Linked by Kevin Russo on Tue 7th Dec 2004 06:19 UTC
Geek stuff, sci-fi... Geek is defined by 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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by Kalle Vahlman on Tue 7th Dec 2004 12:30 UTC

"I am not talking about the Old Man down the street or your five year old Daughter. People such as Surgeons, Lawyers, Financial advisors. These are people with Master degrees and Ph.D's. They are very educated Men and Women, They simply don't have the time or the inclination to take a basic computer class or read a manual. I believe this is how it should be, to a point."

At least in Finland it has been impossible to go through (almost) any kind of education without touching the basics of computing after the mid 90's. True, this still leaves lots of people currently working outside of the "forced" education.

If the "educated Men and Women" don't have time to learn their gadgets, where do they get the time to use them?

Also, I think the "helping someone by explaining how things work" model is very case-to-case matter. Examples:

For my father, it usually works because like me (it's actually the other way around, of course ;) , he _wants_ to know how and why things work the way they do. Sometimes he gets it, sometimes he doesn't.

On the other hand, my wife has no intention of learning how things work. Explaining details to her just irritates her. Some of my relatives are even worse, they will respond with saying "plop plop plop plop" (no, it's not finnish for "I see" ;) if I start explaining _any_ aspect of the current problem other than "where to click to get it fixed/done". With that they indicate that they have no idea what I'm talking about and they care even less.

However, they all have succesfully used different email solutions, burned DVD:s and so on, even though they have no knowledge of the details.

Based on this, I believe that the most beneficial scenario for all parties involved is to make the basic usage of programs as easy and simple as possible, but leave the details of the setup, hardware stuff and situations when things go wrong for the geeks to handle. That is what happens with me and my relatives, I set up and fix things for them so they don't need to know anything more than how they can accomplish their desired tasks. The only downside of this is that I don't get money for it... ;)

The model works for cars, it should work for computers and software too.