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SpeakersToMachines

Different folks have different talents. Some are astoundingly articulate: ask one a simple question about a random topic, and you'll get back a fascinating dissertation. (John McPhee comes to mind as an archetypal member of this category; see his books about oranges, geology, fishing, ....) Others, just as intelligent, can do amazing stuff but can't for the life of them explain how. Some people can volunteer to "rustle up a bit of grub" and turn an almost-bare larder into a cordon bleu meal. Others can't boil water without spoiling it. Some seem to have an innate sense of direction; others could get lost in their own back yards. And so forth.

The rise of technology has revealed a new species: humanoid-shaped creatures with an unnatural affinity for gadgets. It's easy to recognize them. They instinctively find their way through the twistiest voicemail mazes. Their computer systems are always customized to the Nth degree; they can perform any data transformation with a minimum number of keystrokes or mouse clicks. And their digital clocks never flash "12:00".

These individuals have a reputation for obnoxious helpfulness on any complex software problem. They're great to have around when a crash has erased a day's worth of your work --- but they're a burr under the saddle when you want to get a job done and they insist on demonstrating dozens of shortcut alternative paths. Enough already --- get back to your home planet!


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(correlates: HippocraticHardships, SemiAstrophysicist, ClusteringAlgorithms, ...)