[lug] Excellent Rant

Justin Simoni jsimoni at totalsite.com
Mon Mar 19 17:46:21 MST 2001

I have a major problem with this rant and its main example.

Computers *are* tools, and no one builds a house with just a hammer. Using
a tool, (and if I'm not a carpenter) I shouldn't *have* to know how the tool
is created, how  the tool is used, its history, revision, etc. It should be
obvious how to use it and to get work done with it. Using a hammer correctly
is common sense, or you look at someone else use a hammer. Its interface to
a human being is natural. The first tools were nothing but hammers, they
broke off shards of rock to make the second tool, a cutting surface. people
get hammers, its ingrained into us.

 Why should people care what kind of Operating system they have? People use
computers to do work. It makes sense to create software (you carpenters out
there) which is easy to work with. Posts like this just show the bullshit 'i
am nerdier than though' rants of someone that can't communicate with other
people. If you can't communicate with other people, why the hell are you
trying to help them, or even create software other people need to interface

As for the car metaphor, this shows another problem with people. You hear
all the time "I can go 0-60 in 8 seconds" - obviously talking about their
car, but wording it as if they themself do such a task. This is a high form
of  materialism and as far as I'm concerned, so is saying  how amazing you
are at [insert your favorite program here]


on 3/19/01 5:38 PM, Michael J. Pedersen at marvin at keepthetouch.org wrote:

> Guys, I just came across this guy's rant on /. and HAD to distribute it. I
> think it might deserve a medal for the clearest explanation of computer
> illiteracy in the world (or something close to it). Anyway, here it is:
> Begin rant - This not meant as any kind of flamebait - it's a real problem
> that I struggle with every day and I make only infinitesimal progress.
> The difference between the average car and the average PC is that your average
> AOL'er can tell you they drive a 94 Chevy Camaro, it's a 5 speed, takes
> unleaded gas, and needs the oil changed every 3000 or so miles. There's a good
> chance they know what kind of tires they bought, where the dipstick is, and
> how to fill the radiator with antifreeze. They might even have a good idea
> what the bluebook value is.
> Now ask the same folks what operating system they're using, what version of MS
> Office is on their PC, what browser they use, how to run a disk defrag., or if
> they know the difference between memory and storage. They will shrug and reply
> that they're not very technically inclined. Because they DON'T CARE. They
> expect computers to be magical. Hence the millions of chainmails that people
> send hoping to get a check from Intel or Disney. Hence a senior manager often
> saying "put it in the computer" and having no idea what he means.
> It doesn't matter that they use their computers for 8+ hours a day and their
> car for only 2. Their expectations of computer specific technology are way too
> high. How did this happen? Software is a TOOL. They don't expect a hammer to
> know carpentry, or that a car knows how to drive itself.
> Granted bugs make the problem worse, but if people were interested in becoming
> skilled users they'd learn to demand better software. -sorry this is rant it's
> the end of a monday.

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