David Berlind’s dumb and dumber hypothesis is right on

David Berlind is a very insightful writer over at ZDNET and I loved yesterday’s post. David observes that those who think we should not complain about computer problems are *dumb*. He also notes that even dumber are those that think their ability to solve computer problems means that others are idiots.

I’ve fixed my share of problems and as any regular computer user *must* note, many times the fixes are counter intuitive or lucky. Generally the problems that are easiest are those you spent many hours suffering with at some previous time. There’s nothing more annoying than wannabe pseudo-expert PC-hardware-hack jerks who make others feel bad after they stumble on a solution rather than noting that computers still suck in many respects. They’ve come a long way and it’s not reasonable to suggest it’s easy to redesign things to work seamlessly, but it’s downright ridiculous to suggest we should not try. Things are improving but they have a long way to go, so I agree with David and say:

Keep on complaining!

(just keep it polite – that will work better anyway)

2 thoughts on “David Berlind’s dumb and dumber hypothesis is right on

  1. Oil pump?
    Well, pioneering aviators wore a white scarf billowing in the breeze because that was the only oil pressure guage they had available to them, but they sure didn’t have to answer any questions about the scarf before doing their flying. It was simple and automatic.

    I’m not quite sure on this ‘dumb’ or not. I think its more a question of default behavior versus optional selections to choose to be asked about the oil pump. A personal preference for a certain option does not mean that the issue of one of dumb/dumber just as ‘literate programming’ did not really mean that other programmers were actually illiterate.

  2. FG I agree that the specific annoyance that David is talking about is not really a great example of his correct point – that it’s absurd for some “computer geeks” to pretend that problems are the fault of users rather than due to deficiencies in design. Perhaps ironically David, and I for that matter, are hardly slouches in terms of being able to make PC’s do what we need.

    One of my “litmus tests” for a good computer person is that they do not say “hey, I’m really good with computers!”. Those folks tend to be more dangerous around a keyboard than a very tippy tall drink.

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