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   Author  Topic: virus: Fw: QWERTY Foolishness  (Read 4127 times)
simul
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virus: Fw: QWERTY Foolishness
« on: 2004-12-12 03:57:06 »
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My letter was published in Metro.  The article was about Qwerty keyboards.  People use the example of a Qwerty keyboard to show how inferior products become entrenched, and how capitalist systems fail to find optimal solutions.  The journalist tried out a Dvorak and, since he didn't think it was any good, said that he “proved” that free markets were fine.

------Original Message------
To: Metro newspaper
Sent: Nov 29, 2004 6:00 AM
Subject: QWERTY Foolishness

This article illustrates clearly the inability of consumers, and Ben Sommer, to make intelligent decisions due to market dominance.  It takes years to learn to type comfortably on either a Qwerty or Dvorak keyboard.  It's easier to use the keyboard you're familiar with. Ben Sommer's investigation is entirely nonscientific, irrational and is typical of poor journalism. 

People, like Ben, grow accustomed to inferior and ineffective products, and be thereby unable to rationally evaluate competing products. 

The concept of a “free market” is an attractive myth.  All markets, including government-regulated, anarchic, and so-called “free” ones, will, provably, produce popular, entrenched products that are far from optimal.

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First, read Bruce Sterling's "Distraction", and then read http://electionmethods.org.
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RE: virus: Fw: QWERTY Foolishness
« Reply #1 on: 2004-12-18 02:42:14 »
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a couple other travesties that should be pursued:

failure to convert to the metric system.  living abroad, it took me less
than a year to become entirely comfortable with all aspects of it...and i
found it extremely refreshing.

why dont we use government regulations and subsidizing (for the transition
only) to force producers of "settling products" such as coffee, cereals,
particulate stuff in general to "pre-settle" them prior to packaging and
shipping.  imagine how much empty space we ship to and fro all over the
world!??  how much does this cost in fuel, road damage, pollution, waste,
etc.??

open a can of coffee and it's about 30% empty...a bag of potato chips maybe
55% empty(post settling)...so the trucks and boats and planes carrying these
things are essentially 30% + empty!!!  how can this be justified?



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----Original Message Follows----
From: "Erik Aronesty" <erik@zoneedit.com>
Reply-To: virus@lucifer.com
To: "Church of Virus" <virus@lucifer.com>
Subject: virus: Fw: QWERTY Foolishness
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 08:57:06 +0000 GMT

My letter was published in Metro.  The article was about Qwerty keyboards. 
People use the example of a Qwerty keyboard to show how inferior products
become entrenched, and how capitalist systems fail to find optimal
solutions.  The journalist tried out a Dvorak and, since he didn't think it
was any good, said that he “proved” that free markets were fine.

------Original Message------
To: Metro newspaper
Sent: Nov 29, 2004 6:00 AM
Subject: QWERTY Foolishness

This article illustrates clearly the inability of consumers, and Ben Sommer,
to make intelligent decisions due to market dominance.  It takes years to
learn to type comfortably on either a Qwerty or Dvorak keyboard.  It's
easier to use the keyboard you're familiar with. Ben Sommer's investigation
is entirely nonscientific, irrational and is typical of poor journalism.

People, like Ben, grow accustomed to inferior and ineffective products, and
be thereby unable to rationally evaluate competing products.

The concept of a “free market” is an attractive myth.  All markets,
including government-regulated, anarchic, and so-called “free” ones, will,
provably, produce popular, entrenched products that are far from optimal.

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<http://www.lucifer.com/cgi-bin/virus-l>


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Re: virus: Fw: QWERTY Foolishness
« Reply #2 on: 2004-12-19 01:35:24 »
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If I remember correctly, Jared Diamond talked a bit about the Dvorak keyboard in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book Guns, Germs, and Steel.  Apparently, someone experienced with typing on a Dvorak keyboard can type up to twice as fast as someone who’s just as experienced with a QWERTY keyboard.  Although it would take a couple years to really master it—especially for those of us who have been typing on QWERTY keyboards for over twenty years—I wonder how much time a person could save over their lifetime by making the switch.

Here’s the layout for the Dvorak keyboard for anyone who’s curious:

    http://www.mwbrooks.com/dvorak/layout.html

And here’s the preferred pronunciation of Dvorak:

    http://sominfo.syr.edu/facstaff/dvorak/narativ2.html

I just assumed it was pronounced the same way as the composer Antonin Dvorák’s name is pronounced, but apparently the Dvorak family prefers the American pronunciation, without the zh sound.  (I would imagine their parents and grandparents just got tired of correcting the nine out of ten Americans who mispronounced it, and they eventually just gave up: “Fine, it’s pronounced d-VOR-ak.  Whatever.  Wankers.”)

_____________

Erik Aronesty <erik@zoneedit.com> wrote:
My letter was published in Metro. The article was about Qwerty keyboards. People use the example of a Qwerty keyboard to show how inferior products become entrenched, and how capitalist systems fail to find optimal solutions. The journalist tried out a Dvorak and, since he didn't think it was any good, said that he “proved” that free markets were fine.

------Original Message------
To: Metro newspaper
Sent: Nov 29, 2004 6:00 AM
Subject: QWERTY Foolishness

This article illustrates clearly the inability of consumers, and Ben Sommer, to make intelligent decisions due to market dominance. It takes years to learn to type comfortably on either a Qwerty or Dvorak keyboard. It's easier to use the keyboard you're familiar with. Ben Sommer's investigation is entirely nonscientific, irrational and is typical of poor journalism.

People, like Ben, grow accustomed to inferior and ineffective products, and be thereby unable to rationally evaluate competing products.

The concept of a “free market” is an attractive myth. All markets, including government-regulated, anarchic, and so-called “free” ones, will, provably, produce popular, entrenched products that are far from optimal.
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Re:virus: Fw: QWERTY Foolishness
« Reply #3 on: 2004-12-19 12:53:11 »
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Quote from: simul on 2004-12-12 03:57:06   

The concept of a “free market” is an attractive myth.  All markets, including government-regulated, anarchic, and so-called “free” ones, will, provably, produce popular, entrenched products that are far from optimal.

Just out of curiousity, where did you get the idea that a free market will provably produce sub-optimal products given that you claim it is a myth?
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David Lucifer
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RE: virus: Fw: QWERTY Foolishness
« Reply #4 on: 2004-12-19 12:58:39 »
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Quote from: DrSebby on 2004-12-18 02:42:14   

why dont we use government regulations and subsidizing (for the transition
only) to force producers of "settling products" such as coffee, cereals,
particulate stuff in general to "pre-settle" them prior to packaging and
shipping.  imagine how much empty space we ship to and fro all over the
world!??  how much does this cost in fuel, road damage, pollution, waste,
etc.??

I agree that opening packages that are mostly empty is annoying, but shipping empty space has got to cost less in terms of fuel, road damage, pollution, waste etc. Transportation companies that can reduce costs by maximizing weight sent in a trip do just that (have you seen how much stuff they can pack into a moving truck for a cross-country trip?)
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Re: virus: Fw: QWERTY Foolishness
« Reply #5 on: 2004-12-19 17:56:25 »
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Re: virus: Fw: QWERTY Foolishness
« Reply #6 on: 2004-12-20 16:11:53 »
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: Just out of curiousity, where did
: you get the idea that a free
: market will provably produce sub-
: optimal products given that you
: claim it is a myth?

How could a free market produce a sub-optimal product when “free markets” are mythical in the first place? 

I never had that idea.

If this mythical market existed than it may or may not produce optimal products.  It's unknowable.

This brings me to a corrollary:

People who fight for free markets are just like people who fight for God.  They are (?knowingly or unknowingly?) fighting for a myth in order to futher their own self-interests.

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First, read Bruce Sterling's "Distraction", and then read http://electionmethods.org.
David Lucifer
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Re: virus: Fw: QWERTY Foolishness
« Reply #7 on: 2004-12-21 11:20:14 »
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Erik Aronesty wrote:

>How could a free market produce a sub-optimal product when “free markets” are mythical in the first place? 
>
>I never had that idea.
>
>If this mythical market existed than it may or may not produce optimal products.  It's unknowable.

>
OK, I guess you didn't mean it when you said "All markets, including
government-regulated, anarchic, and so-called “free” ones, will,
provably, produce popular, entrenched products that are far from optimal."

>This brings me to a corrollary:
>
>People who fight for free markets are just like people who fight for God.  They are (?knowingly or unknowingly?) fighting for a myth in order to futher their own self-interests.
>
Really? Do you say the same thing about people that fight for
rationality, truth, justice, empathy, or any other mythical ideal?
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simul
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Re: virus: Fw: QWERTY Foolishness
« Reply #8 on: 2004-12-21 14:06:52 »
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> OK, I guess you didn't mean it
> when you said "All markets,
> including government-regulated,
> anarchic, and so-called “free”
> ones, will, provably, produce
> popular, entrenched products
> that are far from optimal."

I meant that.

My use of the phrase “so called” and my scare-quotes around the word “free” were intended to imply that any markets labeled as such were mislabeled.

: Really? Do you say the same thing
: about people that fight for
: rationality, truth, justice,
: empathy, or any other mythical
: ideal?

I'm certain a good portion of the cruel and unusual crimes organized and perpetrated have been in the name of truth, justice, and many many other mythical ideals.

Although I can't think of a time that a politician or preacher used “empathy” as a banner to wave...
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Re: virus: Fw: QWERTY Foolishness
« Reply #9 on: 2004-12-22 00:12:52 »
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Erik Aronesty wrote:

>My use of the phrase “so called” and my scare-quotes around the word “free” were intended to imply that any markets labeled as such were mislabeled.
>
OK, I guess we all agree that non-free markets are sub-optimal.

>I'm certain a good portion of the cruel and unusual crimes organized and perpetrated have been in the name of truth, justice, and many many other mythical ideals.

>
I'm certain you're right about that but I'm not certain what we are
supposed to conclude from that observation.


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simul
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Re: virus: Fw: QWERTY Foolishness
« Reply #10 on: 2004-12-22 12:58:06 »
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: : that any markets labeled as such
: : were mislabeled.

: OK, I guess we all agree that non-
: free markets are sub-optimal.

Yes, and all markets are non-free and therefore are sub-optimal.

> I'm certain you're right about
> that but I'm not certain what we
> are supposed to conclude from
> that observation.

Latching on to any one ideology - even so-called “rationality” is done at the expense of our own mental freedom to make choices based on our own experience and knowledge.  Taken to an extreme, ideologies of nearly any nature are used to get people to commit acts that would otherwise violate their own best interests or their own perception of justice/correctness.  Often this is done in the name of the “greater good”.

In other words, ideology of any kind, even this one, is manipulative.

IMHO, it is generally manipulative in the favor of the one espousing it.

For example, I'm mixed-race, nonreligious, and am, generally, someone who doesn't “join” things. I don't benefit from ideologies, since they tend to aggregate people into clusters that have more collective power than I have individually and can undermine my ability to use my creativity and intelligence - which  have worked hard to develop.

As such, I have a personal interest in ideology-busting.
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First, read Bruce Sterling's "Distraction", and then read http://electionmethods.org.
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