Elite Irony

carey carey@tstonramp.com
Mon, 21 Jan 2002 10:29:08 -0800

Ok listen jb...

Here's the problem with the 'elite rulez' mentality -- I can't speak for
Tom, but the problems I see are numerous.  For one, you have an entire group
of individuals who are too fuckign snobby to even explain linux (which in my
mind, signals they have less of a clue than anyone, but hey)  much less make
it functional for even half of the masses.  I really REALLY don't think you
have to dumb it down to the lowest common denominator to make it functional
for say a good percentage of the PC using population. RH was actually
getting there.  I was getting to the point where I could 'get it' without
tearing my hair out , or dealing with the snobbery of the linux know crowd.

The one thing to say for M$, (excluding my present situation/problem and
their utter lack of tech support !) is that for the most part, joe dorkus
can call up their local computer nerd, and voilla, without qualm, or
superiority complex, their problem can be fixed.  IF they dont' feel like
calling, they can trove online and find it in a manual that doesn't take
expert knowledge to use.

I dig linux.  I dig the concept, but I'll be damned if I sit down with a
relatively complex (and often unaccomodated laptop) and install it, without
knowing it fairly well.  I just can't do it.  WHen I try, I fail, and I hate
it.  When I RFTM it confuses me more (mostly because I don't know WHICH
fucking manual to read :)    This is SLOWLY changing.  For instance, the
slashdot article a week or so back talking about the linux cookbook
(online!) is a GREAT start.  IT explained a lot of things to my newbie
dumbass in a way that wasn't condescending, wasn't snotty, and wasn't
elitest.  It didn't dumb it down to the lowest common denominator, and it
didn't make me feel like I was a moron.  We need more of this.

You're right. Democracy might not be the best thing when it comes to
implementation of different packages.  For instance, having every Joe come
in and designing their favorite Froo code, and having that make the distro,
well that might be bad.  But I really STILL to this day dont' understand why
setting up the damn thing -- merely making it work -- has to be (as ordained
by the linux snobs) SO fucking impossible for those uninitiated.

I know the general response.  The general response, is , 'stop whining you
dumb bitch, and read the manual'.  MAnuals are great.  I have read them, but
oddly enough, (and I don't think i'm the only one here) there is something
uber sexy about having it shown to you as well as getting it through the
manual.  The elitism in the linux community needs to drop itself.  Geeks
need to be accessible and desirous to show their mom and dad, and stupid joe
user like me, if they want to learn.  Instead of playing on their 'I am god,
and you are swine' pedestals, they need to come down and get to the level
that most geeks seem to be with Windows.   They're willing to explain, to
dig in and help.

I have yet to see that.   Most of my friends who are curious but not godlike
geeky folks, are much in the same boat.  AOL may help to fix this.  For
that, I say right on.

Fuck the l33tn3ss.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Bone" <jbone@jump.net>
To: "carey" <carey@tstonramp.com>
Cc: "Tom" <tomwhore@inetarena.com>; <fork@xent.com>
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2002 9:37 AM
Subject: Elite Irony

> One random thought about all of this:  isn't it ironic (as opposed to
> unfortunate, like Alanis Morrissette's misunderstanding of the term ;-)
that the
> "consumer" user interfaces that the unwashed masses mindlessly embrace are
> *more* complex and *less* usable than the simple, broadly-used metaphors
> advocated by some of the fringe CHI "elite?"  That they result in *more*
> balkanization of communities, data and functionality, *higher* adoption
> over time --> slower adoption, and *less* Metcalfe-value created in all
> computing systems taken as a whole?
> I'm hip to Tom's dream on many levels, but it seems to me that without an
> to safeguard the conceptual high ground, progress inevitably grinds down,
> innovation gets lost in the lowest common denominator, etc.  I.e.,
> isn't always the best solution for every problem.  Sometimes --- far, far
> often than is claimed, but sometimes --- maybe the geeks do understand
what the
> users need better than the users themselves.
> Sometimes.  Maybe.  And it's not a good proposition on which to build a
> ;-)
> jb
> http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork