If you're not reading jgc then you're missing out

If you're at all interested in the join between software and hardware then you should be following John Graham-Cumming's blog for a procession of tasty electronic, software and crypto treats. Stick him on your bookmarks list, go on; I'll wait for you. If you liked Joel Spolsky when he was still blogging regularly, you'll particularly appreciate jgc - not least because, unlike Spolsky, you don't feel a periodic urge to slap him silly. But I digress.

Striking a particular chord today he dissected an Ludditism from John Humphreys who proposed that a computer user need not appreciate how a computer worked under the hood any more than a car driver need appreciate how a car worked. Read the whole thing, but I particularly liked the following paragraph:

If you teach someone to operate a word processor (as is done in the UK's stupid ICT classes) you are not teaching them to use a computer at all. You are teaching them to use a word processor. It's a bit like teaching them to use a typewriter only this one's a bit more sophisticated. In fact, there's be far more outrage if the UK's current ICT classes were called what they actually are: secretarial skills (that's not to demean secretaries as I went to learn how to be a secretary so that I'd be able to touch type).
Discussing the UK's ICT curriculum is one of the easiest ways to make me start to foam at the mouth. jgc skewers it with this pithy characterisation.

It's just possible that Humphreys was making a sophisticated point about the incuriosity of the average driver. Given his resumé, however I suspect that would be over-charitable.

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