Monday, January 27, 2003

Computer illiterate
ph8 rants about how hackers are supposed to work for free for "the suits". Being a person who can't hack, I tend to fish for favours for hackers, but I normally reward them somehow, and I totally agree that anything else is rude. However, there was this interesting little passage:

Aside: What's so special about this so-called "computer illiteracy"? Most people you meet who genuinely cannot read (are illiterate) are duly ashamed of their illiteracy, and many are (commendably) working to overcome it, but only a vanishingly small number of the self-described "computer illiterate" are even remotely embarassed by their failing -- many of them act proud of their (invariably self-imposed) ignorance. Far more annoying, these "technologically challenged" types use their "challenge" as an excuse to avoid work -- how many times have you heard (or uttered) "Oh, I'm computer illiterate, so you'll have to do it for me"? Simply using (as opposed to hacking on) a computer is no more difficult than driving a car and obeying the most basic traffic laws, but you don't hear people (seriously) trying to escape a ticket with the excuse "Oh, I'm vehicularly illiterate, so you can't expect me to obey stop signs".

I have heard, over and over again, people try to avoid doing a job by saying: "I don't know how to operate the dishwasher." "I always botch the laundry." "I can't help out because I really don't know how to cook anything but a fried egg." "Sorry, but I don't know how to clean the floors." And there are people who commit to life-long contracts - called marriage - in order to be permitted to do these things for their partners... Hopefully, the cooking and cleaning illiterate are vehicularly and lawn-movering literate.

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