Thursday, February 01, 2007

Ignorance is bliss

I just finished reading a rather refreshing article by Paul De Palma entitled The Software Wars. In the article, De Palma brings to light a number of key issues that programmers and software engineers face on a daily basis. Although the article is more than eight years old it is currently as applicable as ever. De Palma states, “something unique to software, especially new software: no experts exist in the sense that we might speak to an expert machinist, a master electrician, or an experienced civil engineer. There are only those who are relatively less ignorant.” Ditto.

Likewise, I propose that in the world of instructional technology no experts exist, only those who are relatively less ignorant. Wasn’t Socrates famous for saying that wisdom is related to an awareness of ones own ignorance? I know that I wallow in my own ignorance on a daily basis when dealing with technology, as do many of my contemporaries. Does this make us wise? Regardless of the answer, De Palma concludes the article eloquently with “Most people are shocked when they learn that their computer requires more care than, say, their refrigerator. Yet I can tell you that its charms are immeasurably richer.” As a tech lover and amateur instructional technologist, I concur. The charms of technology, specifically instructional technology, are immeasurably richer than you can imagine. Ignorance is bliss!

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