An Embarrassment of Nerds, or when did whinging become a pastime?


It seems that I can’t get through a day without someone whinging on about how they failed an upgrade or something they tried to do failed in technology. I don’t mean to say that there aren’t bad experiences with technology – anyone who bought into Bob could likely tell you about that experience. I remember because we received tons of Bob at a local VAR only to ship it all back three days later.

I’ve recently run into issues myself such as all virtualization now failing due to the lack of proper drivers working in the kernel when virtualization products are in use. Yes, I was frustrated by this fact as it does not allow me to explore my curiosity in virtual environments or reproduce issues seamlessly in my workstation. However, I am not going to write that my frustration is anyone else’s issue. That is not the mature way to handle issues a’tall.

No, the better thing to do was to simply work with my supplier or my distribution (and hardware for that matter) System76, and begin a conversation. After all, there must be an answer to the issue, if only there is patience to find it. There is no need to demand gasoline with my hair on fire, but rather the proper course is to work with the professionals to resolve the issue calmly, cooly and with courtesy.

Having been in Support for many years, I know that you will get better service when you follow the simple rules of providing factual evidence without berating others or placing false blame over what are essentially functional gaps in technology. What benefit do you think will come from acting like a spoiled child?

Maybe it is just me, but when someone acts immature in the business world, it earns a reputation of being a bully, a whiner, or malcontent. Why some folk like to trumpet that is beyond me. There is not reason to do so if someone the other end is willing to listen and work with you as a human being. So, give the person a chance to address their mistake. If they ignore that, allows them the chance to rectify that issue. Some things may be beyond their control (oh, if only we all had a magic wand to fix everything), but as long as they are trying, I don’t see the need to berate the helpers.

What I do find telling is when there are those that will simply abuse their audience by attempting to do something with a beta or a pre-production article that isn’t ready for release and then grab a headline (clickbait) by slamming said developer for their work. That is neither fair, nor very much in the spirit of being anything more than a con. It’s a ‘hit piece’ designed in bad faith, meant to slander or sully someone for whatever emotional immaturity exists in the author. Well, we all have bad days, but we should remember that other people are doing their jobs as well.

My ask today: remember that technology is created by humans. Human beings work on same and are fallible. All technology (even AI or ML) will have mistakes because humans design it, build it and build in their perspectives. The real questions here should be, can I speak to a human, and will they listen to my inputs? If they refuse to listen, that is one thing. However, when you find a human responds, be kind. It shouldn’t be a second thought, it should be a first thought. Kindness if the source of all human progress. Aggression is the enemy of all humanity.

Thanks to the staff at System76 for all of their human kindness. They showed a perfect example of how to work cooperatively, and more companies can learn from that behavior. Maybe if the nerd journalists who prefer to whinge versus solve issues would reach out to the parties involved, we’d have more stories of success.

Now back to another day of play, where no doubt, more issues will arise. We are human and not machines.

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