RE: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?

Subject: RE: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?
From: "Leonard C. Porrello" <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com>
To: "Al Geist" <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>, "john rosberg" <john_rosberg -at- hotmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 08:51:59 -0700

Ahhh, but would you know how to make the lumber (studs, plywood, and
pressboard) you need to build a house? How about drywall? Could you make
your own plaster? If so, where would you get the materials? How about
mining the ore for the nails and making the nails? Could you mine your
own copper for the wire, drill for the oil required to make its plastic
insulation, make the plastic insulation, and then apply it to the wire?
What about windows? How good are you at making window panes? And we
mustn't forget plumbing. Mine any ore and make any pipes from it lately?
Could you cast an iron sink and bathtub? How about weaving carpets
and/or rugs?

Along similar lines, I wonder how many of things in Heinlein list he
himself could do. Program a computer? I doubt it. Plan an invasion? Yea
right. And while I enjoyed his science fiction, I'm not sure he could
have written a decent Sonnet had his life depended on it. I've read just
about everything he's written, and nothing comes to mind.

I think I am starting to see Sharon's point.

Leonard

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- c
om] On Behalf Of Al Geist
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 6:41 AM
To: 'john rosberg'; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?

John Rosberg wrote:

"...without meaning to offend, I've always found the "I can't believe
everyone doesn't know what I know" conversations to be just a little
smug,
and perhaps inappropriately elitist."

Normally, I would agree with you John, except I do know everything. I am
not
smug, nor am I an elitist. I've built houses, so I know plumbing. My Dad
was
a journeyman electrician, so I go to know where power came from and what
to
do with it at an early age. I grew up on a farm, so I got to learn
everything from welding to shoveling manure as part of life. Am I
different?
Yep. You're right in that there are a lot of people that don't know
where
that hamburger they just crammed down their gullet came from, or where
the
water from their kitchen faucet comes from. Then, in most cases, they
don't
have to. All societies, from the first to now, had individuals that
specialized in something so everyone didn't have to know everything.
Society
is a living, breathing entities. Just as we have heart muscles, brain
matter, and fingernails, society has plumbers, electricians, computer
geeks,
and rocket scientists. Those of us that have had the opportunity to
learn
many different crafts may not be the norm, and most of us don't go
around
being an elitist. We just have the ability to jump in an help a lot more
people when they ask.

I also believe it helps us be better technical writers, because it helps
us
understand the audiences better. Most of us are geeks. A lot of what we
generate is read by non-geeks.

Al Geist
Technical Communicator, Help, Web Design, Video, Photography
Office/Msg: 802-872-9190
Cell: 802-578-3964
E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com
Website: www.geistassociates.com
See Also:
Fine Art Photography
Website: www.geistarts.com

"...I walked to work, quit my job, and kept walking. Better to be a
pilgrim
without a destination, I figured, than to cross the wrong threshold each
day." (Sy Safransky)

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Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?: From: john rosberg
RE: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?: From: Al Geist

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