Born to Flounder

Yet another reason to despair for America’s future — brought to you by *PC Magazine*, no less.

Cracked a major problem with the script last night.

Will tell you more about it, and *Hard Time: Season 2* in general, as soon as possible.

9 Responses to “Born to Flounder”

  1. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    I had read already that article, and know the feeling. Rachel Pollack, in her book FOREST OF SOULS, refers to me as a “Man Who Knows Everything.” What I am is a man who knows how to formulate a search.

  2. Spence Says:

    I consider myself a techie, so I’m not the kind of person the author is complaining about.

    The problem is that google doesn’t always answer your question right away. Non-techie people hate to google something and then search twenty links to find what they need. That’s when non-techies start to consider google as a last resort. Why google something when you can ask someone and get your answer faster?

    People who know the author consider him to be a better resource than their computer. He’s an expert, so he must know everything off the top of his head, right?

    The author wishes they’d just figure things out for themselves like he did. Especially if he has to go to google himself. The problem is that he enables them by sending them the google links. He needs to be consistent and tell them to google it themselves.

    I can see it both ways.

    If the people he complains about really are clueless, then they’d be lost without him. If they’re not clueless, then they’re just using him as a reliable first resort to finding what they want. Without him, they’d find another way.

  3. Leviathan Says:

    I’ll tell you the ones I love. I love the folks who are signed up to a yahoo group, who send “unsubscribe” messages to the group itself — especially the ones who do it in the body of a reply to the group.

    I mean, not to put too fine a point on it, but instructions on unsubscribing are at the bottom of every flipping message!!!


  4. haven o'terrorism Says:

    Please, techie-people. Don’t you understand? People don’t get computers. Computers make them feel stupid, and they don’t want to feel stupid, so they refuse to learn anything about them. And you’re not helping by assuming they’re all acting rationally to maximize their self-interest, you’re really not. These people have no mental framework within which an understanding of what computers are can exist alongside the events of “real life”; to you it may all seem wonderfully transparent and straightforward, but to them it is a murky realm of associational thinking and magic words that is absolutely distinct from the casual (and causal!) mental routines they’re used to relying on. They don’t understand what LINKS are, see what I’m getting at? They don’t know what it is they’re looking at on the computer screen, they can’t replicate results, they lack the basic vocabulary and interpretive scheme of computer-users, they are just plain ignorant about EVERYTHING.

    And, they don’t know it.

    But, they do know it.

    However, they don’t know what to do about it.

    So please, don’t expect them to swim instead of sinking. Your knowledge is arcane to them, whether you think it ought to be or not.

  5. Leviathan Says:

    I dunno. I can’t see what’s arcane about:

    To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

    [email protected]

  6. haven o'terrorism Says:

    Yeah, I know you can’t! But how else are you gonna explain it?

    I’m not in favour of it, understand. People need education. Not just about computers!

  7. Leviathan Says:

    I don’t thjink it’s education. I think it’s gumption.

    The problem is that people simply surrender rather than make even a token effort to understand what they’ve decided in advance is “too hard” for them.

    I lack both sympathy and respect for them.

  8. Steve Gerber Says:

    [ To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: [email protected] ]

    Leviathan is merely citing a hypothetical example, of course. No one ever really wants to unsubscribe from the Howard the Duck group!

  9. haven o'terrorism Says:

    I don’t disagree with the gumption thing. I don’t. But I still say it’s more complicated than that: people haven’t “decided” that computers are too hard for them to master, they’ve been TOLD computers are too hard for them to master, and that’s a big difference. They’ve been told they’re too dumb to figure this world out, and that they can’t even trust to their common sense or intuition to help them decipher it. Just like a kid in school gets told he’s too dumb to handle math, or another kid gets told she’s too much of a gork to be good at sports. Everything about computers is loaded with the expectations of science-fictional romance, people in blue shirts with pointed ears on Star Trek, and computers themselves (if you think about it) have come to be modern symbols of the very idea of specialized scientific knowledge. So, how do you expect someone who had a C average in high school or who never made it into college to imbibe the knowledge that they’re good enough to work with these marvellous machines? Well, gumption, yes…any amount of gumption solves the problem, but I’ve still got a lot of respect/sympathy for people who can’t quite manage to summon that gumption up. They summon it up for other things readily enough, you know! Therefore (it seems to me) something external must be standing in their way when it comes to the summoning of gumption in this particular field. And that’s just society, baby: “anybody can do it” is not the popular wisdom about computers any more than it’s the popular wisdom about theoretical physics.

    Which is not that hard a thing to master either. In my admittedly unique opinion.

    …And before I start looking like someone with an axe to grind, can I just say I’m not actually as het up about this as I’m sure I sound? It has nothing to do with me personally, I have never been discriminated against on the grounds of computer un-savvy-ness (to my knowledge, anyway), and Leviathan is not a symbol to me of all the computer nerds who used to beat me up in high school. I f I’m making myself sound that way then I’m doing a really bad job of transposing my thoughts.

    Going right now to the HTD group to sign on.