This is a response to a now nuked write-up by one of our valued e2ers in which a repugnant attack was mounted against those who have chosen to not be technical. While that write-up is gone, the point I was making remains as important as ever.
Yes, there was a time in which we geeks didn't have to deal
with all of those lusers. There was a time when computing
was pure, unsullied by the hands of the huddled masses.
There was a time when these tools were the exclusive domain
of several dozen spoiled, upper-class preppies-gone-bad at
places like MIT, Stanford, and CMU.
Thankfully, those times have passed.
Now, every day, several thousand more people get the opportunity
to interact with this device that has changed every aspect of my
life for the better. It's not just me who has the ability to reach
out and shape the world of software I inhabit--now it's my mom, my
wife, and my daughter.
Now, every day, several thousand more people who
before had to be content with finding ideas and talking to people within
their own pathetic realm of physical contact are suddenly being exposed
to ideas, people, and cultures they never even imagined existed. Given
a chance, people have finally demonstrated that they aren't happy being
spoon-fed their external stimuli by television mass-marketers--they'd
far rather be swapping mp3s with Napster or flaming the hell out of
someone on Usenet or Slashdot.
Now, every day, there is less of a chance that we are leaving a
Newton or Einstein class mind mired in the cycle of poverty
and despair that engulfs our third world. With every new copy
of Windows 2000, with every download of the linux kernel,
with every new dial-up internet account or cybercafe we increase
the odds that we will catch these geographically unfortunate geniuses
and harness their minds for the benefit of all.
Now, every day, a blind woman can read the morning news with
a text-to-speech rendering browser without having to wait for her
husband or her friend to read her the paper. A deaf person, equipped
with a computer-controlled hearing aid, can listen to a baseball game.
A stroke victim, participating in the latest in direct neural interface
experiments, can say "Hi!" to his wife for the first time in 5 years.
My world is a far nicer place to live than yours.
ObOnTopicPartOfWriteUp: I don't feel that I was born in the wrong time,
and I'm fairly certain I qualify as a geek.