Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Archive for May 18th, 2011

Prayers For Hube

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/05/18

Hube has recently been added to the stable of occasional authors on this site. Like the other occasional authors, he is the proprietor of another site. He has just recently lost his youngest sister, who passed away in her early 40s. While I lost a daughter, I have not lost a sibling, so I cannot fully understand Hube’s loss.

Hube, you’re in my prayers.

Posted in Blogging Matters | 3 Comments »

Bad Technology, Bad, Bad, BAD Technology

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/05/18

Robert Stacy McCain wrote an article where he torched spellcheck. Little Miss Attila grudgingly agreed. (They have a friendly animosity going.) And over on Attila the hon’s site (where she has me on her blogroll and RS McCain doesn’t on his), ponce chose to do what he does best: Reject all pretense at logical debate and issue forth with personal attacks based on “facts not in evidence.” He starts out with:

A wingnut bumpkin who hates technology?

Now there’s something you don’t read about every day.

and later adds:

I can understand someone who has so few skills to offer the world getting upset when some da** hippie gives away software for free that allows everyone to do that skill just as well as he can.

It’s a hilarious example of logic failure, following the crowd, projection, misdirection, straw-man, claim to higher intellect based purely on political alignment and then some. (Hube wrote about the “intellectuals” and why people don’t revere them here, where he totally blows up the “leftists are smart, rightist are dumb” Leftist meme.)

Let’s get this out in the open. Technology is neither good nor bad. It’s what people do with technology that is either good or bad.

Many consider the Zager and Evans song In The Year 2525, which went to Number 1 in the pop charts in 1969, to be an anti-technology anthem. They may be right. It is also important to note the hyper-environmentalists are Left-Wingers who hate technology, so despite ponce’s protestations otherwise, it isn’t a Right-Wing thing.

Again, technology is neither good nor bad. It’s what people do with technology that is either good or bad. Spellcheck for example. Robert Stacy McCain and Little Miss Attila have expressed an aversion to it. I hate it, myself. Ponce is apparently under the delusion that spellcheck makes people good writers and that good writers without spellcheck are no better than the average Joe with spellcheck. That, in itself, is nonsense. As RS McCain properly noted,

Merely being able to write correctly is not, however, to be confused with writing well. That is to say, good grammar does not guarantee that what you are writing will be coherent or interesting. However, correct grammar and spelling are (or at least should be) viewed as a prerequisite to good writing. [italics his, bolding mine]

Also note: Spellcheck does not check for grammar, although there are utilities which do, indeed, check for grammar. RS McCain’s point is duly lost on the pea-brain knee-jerk Leftist troll ponce. Proper spelling and proper grammar do not at all guarantee a quality product.

More than half of Detroit residents are functionally illiterate. Six out of ten who attend school in Detroit’s public schools graduate. You do the math. (More on math later.) Half of Detroit’s functionally illiterate population has either a diploma or a GED. And Liberal-owned Detroit (has been for 60 years) pumps huge dollars into the Liberal-owned public schools, to the tune of $13,000 per student, so it’s definitely not a money issue, contrary to Liberal claims. It’s a Leftist philosophy issue (and Leftist philosophy always fails when it meets the real world). These people will depend on spellcheck for job opportunities. Or they will depend on other people to write their resumes and fill out their applications.

No, spellcheck is not bad in and of itself, but when the human variable is added to the equation, spellcheck is suddenly a bad thing. People grow to depend on it and forget how to spell. Or they never learn how to spell in the first place. The grammar-checking applications are in the same manner bad, not because they are bad in a vacuum but due to how they’re used. Robert Stacy McCain stated they were basically a crutch and Little Miss Attila basically agreed. I disagree. Spellcheck is an albatross. And the utilities that evaluate grammar are likewise albatrosses. If you have those tools, why bother learning proper spelling or proper grammar? You can depend on technology to do your learning for you. And then you can use someone who does know a bit of spelling and grammar to bridge the gap.

Remember when I said “you do the math” earlier? Why bother when you can depend on this technological wonder called a calculator? Oh, yes. Junior high school students are required to take calculators to their junior high school math classes in some public schools! Why bother learning how to do the stuff when you can have a piece of technology that will do it for you? All you have to do is learn how to properly enter “246 + 175 =” into your handy-dandy calculator and enter the output onto a piece of paper and you pass the math test! We don’t need no larnin when we gots us some techy. Sides, when we gonna use that junk anyhows? (Oops, forgot to use my spellcheck and my grammar utilities.)

I bought my favorite Starbucks beverage and paid with a $20. The cashier, a high school graduate, rang it up and instead of telling the cash register I paid with a $20, told the cash register I paid with a $10. She had to void out the entire sale and re-ring it to tell the cash register I paid with a $20. Because her high school diploma didn’t educate her well enough for her to understand what change I should receive compared to her “ring up.”

But it goes beyond the educational albatrosses crippling our multiple generations. (“Sofa’s for sale” on a billboard) We are depending on many crocogators to take us across rivers.

Soap that kills 99.99 percent of all bacteria. Super antibiotics. Germicidal this. Germicidal that. Kill them all so our bodies don’t have to come in contact with them. Question: How do vaccines work? Question: What is a supervirus and why does it matter?

Vaccines work by introducing something bad and dangerous to your body and forcing your body to fight back.

If you go to the gym, you run on a treadmill or lift weights or use the stair climber or any manner of other pieces of equipment. Doing that causes microscopic damage to your muscle tissue and forces your body to repair it and build it better and stronger.

When my daughter and I prepare steak for cooking, we trim the fat off the meat. Then, we eat small bits of raw steak. I “cross-contaminate” by cutting my meat with the same knife I then cut my veggies with.

In the 1980s, I saw a news report about a man in Ohio who had a tin cup in his canoe. When he went on the river to go fishing, he used that tin cup to draw water out of the river and drink it. Would I be willing to do that? On most rivers, yes.

Some of this stuff I wouldn’t advise. But the point remains the same. If you build your body up to be able to resist various microbes, your body will do just that. But if you are overly dependent on technology to prevent your body from experiencing microbes, you will not be capable of handling it without the technology. You will be the weaker for it.

As my intro song goes, an over-dependence on technology will only serve to make you “less than.” Technology is not bad. An over-dependence on technology is always bad. Superbugs come from that. Functional illiteracy comes from that. Mathematical illiteracy comes from that.

Historical illiteracy is a completely “nother” subject, but it falls in the same pattern. Technology takes care of everything so nothing needs to be learned. Just click your mouse.

Is technology bad? No. People are bad. They’re bad machines. And they’re built that way in the factories.

(momentary naked butt)

Posted in Blogging Matters, Character, education, food, Health, Health Care, Personal Responsibility, Philosophy, politically correct, Politically Incorrect, politics, society | 1 Comment »

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