Ten Commandments 2.0

posted 27 July 2002

Once upon a time, some weird guy on a mountain got inspired while watching a brush fire, and wrote a list of ten commandments that, when followed, made life a lot easier and more reliable for everyone concerned. They were really popular back then, but it's been 2000 years since then, and it's high time for a sequel. Hence:

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR LIVING IN THE 21ST CENTURY

  1. Thou shalt own a computer
    Lame excuses about not being able to understand how they work do not apply. Cost is likewise not an issue; second-hand systems are cheaper than a night out. You worked out how to drive a car, this is MUCH simpler and far less likely to be fatal. No restrictions on operating system, once you have at least one.
  2. Thou shalt obtain Internet access
    Nobody ever put off wiring up their houses for electricity. There's a new essential utility out there, go get it.
  3. Thou shalt regularly check thy e-mail
    You don't have to be a web junkie, you don't have to spend your whole life on ICQ and IRC or webchat. But check your e-mail at least once a day, the same way you check if you have snail mail.
  4. Thou shalt not blindly accept stories from a single source
    Every possible thing you might want to know will always be available from at least three sources on the same medium and at least one other medium, be it television, radio, the 'Net, newspapers, word-of-mouth or carrier pigeon. If you use only one source, then see commandment 5.
  5. Thou shalt not pass on unsubstantiated rumors
    Not even if you are promised, luck, love, money, or are threatened with having your account deleted / your hard drive erased / your brain rewired to think you're a cat.
  6. Honor thy techie
    Techies are sacred and should not be abused or taken for granted. If not for your techie, then you would still be back at commandment three, trying to remember your user name and password.
  7. Thou shalt not presume to blame your technology
    If a piece of technology works for most people and fails to work for you, Occam's razor suggests that the source of the error is YOU, not the technology. Refer to commandment 8.
  8. Thou shalt read the instructions FIRST
    Honoring your techie is fine. Bothering your techie unnecessarily is not. Before using up the sacred time of your techie, read the manual, or failing that, the help file.
  9. Thou shalt not worship false techies (or There is no one true techie)
    Just because somebody claims technical expertise does not necessarily mean that they have it. Look for concrete results from your techies.
  10. Thou shalt maintain realistic expectations
    You do not expect a plumber to understand car care just because both fields involve metal. Just because a techie works with electronics does not mean that techie understands every electronic device in the universe.
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