all his irreverence for practicing Christians, had a servicable idea -- using little "g" would probably settle the issue. Most likely noone would have a problem with little "g" god-box, since god is not a name, but is instead a title for those idols we worship.

In His Love
data_sub 12/5/2012 | 4:06:50 AM
re: The G-d Box As badly as I want to stomp on Christianity (and your first two paragraphs) I will refrain and stay on topic:

"God" or "god" box is not a marketing strategy. It is a rebuttal used by a customer towards a vendor with an overzealous marketing strategy/sales pitch. In fact, it is humor (cuz a "God" based marketing strategy would be insane).

"God" or "god", you are losing me in semantics. I believe the correct term is "god" box. No one intended to refer to a product as the "Holy Christian Father"-box. It is a general term and not specific to Christianity (not that Christianity has any right to think of their god as the "God" but that is off topic). IMO, unstrung used GǣGod BoxGǥ when it should have correctly been Gǣgod boxGǥ.
cbeard 12/5/2012 | 4:06:47 AM
re: The G-d Box QUOTE from data_sub:
"As badly as I want to stomp on Christianity
(and your first two paragraphs) I will
refrain and stay on topic:"

So sad and hateful. Then, you take the time to teach me about something so mundane as the correct usage of the term and how the original argument was based on the article's author's mistake. You may have the heart of a teacher. You simply lack the wisdom to discern the difference between the Christian God and the poor reflection of His Love that Christians reproduce.

Regarding my two (2) first paragraphs: You make clear from your statements that every sentence is grievous to you, so I will try to take the ideas one at a time. God is loving, yet, like a parent, He demands our respect. Considering my confusion coming from lack of knowledge about such an arcane term, I can uderstand your grievance there. It is difficult to argue intelligibly, if the entire discussion is based on a false premise. Your original post would have been immensely more helpful, if you had stated that information, rather than going off an a religion of which you have no understanding yourself.

Regarding Christian's call our god "God", He is just that. Christianity's basic tenet is that there is but one God. Either you believe it or you really do not have a clue about Christianity. Some people who call themselves Christians fall into this last category. I guess they think they are hedging their bets. However, God makes it clear, with Him it is all or nothing.

Again, thank you for the correction.
I will be praying that God draws you close.
doodah 12/5/2012 | 4:06:41 AM
re: The G-d Box cbeard -

I am a practicing Christian and I must disagree with you that ALL Christians find it offensive. Your broadbrush pontificating is what gives Christians a bad name and you, in my opinion, are as bad as the Muslims with their overzealous attacks on cartoons.


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