[Northkeep] Rambling (was January Saga)

Marc Carlson marccarlson20 at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 31 08:39:39 PST 2005

>From: "LRA" <LRA at olpdsl.net>
>Not to worry... I will be bringing you a hard copy at populace.

I wasn't worried (although it is appreciated), I was just trying to make a 
point.  I know, I know, it's not the prevailing POV, and that's fine.  I'm 
just going to keep making though (requiring a specific set of hardware, 
software, or knowledge will tend to marginalize people).

As an aside, which I am not actually directing at anyone, but may help (for 
some) why I am so fussy about this.

I have a friend who wrote me this week because he turned on his computer and 
he got a diagnostic box on his desktop telling him that the sky was falling, 
or some such - so he panicked and wrote me.  I had never seen this 
diagnostic before, so I went to my tech person here and said "WTF?" (or 
words to that effect).  She told me that he had some garbage files in his 
temp file folder and just needed to delete everything in it.  So I passed 
that along.  In the meantime he had gone to HIS tech person who told him 
"you need to do a scandisk and that will fix everything".  So he was 
panicking because he couldn't find a scandisk button.   So I explained to 
him that there wasn't a scandisk button, and hadn't been for  several 
versions of windows, however there IS an "error checking" button that does 
the same thing.  So he's done both those things and now he's fine.  The real 
point is though that I went back to my tech person and told her about this 
(since she likes to be kept  aprised of how her advise works, and what other 
tech people are suggesting).  Her assistant chirpped up with the comment of 
"well, he sounds like one of those people who just nees to send his computer 
back" (i..e, he's just too stupid to have a computer).  At which point he 
was gently and kindly reminded that stupid and ignorant aren't the same 
thing, one being incurable except by death, and the other can be beaten out 
of you.  Just because someone doesn't know about the indepth detail crap 
about the history of how DOS works through Windows doesn't make them stupid, 
while assuming that one's knowledge or how one choses to do things is the 
only way things can or even should be done is elitest claptrap.

As Lynn and I have discussed (and will continue to disagree on, I'm sure), 
putting the Saga out with the primary format being the electronic one makes 
several basic assumptions that I believe are flawed.  Those being that most 
people in the Barony are online, or should be; that downloading pdfs is 
reasonable, easy or even possible (in my case, the nature of my dial up 
connection makes downloading large files of any sort from home very 
problematic), that people will want to, much less be able to add another 
program to their machines (You or I may not have problems with installing 
software -- but I work with a building full of people who are educated but 
still clueless about anything beyond how to access their email, and are 
somewhat sketchy about that; and a few of those ARE too stupid to be 

Now, since my Diarmaid sense is acting up, I will end this by saying that I 
know it's a done deal and it will almost certainly work just fine for 
virtually all cases - I'm just concerned about that minority of people who 
aren't going to able to manage it and get gradually more left out.  (and 
yes, I do realize that there's a condescending elitist assumption built in 
there too :) )


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