Re: : ...impersonating a technical writer...

Subject: Re: : ...impersonating a technical writer...
From: Sandra Law <sandra -at- qmaster -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 10:15:38 -0600

"Jason A. Czekalski" wrote:

> Jim Hager <hhager -at- dttus -dot- com> wrote:
> << I've long ago determined that we (tech writers and everybody else in the
> computer business) are all flying by the seat of out pants. We are all trying
> to figure it out as we go along. We are all impersonating experts.>>
> Well said. I agree with entire post. The high-tech industry is the
> biggest bunch of BS artists on Earth. They have developed the SWAG
> (scientific wild-a__ed guess) Principle to a level never attained
> before.

Thank you for saying the words - those being 'BS artists'. It frequently feels
as if all the hype about computers supercedes the reality, which is, that
software, hardware and the latest and greatest whatsit are churned out as
rapidly as possible, with sometimes minimal consideration for need (consumer
demand) or quality.

I realize that specialized knowledge is required in any field, but more than a
few times conversations I have been a party to or have overheard (jam packed
with buzz words and technospeak) resemble voodoo or magical incantations more
than rational speech. I started out my professional life conducting biological
research and frankly the pretentions of computer science sometimes seem
lunatic. Yes, there is testing (concern with reproducibility of result), and
amazing and fun things can come out of the mix (computer animation), but
frankly, there is life and 'real science' beyond computer science. And often
there seems little 'science' in computer science.

All science involves a great deal of trail and error (stumbling in the dark,
with varying degrees of background knowledge), but computer science is so tied
to commerce now (as are so many of the human genome projects, I realize), that I
don't think it has the right to its pretentions to being a 'science', in many
cases. However, most pretentions excel the actual abilities of their
possessors, so ....

I guess you could say that I have been sales pitched out. And the sales pitches
of the IT industry, like most, have come to sound, more than a little, like

Sandra Law

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