Re: When you really need to create a screen (WAS: Cursors! Foiled again.)

Subject: Re: When you really need to create a screen (WAS: Cursors! Foiled again.)
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2001 10:12:12 -0800

Jo Baer wrote:

> Here's another thought: not everyone is a Renaissance person. There's nothing
> wrong with that. Some people write very well, but shouldn't be allowed to design
> a user interface or to be involved in product design at all. Some people prefer
> writing above all else and that's the reason they took jobs as technical writers
> in the first place. Should we look down on these people because they're "just
> writers"? A big issue on this list seems to be that others don't value what we
> do; lets not further that attitude.

I don't look down on people because they are just writers. But I do
think that many people settle for far less than they could. As a
result, they make themselves unhappy, and, often, others around

Moreover, it's a waste of talent. Technical writing is a very
diverse field, and I'm convinced that most people who can survive in
it have above average intelligence and skills. Maybe it's the
residual teacher in me, but I can't stand seeing people settling for
less than they could be (ok, maybe I sound like an army recruiter,
but that is how I feel). I understand that some people have mental
obstacles or distracting personal situations, but I still don't like
see anyone wallowing in mediocrity.

And the mediocrity I have in mind, I should point out, is not
settling for writing. So far as I'm concerned, writing is the most
fun that anyone can have by themselves. What I'm referring to is
writing combined with an attitude that the work doesn't need to be
any better than needed for sign-off. When people stick to writing
AND have this attitude, then they really have only themselves to
blame if others look down on them. Why shouldn't non-writers despise
them when their behaviour shows that they despise themselves by
selling themselves short?

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"Rationality itself, tied to moral decency - the most powerful joint
instrument for good that our planet has ever known."
-Stephen J. Gould, Introduction, "Why People Believe Weird Things"

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