Linked by Kevin Russo on Tue 7th Dec 2004 06:19 UTC
Geek stuff, sci-fi... Geek is defined by Dictionary.com as 'A person who is single-minded or accomplished in a scientific or technical pursuit'. Many of us either acknowledge ourselves as computer geeks or are labeled by Friends, Family, and/or Colleagues as the such. This is not a condescending statement and should not be taken in a negative connotative way. It is in fact an admiration of our technical skills and abilities.
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RE: Ignorance of the Geek
by The flying boolaboola on Tue 7th Dec 2004 10:03 UTC

Some questions asked by the technically challenged are to do with stuff that's in the manual. It's not always easy to be patient with people who want you to tell them what they could have found out in ten seconds reading the fantastic manual.

On the other hand, computers and their software have grown to be so vast and complex that quite often you have to know something about the history to really understand what is going on and why. The manual is not going to tell you that. And some things need a lot of words to explain the issue.

I work tech support. Sometimes people ask me questions which show me they don't know what it is they're asking. Any answer, even to something as basic as cut/copy/paste, will baffle these people. They have no idea how some structures work or why [try explaining to the totally ignorant why IE ties into Windows and how it's causing massive security flaws in their system].

That doesn't mean they can't be successful in their own fields of endeavor, and many of them indeed are. To these people, the computer is just a tool, like a car is. You use your car to go to work or to go shopping. They don't know how many valves are in the engine and they couldn't care less. But maybe they're great teachers and I'm not.
Same thing for computer knowledgeable people [not to say: geek]. Many people don't care about their operating system or their application. They need to get the letter out by close of business, anything else is just a headache.

I can explain most things quite easily to the novice user. The hard part is when they lie to you about how the paper got stuck in the disk drive, or when they ask you how the paper goes down the fax line to the correct machine at the other end [sorry, Marc ;) ] or when you give them the answer and they don't believe you and they argue about it [sound familiar to anyone out there?].

Good communication skills and an open mind will solve a heck of a lot of problems. But we're people in an ever increasingly complex world. The argument that people are catching up only goes sofar. People will gain a slightly broader understanding but the technology will become vastly more complex [I'm looking forward to quantum computing *grin*]. The geek will always know more because knowledge works.