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Author: Dan Purgert
To: dng
Subject: Re: [DNG] The real reason I like Linux
On Mar 14, 2020, Mark Rousell wrote:
> I am not opposing your central message in any way, but...
> On 13/03/2020 02:59, Steve Litt wrote:
> > involves programming, and most people can't
> > do that.
> >
> > Oh really? 12 lines of code and they can't do it (or have a friend help
> > do it)?
> Really. There is no way on earth that the average computer user could
> even come close to writing a program or script and this applies to most
> of their friends too.

I've never thought of myself as much more than "average" (especially
considering what some of you lot come up with). But then again, maybe
my view of "average" is skewed significantly by the fact that I try to
follow what the "above average" are doing.

> [...]
> It strikes me that back when I first got into computers (the early 80s),
> there was a sense of optimism that the rapid growth of widely affordable
> technology would result in a new golden era of technical literacy. Oh
> dear, how naive.

Or perhaps it has happened, just not in the way it was imagined. I
mean, I see young kids getting on with their mom's $x00 iMoron device
without anyone thinking anything of it. I remember thinking it was a
super great privilege to be able to hold the TV remote without people
freaking out ...

And a pox on all those same parents who are looking down on me for
giving my kids an etch-a-sketch and dead trees. (Aside, I can't wait
til the older is able to understand basic logic so I can pull out the
various 74HCxx logic chips and some buttons and go to town).

> Instead, the techies, geeks and entrepreneurs made technology *easier*.
> [...]
> Thus, the average user (even the average Linux user, I suspect) is not
> going to be scripting stuff any time soon (other than maybe by typing in
> stuff they Googled).

I don't entirely disagree, but I think the problem is somewhat more
nuanced. Before google (or the web in general), what would you have
done if you ran into trouble? Probably followed some set of instructions
from a friend or colleague (or if you were "on the Internet" at the
time, maybe Usenet or a mailing list, I guess). My point is, people
have to start somewhere ...

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