Wednesday, November 28, 2007

drop the superiority complex

I know, easier said than done, and I fall into this more than I should...

Neither career nor talents grant anyone the authority to degrade everyone else. On a website aimed toward computer technology professionals but on a non-tech topic, I just read an ugly comment stating (in different words) the unlikelihood of a previous commenter having anything valuable to say to "people who think for a living". I'm not surprised or bothered by attacks on basic credibility; disagreement without acrimony would be the real anomaly. What makes me cringe are the haughty assumptions behind the statement:
  1. People who work on computer technology think for a living.
  2. Others, like the statement's victim, don't think for a living.
  3. "Thinking for a living" is a qualification for having worthy opinions to express.
I won't deny that strong aptitude for logical/analytical thought, as used by people to successfully work with computer technology, is rather atypical. I won't deny that deep knowledge in a particular subject domain such as computer technology allows that person to not be as easily confused by casual problems in that domain. I even won't deny that the requisite intellectual capability should be an important factor in decisions for career and education.

However, people who don't fall into those categories can still make coherent, valid points. They may be smart, clever, and accomplished. Their problem-solving skills and ingenuity may be impressive. They may have a wealth of skills for human interaction (which would be foolish not to learn from). The striking creativity they may exhibit is partly why they want PCs at all. "Thinking for a living", as opposed to dumb repetitive labor like ditch-digging, encompasses many options beside working with computer technology.

I know people who either can't do my chosen career, or don't want to. That doesn't make them inferior. After all, the fact that I may not be able to succeed in their careers, or want to, doesn't make me inferior to them...

No comments:

Post a Comment