Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 10:54 UTC, submitted by irbis
Bugs & Viruses "For at least a decade, the standard advice to every computer user has been to run antivirus software. But new, more commercial, more complex and stealthier types of malware have people in the industry asking: will antivirus software be effective for much longer? Among the threats they see are malware that uses the ability of the latest processors to run virtual machines that would be hidden from antivirus programs." Note: Please note that our icon contest is still running! So if you have an idea on how to rework this story's icon, read this.
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RE[3]: ...
by Doc Pain on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 21:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

"I did not say so, and therefore refuse to comment on your statement, except for explaining what I actually said: Plain ignorance, as in "the user is stupid", "the user must be educated", "the user is ignorant", and not even thinking about the question *why* the users does what he/she does, is ubiquitous in this comments section."

As you may have read from my comments, users usually aren't interested in particular procedures (How do you do this?), but in pure results (I want this.). Distracting information should be kept away from them in order not to irritate them, so they can concentrate on achieving their goal.

"May I add now that calling the user ignorant under these conditions is hypocritical."

Uninformed / misinformed users are one problem, you surely will admit it. Other problems are criminals benefitting from this situation, and software manufacturers that (unintentionally?) support these "evil-doers". Additionally, there are persons with dangerous half-knowledge. They are spread in all three groups mentioned. There are users who are plain stupid, but I (thankfully) think it's not the majority...

Example?

First Man: "My laptop is running so slow and crashes all the time. I'm going to take it to the shop to check it for viruses."
Second Man: "I don't worry about viruses. Not many people know that viruses work in the back of the memory, and Windows is in the front of the memory. So it's something else."

More at http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/cs_viruses.shtml

To be serious once again, I do understand your opinion. Maybe you're lucky and mostly encounter the smarter users along your daily work. The "users are stupid" mentality usually comes from the poor individuals who had to get along with the "more narrow minded" users. Hey, some of them even seem to be unable to use their own native language. :-) The more you make the computer usable to the average individual, the less it is usable to the professional user, but the professionals finally are the ones who create software. It's as if you create a toy toolkit (hammer, nails, saw) that looks like a real toolkit, but is made of harmless material (rubber hammer, polystyrene nails, paper saw) so it won't harm anyone; and now you give this toolkit to its manufacturer so he should use it to produce more of them... tricky situation, strange analogy, I know.

I'd like to add that there are individuals around who like to know more, experience computers in detail and understand how they work. Some software (OSes, apps) give them the ability to do so, other software, usually "dumbed down", doesn't.

This leads me to this conclusion: Would a "two classes" software offering be a solution? A "read only PC" for home use? Functional software for professionaly only? I think you agree: This would be problematic.

If you give something to users, it's too complicated.
If you take something off them, they feel delimited.

Final line here: Computers (still) aren't easy. q.e.d. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 2