[RANT] Really annoying posts
richmondmathewson at gmail.com
Mon Feb 23 19:48:06 CET 2015
On 23/02/15 12:57, FlexibleLearning.com wrote:
> We are, I know, a forgiving lot and my apologies if this offends, but please
> don't waste everyone's time asking about something that you can frankly do
> yourself. It says more about your attitude to others than anything else.
> Bad: "Can I reference a png file?"
> Means: I'm too lazy to try it, so just tell me.
> Good: "I tried to reference a png file but it is not being displayed. Why?"
> Bad: "Can I use a variable to store an array?"
> Means: I've not read the manual or looked anything up, and it's easier if I
> get you to do it.
> Good: "Why can I not see an array I put in a variable?"
> Bad: "Is the measureWidth the same as the formattedWidth?"
> Means: I can't be bothered to do a simple comparison.
> Good: "Why is the measureWidth default value not the same as the
> I appreciate that many on this list do not speak English as a first
> language, but don't ask others to do your thinking for you.
> Hugh Senior
RANT of major proportions follows: tune out if you are ONLY interested
in being spoon-fed recipes for programming.
But one should bear in mind, Mr Senior that we both are fairly senior
and the world has changed;
and MOST of the younger generation want "IT" now with as little effort
as possible . . .
About 11 years ago I "did" an "M.Sc." in Computers and I.T. at the
"University" of Abertay in Dundee, Scotland.
No, I have not gone bonkers; those quotation marks are there for a very
1. The lectures consisted of stuff at the same level as I was taught at
school when I was 13-14!
2. In the lab sessions (i.e. all of the students in front of machines
running Windows 2000), I ended up
spoon-feeding 4 students (who had got first-class honours degrees
from Abertay in their BA degrees)
who had the following problems:
2.1. 2 of them did not understand English fully ( they spoke the Dundee
dialect of Scots = Scots heavily informed by 14th century Flemish).
2.2. None of them seemed able to perform elementary multiplication
without a calculator [ e.g. 2100 * 24 ].
2.3. None of them could get their heads [ = pea-sized brains ] round the
very simple logic of a IF . . . THEN loop.
When I gave these kids (average age 21) an example they were unable to
transfer the logic from that to the actual exercise
the "lecturer" [ who did not, in the wonderful phrase, "know her arse
from her tit" ] had given us.
In fact, when I had completed the exercise (Visual Basic 5), the
lecturer said to me: "Well it works but I don't understand why
as you did it in a different way from the way I told you." To which I
replied; "Thon's a glaikit quaen qha disnae jalouse qhat
thon's harns are fae." At which point I was hauled before the University
disciplinary committee and I pointed out to them that
I had been a lecturer at the University of St. Andrews and my
qualifications were far better than those of the lecturer, and, indeed,
she was a stupid sumph. They loved me almost as much as I despised them.
It never ceases to surprise me that I ended up
with my toilet-paper diploma from that place considering how many
run-ins I had with them!
'Tother day, in my school, a wee girl (14 years old) asks me, "What does
'weasel' mean?" To which I replied, "The dictionaries
are over there on the shelf." To which she responds, "Oh, but that's
difficult." To which I reply, "Get up aff yer bahookie and
shift it!" Which of course she did not understand (which, all things
considered may not be a bad thing) as she is learning English
and not gutter Scots.
Everything has been dumbed down . . . including computer programming . .
. including companies who
advertise their programming suites giving the impression one can develop
clones of World of Warcraft,
Microsoft Excel and Sibelius without using one's harns (that's Scots for
brains) at all . . .
I had a "bad patch" after I dropped out of University because Biology
and Chemistry was just not my thing. I spent about a year
with my bum on a tractor ploughing, and when not doing that I was
shearing or working with cows. During that time I taught
myself Sanskrit . . . on an island with nothing beyond a book of
Sanskrit texts, a "Teach Yourself" book, and a Sanskrit-English
dictionary. Guess how I did that! Hard bl**dy slog, hard bl**dy slog,
and hard bl**dy slog. I also learnt a fair few farming skills,
as well as reading my way through all the extant works of Plato and
Xenophon. Anybody who wants to question that should go
and spend 12-18 months on an island with a load of people who are "not
one's intellectual equals" [ U.S. readers substitute
'rednecks' at this point ] and cast about for any type of 'mental food'
whatsoever - bashing up telephone boxes and having conversations
with cows palls pretty quickly.
But today very few young people know what hard bl**dy slog it, or, even
if they do, are prepared to put that effort in.
That is why, when people ask questions that I can answer on either the
Use-List or the Forums [ 'Fora' ???? ] I reply
with a working example, and IF those questioners are so blastedly lazy
that they cannot work from my code to what they
want then they can, as my Fantastic Father always says, "Go and boil
their heids." [ heids = Scots for "heads" ].
I will change the nappies [ 'diapers' ] of any one under 2 years old;
after that you can clean your own bum.
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