[linux-elitists] Re: GNOME > you

Jeremy Hankins nowan@nowan.org
Wed Dec 31 14:40:40 PST 2003

Jeff Waugh <jdub@perkypants.org> writes:

> It turns out, that coders and productive geeks actually care more
> about what they're doing than how they're doing it - just like those
> "normal" people.  But they can only reach that point by dipping their
> toes in the water. That is what we want to see happen with
> GNOME. Right now, you're hooked on all the "how I do it" stuff, but
> with a taste of the usability kool-aid, and the realisation that you
> just want to get shit done, suddenly it all starts to make
> sense. You're treating the computer the same way your Mum does. Great.

This is (honestly) a fascinating argument to make, and I'd love to hear
you substantiate it.  I.e., why do you believe people (normal or
otherwise) distinguish between how they do something and what they're
doing?  I'd assumed that statements about caring what you're doing
rather than how you do it was just rhetoric, as I'm unable to make sense
of the statement in a rational way.  But based on this I'm guessing that
it's actually part of your position.

My position, just for the record, is that the two ideas are
indistinguishable.  One can distinguish what we do (the practical) from
why (goals, or the theoretical), but how & what are actually the same
thing when the what refers to actions taken.  As an example, try
distinguishing between this message (the what) and the words I used to
compose it (the how).

Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333  9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03

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