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Two Ways

Week of April 16, 2001

Let's face it: Not everyone can make it to Chicago to be on the Jerry Springer show. And in this age of instant fifteen minute fame where anyone can temporarily rise across town to Bel-Air, that's not a good thing. What a relief then to know we have the Internet.

There are two ways to do anything, a smart way and a dumb way. Today the dumb way prevails. We've essentially refined our thinking in so many areas of life and we cow-tow to the dumb. Who really cares why or how it's happened? There sure are a lot of dumb people out there.

Witness the totally mindless attacks on GRC and Keir Software. Yes, when you think about just how dumb these people must have been, you realize they had to be REALLY dumb. They are not exceptions to the rule however. P.T. Barnum's 'one in every crowd' has to be revised. Today they are the crowd. But hell, maybe P.T. was only talking about the pure loonies, the downright dangerous. Maybe he already realized most people are ignorant so it's embarrassing. After all, he made quite a fortune.

The time has come to bash the dumb. They've ruled with an iron hand for too long. Along comes Windows 95 and they take over. They wouldn't know how to box their way out of a DOS screen if their life depended on it, but click a mouse, they can do that. Barely. They abhor double clicks, they want single clicks. They'd rather you came around and did all their work for them. They'd rather still that there was no work to do at all.

What they'd really rather do is lounge around the forums all day and look famous. These morons with little or no formal education, with a complete pathetic inability to make it to the end of a single sentence without committing a typo, with an unparalleled conceit that prevents them from even checking the spelling and grammar of what they write, these people who can't remember one thing they learned in high school before they dropped out - suddenly they want to be world authorities and hob-knob with the rich educated and famous.

You can see their opinions everywhere. Slash Dot is a tremendous pyramid built by the morons of today. Get below a threshold of 5 and you run into a barrage of one liners, all misspelled, all incongruous, all totally lacking in constructive thought. These morons simply want to mingle with the real minds. Instant upward social mobility - and you never leave your trailer park.

They become beta testers. They don't know the first thing about software, they can hardly run their own computers, but the big guys come along and ask them and right away they feel gosh and golly I'm really into the big time now. They never catch any bugs. They wouldn't know what a bug was if it smacked them right in the face, and bugs do smack them regularly.

What they do write about and complain about are instead irregularities as they see them which are not irregularities at all. They cannot frikkin make their computers run, they never read the goddamn documentation (most of them can't read), they have too much conceit arrogance and laziness to stick to any one thing for more than the length of an MTV video, and so they can't get programs to work either. 99% of all 'beta bug reports' filed by these losers are not bugs at all but just another example of the 'RTFM' syndrome.

And the big bugs get by. Some companies don't take testing seriously and they let only these losers do their testing for them. Of course they don't catch squat. And after all, what's the purpose of the beta testing campaign anyway? Yeah DUH! It sure wasn't to get rid of bugs! It was to PROMOTE THE PROGRAM!

Cos all these losers will tell all their friends, Yeah I'm a BIG BAD BETA-TESTER, and yeah WE'RE into the FINAL PHASE right now before our FIRST RELEASE, and all the girls at the trailer park will look up in awe and they'll swizzle their Miller and feel IMPORTANT.

That's the way it goes. Dumb RULEZ. All the way. Dumb is making a lot of money. It's worth millions. Billions. Gates Ballmer and the crew have lined their pockets with DUMB MONEY.

Look at the desktop icon war. For years AOL fought and negotiated with Microsoft to get their icon on the desktop. Won't people use an ISP of choice? They're not so DUMB as to believe all the ads they see on TV, take them at face value, or JUST CLICK THE GODDAMN THING BECAUSE IT'S THERE?

Think again. As Stikkan Andersson, manager of ABBA, used to say, 'People are not as dumb as you think - they're even dumber.' And he was right. He knew the score. He had the hundreds of millions to prove it.

Look at Bill Gates. Programmer he won't ever be. But he understands DUMB - to the CORE. He used to be the richest man in the world.

To make money off of dumb though, you have to LIKE dumb. You can't have all too high an IQ, or otherwise these dumb jerks will really piss you off. You have to have the kind of IQ that's just about good enough to get into Harvard but no more, the kind of IQ that will also propel you to quit at a moment's notice for any good excuse. Maybe 110-115, but no higher. Slightly smarter than DUMB, but not by much. So you can cheat them and still understand them at the same time.

Bill Gates went to Harvard, but he dropped out. Dennis Ritchie went to Harvard too, but he didn't drop out. He got his PhD there. Then he went to Bell Laboratories.

About the time Bill Gates decided he didn't want to study anymore Dennis Ritchie was working with Ken Thompson on one of the first versions of UNIX. Dennis heard the same news Bill did, about the Altair, but he did not drop everything and take the red-eye to Albuquerque. Maybe Dennis didn't understand the portent of the Altair because he was too smart. Whatever.

So Bill gave us the PC and unleashed the DUMB MINIONS on us and Dennis helped give us UNIX and unleashed a bit of INTELLIGENCE on us. And in 1999 Dennis won a Technology Award from the White House and Bill Gates was up on charges in the same city for monopoly conspiracy.

And Bill Gates had a lot more money than Dennis Ritchie, but somehow I don't think Dennis Ritchie was hurting.

At least he hadn't turned himself or anyone else DUMB.

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