Linked by Scott Cabana on Thu 2nd Dec 2004 20:18 UTC
Editorial A couple of days ago, I read an interesting article by Kevin Kostis about how complex computer systems are and how they have a long way to go. I have to partly agree with his assessment, however a lot of folks don't take the time to learn about there own investment.
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The author claims we should do many things that he himself clearly has not: be a master of all things related to computers or other things in terms of being self-sufficient. If he practiced what he preaches, he would attempt to make up for his lack of english grammar and spelling mastery by using Word or some other application to check spelling and grammar, which would catch most of the syntactic and semantic errors.

In addition to that comment on using the tools as he states everyone else should know how to use, he also clearly is inexperienced in actually doing tasks he says everyone should be able to do quickly and easily, as others before me have pointed out. The biggest one is realizing that a jack of all trades with the resources available to such simply can't do something as efficiently as an expert, and thus it will cost more in terms of their resources, whether it be of time or materials. The author has no comprehension of the true value of time, as well as the fact that not everyone that can understand how to do some task (changing oil as an example) have the capacity to do it, regardless of their understanding or will to try. Everyone is different and not everyone can master or even become proficient in all things. Furthermore, there are so many things that a person can spend their time on learning how to do that they'd be dead before they could learn how to do all the things needed for maintaining a decent living standard!

I will agree that people should have a certain amount of knowledge for many things, especially when it comes to complex things like their computer systems. However, where I differ from the author is the extent of that knowledge: what is most important is that the user is able to do what they really want to accomplish, and be able to recognize when something gets in the way of accomplishing their tasks, so they may call in someone that's better qualified to fix problems when things go wrong for whatever reason. It is often far more expensive for a Do-It-Yourselfer to try to do it themselves when fixing something, than to get the services of someone competent in the first place, because the quality is often lower, or things get so fouled up that you need to call in an expert to fix an even bigger mess than you started with!