The following 2 gripes with humanity actually stem from things I’ve seen on Terry’s blog.
The first is the phenomenon of the following reasoning: If I can’t see it, it doesn’t happen.
There are people who, despite appearing to acknowledge the depth and breadth of human experience, are nonetheless happy to declare that a certain phenomenon doesn’t exist unless they’ve encountered it first-hand. I think Terry can relate to this as he spends a lot of internet hours battling with people who insists that no-one scans QR codes. As a matter of fact, lots of people do scan QR codes, and Terry has got a load of statistics on it, but he still gets boorish types insisting that because they, nor any of their friends have ever scanned QR codes, then no one does.
I have my own example. A while ago I went on a truly awful Women’s Career Progression course, which included a woman who was a very active feminist in the 70s speaking about how younger women weren’t politically minded any more. “We used to go on marches and sit in cafés and talk about women’s rights” she said. “No one does that now.” I was already feeling pretty pugnacious at this stage, and so I stuck up my hand and asked “Excuse me, have you not heard of the internet?” She conceded the point with more grace than I’d made it, so credit to her for that, but I was still rather baffled as to how an intelligent educated woman had managed to make the mental leap from ‘I can’t see this happening with my own eyes’ to ‘This doesn’t happen.’
The other thing I have seen recently is that if a group of people fight for a range of issues the easiest to understand and/or most controversial element will be the only thing some people will acknowledge.
Again this is a gripe borrowed from reading Terry’s blog and ensuing comments. Terry is a member of the Open Rights Group, and an outspoken advocate of digital freedom. He writes about the issues surrounding digital control quite a lot. Issues. Plural. As in more than one. Yet someone always seems to make a comment reducing everything ORG does to fighting for the right to illegally download content off the internet.
I don’t know if this is because piracy is somehow easier to grasp, or because it seems like a more contentious topic, but there are plenty of people who hear ‘Digital Rights’ and immediately think this is just about teenagers sharing music over the web.
It must be nice to live in such a simple world. Perhaps everything looks like it is drawn in crayon.