Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 17th Feb 2010 12:29 UTC
Editorial Recently, a story about people mistaking a news story for the Facebook login page has received considerable media attention. It's currently being seen by many as justification for the recent trend in locking people out of their computers for their own protection - but anyone with even basic mathematical skills and a calculator should come to the conclusion that this story has been blown way out of proportion.
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Comment by runjorel
by runjorel on Wed 17th Feb 2010 15:26 UTC
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"One final note: your personal anecdotes about the people you help with their computers are irrelevant. A doctor only sees sick people, but that doesn't mean everybody in the world is sick."

Ok, you're right. It doesn't mean the world is sick, but Doctors are the number one resource people use to DIAGNOSE and FIX a problem. I think they (and when I say 'they' I really mean us tech support geeks) have a right to discuss an epidemic.

Now, I agree completely with you that dumbing things down is not the solution because even if you 'dumb' things down, there are still going to be problems because people approach things differently.

However I don't think this "people are already capable" laissez faire attitude is the right one. I just deal with so many people on so many levels that I can honestly say with humility that there is something wrong with at least the U.S. population when it comes to technology.

I could write a whole essay on this subject, so I will spare the fluff and just say that I think the answer is (at least for the America population) is basic education! Do I think people need to be geeks or to better understand HOW or WHY technology works? No. Do I expect people to read user guides and manuals before the operate hardware or software? I don't, so No.

However if you are going to use the Internet daily and safely, then I believe you should learn things like "Using the address bar" and verifying that the domain in the address bar is the same as the website you are on. I feel that is something simple and not too technical. Is it a completely safe and secure solution? it a step in the right direction that would at least stop a good percentage of malware attacks from users click on websites that they should not? Possibly.

Again, at least for the America public I deal with, I don't think they are dumb when it comes to electronics....I think they just don't know some of the basic things us geeks take for granted (almost as if we were born with the knowledge). Because no one has taught them certain things. I think education is the answer.

If you read this far, thanks for your time.

Edited 2010-02-17 15:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2