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Journal southpolesammy's Journal: Slashdot user knowledge is very exclusive

Slashdotters need to realize just how few people actually understand technology. There is a great propensity of people here to assume that everyone knows what they're talking about and would share the same opinions of technology or related topics -- that assumption is completely faulty. In fact, I would venture that only 1 in 1000 people actually understand or care about technology to any significant degree.

For example, the requisite knowledge required to understand an Intel errata statement for a CPU buglist can likely only be gained either by taking a university-level course, such as Ohio State's CSE 675 Intro to Computer Architecture [] class, or by doing some very highly directed self-study. Given that the class is offered 4x/year with an average class size of 25 students, then roughly 100 students/year gain that knowledge. Let's also assume that 50% forget that knowledge within 5 years, so over the course of those 5 years, 250 people become capable of reading those errata.

OSU's Columbus campus enrollment is roughly 51,000/yr and yearly turnover is about 10,000/yr due to graduation and withdrawal. Therefore, over 5 years, approximately 100,000 students will have had the opportunity at taking that class and retaining the knowledge.

So, simple math tells us that only 0.25% of a college-level population will obtain and retain the requisite skills. Now extrapolate that figure across the the general population that doesn't attend college, which is roughly 60% in the US, and you get a final percentage of about 0.1% overall that can read and understand the Intel errata, and even that may be a stretch, IMHO.

Bottom line -- Slashdotters need to realize that very few people overall understand technology, and even fewer care. We need to keep this in mind when making broad, generalistic statements about topics such as Linux adoption, security concerns, and so forth. Average Joe doesn't care about computers and probably never will -- he simply wants it to work. Please don't fall subject to thinking that just because you want something to work correctly, that everyone else will follow suit.

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Slashdot user knowledge is very exclusive

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