Frustration Friday: How Things Work

Okay, does anyone understand how things actually work?

Sure, I posted about this before. One of the reasons I love watching MythBusters, Dirty Jobs, Bizarre Foods, and other shows like that is I learned a lot about how the world functions. Okay, stuff also gets blown up and people eat spiders, but the shows are also educational. I understand how people eat, how people work, and how water heaters are set up so you can't kill yourself without definite effort.

But I get the impression, in the end, a lot of people don't know how things work, and thus make incredibly stupid decisions politically, economically, and career–wise. And you know what? There's no bloody excuse for this!

Between good television, mediocre television, the endless amount of books available online and off-line and on electronic devices, and the entire freaking Internet most people have no excuse not know how the world works. The information is out there as long as you look, don't take what other people tell you for granted, and actually ask questions.

Yet I see a lot of easily–corrected ignorance.  It's enough to boil my blood and write a Frustration Friday about.

You've seen people made stupid decisions about nutrition when the information is clearly out there on what they should be eating. You've seen people spout out ignorant gibberish about the financial meltdown, when 10 minutes on the Internet could give them a better idea of what's going on. The information is out there, and people have to use, should use it, and in some cases won'tsurvive if they don't understand.

That, is where we professional geeks come in. We love information, we love learning, we would watch a show where people blew up bizarre food as part of their dirty job (I know I would).  As long as we work to correct our own ignorance, we have resources we can share with other people and help them correct theirs.

Scary thought, isn't it? We, the people with extensive collections of Star Wars action figures and anime wall hangings, are in many ways the most in touch with reality. I think our love of information, of knowledge, of cool stuff, and of how things work gives us a great strength.

So remember not everyone appreciates geekery or has unlocked their information-starved geek side yet.  So share that information of how the world works, point out those resources.

Maybe, as more people learn how the world works, we can go back to rearranging that action figure collection or those wall hangings.

Steven Savage