[FoRK] Dunning-Kruger effect discriminatory environs

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Thu Feb 27 23:40:13 PST 2014

On 2/27/14, 10:18 PM, Ken Meltsner wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 11:41 PM, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
>> ...
>>> harder to wean most corporate IT staff off of Windows.
>> Full featured?  Windows is not that at all from my point of view. Windows
>> is an uneven mess of hacks with a kind of pretty facade, like an Olde West
>> town.  A freshly installed Windows computer has little behind the facade
>> and it's work to add much; especially true for development.
> Don't get me wrong:  I don't like Windows at so many levels -- and any time
> I start to change my mind, they find a new way to screw things up (e.g. a
> console line length limit in PowerShell, breaking XML elements and text at
> convenient fixed intervals..).  But they do have extraordinarily loyal
> users and programmers, and I can't help but think there's something more
> there than Stockholm Syndrome.

If Windows / Office / VS is all that someone has ever used, then they are typically going to be very invested in it.  It is comfort, 
normalcy, no-effort status quo, and comfortably backed by what is apparently the biggest player.  In many fields, such as banking / 
finance, there seems to be nothing but Windows, so peer pressure and Windows-only IT departments (a self-fulfilling cycle) are 

I didn't include this before, but it is exactly the kind of momentum + circular logic that causes the lemming effect so strongly:
> Michael Martinez <http://visualstudiomagazine.com/blogs/data-driver/2014/02/microsoft-haters.aspx#> . 13 hours ago 
> <http://visualstudiomagazine.com/blogs/data-driver/2014/02/microsoft-haters.aspx#comment-1263291820>
> I've provided for my family for over 12 years as a professional developer with Microsoft technologies, so I am VERY grateful for 
> the family of products throughout the years.
> Development with Microsoft tools is a COHESIVE and RELIABLE experience. Alternative development experiences have been pretty 
> unappealing and disorganized.
> So even with all the complaints we hear, some of which may be valid, I am certain many have become reasonably prosperous using 
> Microsoft tools. So lets give some thanks.
> Thanks Microsoft. My wife and kids thank you too! And so does my bank account,

Trying to point out the flaws and unacceptable shortcomings is a Groundhog Day exercise.  Windows-only people usually have a strong 
DK effect about their ability to argue rationally for one over the other as they generally have about zero knowledge of any 
alternative approach.  Most people seem to take the attitude that they have all the education they are ever expecting to need, and 
that includes learning how to use a computer.  They simply refuse to learn anything else; hence the flip-out about Windows 8.  Never 
mind that most people know fewer than a dozen or two things about the OS which they could map in a very short time.  I think a lot 
of it is the IT "professionals" supporting all of those shallow computer users steer people toward Microsoft products (which they 
often make fees on and get consistent support work for) and may only know Microsoft products.  The shallow users live in fear of not 
getting help when they need it or hitting some mysterious roadblock.  Apple has done a bit to combat this on the desktop and 
completely obliterated it for mobile, while Google has made it a non-issue for Android and Chromebooks.  The latter is on the edge 
of being generally compelling: A magically connected (Drive etc.) computer that needs no maintenance at all other than auto-update 
and fixing broken hardware.

> Ken

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