in post

Buying Nadella a coffee

Our association director yesterday asked me to look into purchasing new non-profit sector licenses for MS Office 365. These go for only $3 a month per user, but that's still not an inconsiderable amount for us.

I pointed out that it's almost 20 years now since I've used Microsoft products and that all my work is accomplished with FOSS programs. She responded that she's used those programs too but that in her estimation "they aren't good enough for people lacking in computer skills".

When we opened our office in the early 1990s, it was Bob and me, in our mid-30s, and Coral, in her late 70s, and we were all teaching ourselves to use WordPerfect under MS DOS. Then we made the transition to MS Word under Windows 3.1, so we had to learn how to use a mouse, which was especially tricky for Coral, as old people have trouble with their eye-hand coordination. But she managed quite well, and was able to continue working successfully until she had a stroke at about the age of 87. After a while she began speaking again, but permanently lost her ability to use a computer.

So I'm wondering if there has perhaps been a decline in the average intelligence of workers nowadays, or whether it's just our expectation of what they will be able to learn?