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Are people too lazy to learn about their computers?

© December 2004 Tony Lawrence
Referencing: Opinion: Learning The Basics

From the above link:

We hire someone to make our food, make our coffee, wash our clothes, fix our 
cars, paint our houses, download music on our Mp3 players, program our remote 
controls and the list goes on. Is this the age of laziness or does no one have 
the time to learn the things they use on a daily basis? 


We have become a society of people that are an expert at one thing and a 
complete dullard at everything else.

Well, that's not entirely the case. While "Jack of all trades" may be too much to expect nowadays, not all of us are hopeless blunderers with a single skill set. But it may be true that our skill sets are more narrow than they were in the past. I think my father and grandfather had much broader skills than I do. However, they also had less to learn about any given field. The time investment they might have made to become reasonably competent and knowledgeable in any given area would only make you a dilettante today - life has become more complicated. So it's not that we don't have the intelligence - we may just lack the time.

So part of it is lack of time, but in some areas it is also lack of specialized tools; for example, I used to do my own auto work, but today's vehicles require tools I don't own. I could buy them, or rent them when I need them, but it's just easier to pay someone else.

I think there is also a frustration level that is perhaps related to time. I certainly am capable of understanding an instruction manual that might come with some complex piece of electronic gear, but unless I really, really need whatever features it provides, I just don't want to invest much time in learning about them. No brain drain.

So I don't think it's quite fair to complain about people "too lazy" to learn about their computers. I'm not "too lazy" to learn about high-end stereo or video equipment, I just don't care about the wonderful features that may fascinate someone else. I am a bit more fascinated and entranced by computing, so I am willing to put more effort into learning. But if all I wanted was to use email and browse the web, I wouldn't care about Windows vs. Linux, what swap space is for, etc.

Not everyone has to be interested in computers. For some, they are a means toward other ends only.

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---December 3, 2004

Most people are good at this, they are willing to put time and effort to gain a basic understanding of the stuff they deal with.

But it seems with some people that some things are below them, and learning how things work is a pointless waste of time. These people are generally lazy and are morons.

Case in point:
A person doesn't understand how a car works. Subsequently they never change the oil and they blow the motor. The mechanic replaces the engine and tries to explain to that person some basic car care stuff (changing oil, checking fluid levels and tire inflation, etc) and that if they are not willing and able to take care of the car themselves then take it to a mechanic on a regular basis that can do it.

Now if they pay attention, read the owners manual. Or ask some more questions or find another person to talk to, or buy a "car care for idiots" type book, then I would figure that person is a fairly intellegent and thoughtfull person who simply made a big big mistake out of simple ignorance.

However, if they retort that they don't have enough money to spend on replacing motors all the time, that mechanics are generally rip off artists anyways, and that a car is just to complex and weird for them to "get". Then that person is a moron.

I have the same attitude with computers, or any other complex thing that a person has to deal with or potentially deal with in their lives.

And I am sure that your familar with the famous quote from a Robert Heinlein story:

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." - LazarusLong


---December 3, 2004

How many of us can butcher a hog? How many would want to? :-)


---December 3, 2004

I could if I had to. Not that I'd want to! It's much to messy. I could give you a couple tips and things to look out for, though, if you want. :P

Hint: search for howto butcher a hog in google.com



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Anyone even peripherally involved with computers agrees that object-oriented programming (OOP) is the wave of the future. Maybe one in 50 of them has actually tried to use OOP – which has a lot to do with its popularity (Steve Steinberg)

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