Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4633 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Goodbye to suse and why not stay, The Linux Wall
  • From: Randall R Schulz <rschulz@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2006 11:16:06 -0800
  • Message-id: <200612251116.06778.rschulz@xxxxxxxxx>
On Monday 25 December 2006 07:19, Mathias Homann wrote:
> ...
>
> Now, imagine an internet where all users know what they're doing...

How much do you know about the fabrication and / or the internal
function of these ordinary things or systems:

- Automobiles
- Farms
- Food production
- Medicine
- Bridges, Buildings and Towers
- Highways
- Printing
- Telecommunications
- Shoes
- Electric Power
- Potable Water
- Sanitation
- Fuel
- and on and on and on and on...

Hell, the lowly bicycle is now a high-tech device! The same is true for
very many objects and infrastructural elements.


If you happen to have access to The Science Channel
(<http://science.discovery.com/>), check out a program called "How it's
Made"
(<http://science.discovery.com/fansites/howitsmade/howitsmade.html>)
and you'll realize that specialization of knowledge in
fabricating "ordinary, everyday" objects and consumables has reached an
astonishing level. At least 99% of the things we take for granted as
well as a whole lot of stuff we don't even know is involved in
providing our comfortable everyday life are things about which most of
us know next to nothing.

What do you suppose would happen if some sort of plague wiped out one in
every ten humans? Could we go on as we live now, or would it imply so
much loss of working knowledge that we'd be set back a hundred years or
more?


The point is, that it is _not_ up to users to posses in-depth knowledge
of a technology they're using. They cannot be ignorant of the
consequences of those technologies, lest we end up...oh, I don't know,
rendering the planet uninhabitable...but every little detail should not
be the responsibility of a technology consumer. That's the engineer's
job.

It's a sad fact that right now computing is so immature and yet so
undeniably useful that people have adopted it far and wide, often
unwittingly exposing themselves to all manner of risk and hazard. If
the risk took the form of computers exploding, we'd never tolerate the
risk, but the abstractness of the medium of information and computation
leads people to wander into realms that can do them and others real
harm.


Shame on us! (By which I mean us programmers and software developers!)


> bye,
> MH


Randall Schulz
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