Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sports Analogies Run Amok

I was just jumping through links over at Daring Fireball. I like reading Mr. Gruber's take on things. I don't get too excited when he talks nerdy, but his opinion pieces are interesting. I rarely find myself disagreeing with him because he knows the nerdy things about computers that frankly baffle me.

So anyway I clicked a link on his page to something about journalists. I think they were beating up some guy for being a tech journalist who doesn't know his ASCII from a Helvetica.

The premise of the whole thing is that a journalist who writes about a given topic should be just as knowledgeable on that topic as we expect a baseball writer to be.

I didn't really figure out John's take on it. This is partly because he didn't explicitly state his position. Also, if I knew his take on it, I might be arguing with him. I'd hate to do that because frankly I don't know what the hell I'm talking about which would make it easy for him to make me look like an idiot. If he and I worked together on it, making me look like an idiot would be pretty easy.

So, at the risk of demonstrating my own full-of-shitness on the whole thing: Who gives a rat's ass?

Tech journalists are a mixed bag. The real, honest-to-goodness, unbiased journalist is largely a myth. They're people. They are likely to be biased for any number of reasons; some honest personal preferences, some paid opinions, and somewhere in between.

Now to say that they need to be knowledgeable enough about computers to outstrip the expectations we have of the average sportswriter is setting the bar fairly low. If you can't get an honest job, have no aptitude for politics, and can't even report the weather on EyeWitness News, you have to become a sportswriter. The only remaining alternative is a cardboard sign and a bottle of Thunderbird in a paper bag.

I'm all in favor of the current system. Knowledgeable journalists might be able to make up better lies than the ones we currently deal with. Idiots say idiotic things. George Ou and Rob Enderle have popped into my head for no apparent reason, here.

These guys are Windoze apologists. They believe that Windows Media Player is just as good as iTunes. They believe Vista is just a better operating system than Tiger. It is impossible for them to make anything up that's dumber than what they believe.

I would prefer my tech journalists to remain at their current levels of knowledge. It's pretty easy to separate the wheat from the chaff. There's a lot more of the latter out there.

I would like to note here, for anyone who might accidentally end up reading this, that no actual journalism takes place on this blog. Even though I've been using Macs for twenty years, and logged on to Compuserve with Red Ryder, I don't know any more than I need for making fun of people who disagree with my ill-formed opinions.

My opinions, briefly:

Vista sucks.

Zune is crap.

Macintosh OS X is the only platform worth talking about at any length.

The only reason to EVER run Windows is that there are a few games out there that require it.

Steve Ballmer makes me nervous.

I want an iPhone.
Serious research and analysis is hard work. I already have a job to fill that need in my life. If my day job leaves me with enough energy for anything, I have a wife to catch the overflow – which generally takes the form of moving the trash out of the house and mowing our dandelion crop.

Fortunately, we have John Gruber and the Macalope to handle analysis, which I can liberally and leisurely steal for my own inane rants.

Thank you.

If I was a muppet, I think I'd like to be Oscar.