> They might not be smart, as you say, but they do have a very
> precice mindset that baffles folks who don't think in the same lines.
> Computers are total mysteries to most folks because they don't
> understand the mindset behind building the computers and programming
> It's really easy to pass yourself off as smart if you know
> something that's total mystery to more intuitive types.
You went and pushed my hot button. I've had it up to here with
socially-oriented people who breezily declare themselves "equally smart"
while evincing the opposite. I always felt that, if we geeks didn't beat
sub-geeks over the head with our superior intelligence, you sub-geeks on
the other hand shouldn't minimize our intelligence, or exaggerate your
own, or assume out of hand that our intelligence is neccessarily
balanced by incompetence at things artistic or humanistic. A former
professional musician like me isn't really impressed to hear that last
You seem to think that it's all some sort of trick, that if only you
were told a few "secrets" it would all be so easy. I don't think so! It
ain't the Rosicrucians. There's probably no field other than programming
that is on the one hand so accessible in terms of the literal
information, and yet so inaccessible to those who haven't got the
brains; no other field whose jargon is so totally *not* about keeping
people out. Competent programmers continuously master new approaches,
new tools, new ways of thinking. Our knowledge is ancient in five years,
obsolete in ten. Anyone can jump in, but few do.
We geeks are supposed to be totally humble and generous about the frontiers we've opened up for everyone else. It wouldn't be so bad if sub-geeks did the same, but the moment the advantage is the other way around, that's the last we hear of any sharing or co-operation.
It's a class thing. It goes beyond symptoms like the degradation and
abuse of the Internet as it opened up to non-geeks, or what the stupid,
socially-oriented sub-geeks in Congress are doing, with their seemingly
unlimited contempt for all things geekish, or the political and social
travesties made possible by the sheeple's vulnerability to rhetorical
tactics that I think do not fool most geeks, or the mainstream
populace's contempt for anything that reminds them of science or math
class, or the fact that although computer software is now crucial to
daily life, the typical programmer barely makes white-collar wages,
while his software saves others countless hours.
I know, this is probably too vague. To really know what I mean, you have
to have a "click" experience.
I do have to thank you for two things:
The impetus for this rant, which has been building for a long time.
The phrase "not geek enough". I like that.