Ignorance does not suit you

I have a car, but I don’t really know how it works. I use it every day but it’s a big mystery — all the little spinning gadgets and wheels and oil and stuff under the hood. I don’t really care though, since I just want to go from here to there without any hassles. If something breaks or if it stops working, I’ll just wait for someone to come along and fix it for me, or get a new one.

I have a job, but I don’t really know how it works. I am part of it every day, but it’s a big mystery — all the different people and relationships and interactions and stuff within the group. I don’t really care though, since I just want to live from day to day without any hassles. If something breaks or if it stops working, I’ll just wait for someone to come along and fix it for me, or get a new one.

I have a body, but I don’t really know how it works. I use it every day, but it’s a big mystery — all the different organs and fluids and chemicals and stuff under the skin. I don’t really care though, since I just want to waddle around day to day without any hassles. If something breaks or if it stops working, I’ll just wait for someone to come along and fix it for me, or get a new one.

I have a computer, but I don’t really know how it works. I use it every day, but it’s a big mystery — all the different lights and buttons and switches and stuff inside the case. I don’t really care though, since I just want to surf the web or check my e-mail without any hassles. If something breaks or if it stops working, I’ll just wait for someone to come along and fix it for me, or get a new one.

Brought to you by a rather ignorant, albeit off-the-cuff remark by a co-worker the other day, when it was suggested that she learn a little more about how computers work. Urdummheit is not an option, friends. :|

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14 Responses to “Ignorance does not suit you”


  1. 1 bpalone 2010/10/05 at 10:50 AM

    Ah, Gee… I wished you wouldn’t talk about me that way. ;-)

    That is the type person that every IT person has to protect in order to protect the entire system. It is why, you see so many people get all in lather, when you say you are running some outdated and unsupported OS.

    You have to design and set things up for the least common denominator. It stinks, but it is the way it is folks. People are basically fairly lazy. Even those of us that poke around the inards of our machines. We write scripts or short programs to get repetitive tasks done, so we don’t have to do it manually. So, not that a little laziness is bad, it has brought mankind some pretty neat stuff over the years.

    Just keep on doing what you enjoy and don’t let the co-workers get under your skin.

  2. 2 prinzzchavo 2010/10/05 at 2:33 PM

    f~#$!!!

    I spend hours trying to make friends with my old PC, looking here and there, feeling geek(and proudly freak)…but in the end, I just realized I have no clue about mechanics/medicine/managering AT ALL!

  3. 3 anon 2010/10/05 at 8:53 PM

    No one knows everything or makes no mistakes.

    But only an idiot makes the same mistake over and over again. Worse are those that feel PROUD of their ignorance, do NOTHING about it, and expect others to LIVE WITH IT.

    You don’t have to learn mechanics, medicine, cs… every day. But when something goes wrong, be prepared to, and never let it happen again. No one wants to help a man who doesn’t want to help himself, unless he’s paying nicely or asserting some kind of authority. That doesn’t stop people from doing a half-assed job just to screw with him and he won’t even notice it.

    But of course, learning is a foreign concept to many people in the western world.

  4. 4 Benj1 2010/10/05 at 10:52 PM

    I have no interest in looking up what ‘Urdummheit’ actually means…..

    (Actually I do, but no definitions, Moby lists it as an alternative to ‘Ignorance’. You learn something new everyday, if you want to of course :))

  5. 6 Duncan Snowden 2010/10/06 at 1:29 AM

    My take on this is that the modern x86 PC, with its hundreds of interacting hardware and software components, is probably the most complicated machine you’ll ever use. It may not have the same capacity to hurt you as half a ton of steel, glass, and rubber, but it’s a vastly more complex device. It’s absurd to expect to use it at all competently without knowing at least a little about how it works.

    The ignorants’ car analogy further angers me because it’s simply not true. People do know something about how their cars work. They know about the gearbox (even if they’re a bit vague about how it does what it does); they know the clutch physically disconnects the engine from the driven wheels; they know the wipers and lights are electrical and have little to do with the engine; they know the tyres are filled with air and might develop leaks. I could probably go on. Yet they seem reluctant to have even that level of knowledge about their computers.

  6. 7 keithb 2010/10/06 at 3:19 AM

    Remember everyone…

    * Our beliefs are the truth.
    * The truth is obvious.
    * Our beliefs are based on real data.
    * The data we select are the real data.

    People form ‘theories-in-use’ – the term is about what people actually do in a given situation rather than what they say they do ‘espoused-theory’. Check out Chris Argyris and Donald Schon, lots on the Web.

    We are all sitting on top of ‘ladders of inference’ and everyone’s ladder has a different logic.

    Personally, I’m struggling with a wonderful application called puredata, and I’m taking the operating system as read for a bit while I learn the ropes.

  7. 8 bob_v5 2010/10/06 at 7:43 AM

    Sometimes I feel the same, but then I remember that most of my hardware comes from these people.

    Random person — “This computers broken, you can have it.”

    Me — “OK, thanks, might be able to use a few bits”

    // Goes home, examines machine, 90% of the time discovers machine is not broken, performs maintenance, uses new machine with big grin on face.

    The way I see it is that these people keep the big hardware company’s rolling, ensuring a constant supply of dirt cheap, (or free) reasonably good hardware for the less ignorant. I haven’t bought a mobile phone for eight years. I have NEVER bought a tv, hifi, printer, fridge, washing machine, or any number of appliances that are generally thought of as expensive. All thanks to those that choose not to think.

    • 9 ajlec2000 2010/10/06 at 10:22 PM

      Heh, yes, computers, cell phones, cameras and even cars. Lets hope Mandela doesn’t start educating them or the supply might dry up.

  8. 10 Notorik 2010/10/06 at 11:25 PM

    Hey, laziness is the mother of invention. How else do you explain the straw?

    • 11 Benj1 2010/10/07 at 1:58 AM

      So when you go to Mc D’s and order a coke you don’t notice that 90% of the space is taken up by ice ?

    • 13 anon 2010/10/10 at 10:07 AM

      That I wholeheartedly agree with.

      If there’s one thing a computer ‘geek’ is most passionate about, it’s about being lazy and finding ways to automate, simplify boring tasks, and become more efficient and productive.

      However, that is being lazy and coming up with ingenious solutions. Not being lazy and staying clueless.


  1. 1 You reap what you sow « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2010/10/08 at 7:35 AM

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