Thu 14 Aug 2003
"If you need this, you shouldn't be using it. Period."
Category : Commentary/sooloo.txt
A guy called sooloo left the above comment at the Sendmail Enabler page at the versiontracker site.
It left me pondering the truth of his statement. (Let's leave his "A Really Dumb Idea" aside because it doesn't add much value to this discussion).
Unless he means that making sendmail work out-of-the-box in OS X is quite a snap (which would be easy enough to dispute), I think he probably means that if you haven't taken the trouble to build up enough technological knowledge of your own, then you shouldn't even dream of being in a position to benefit from the technology. Conversely, if you do have the technological prowess, then you shouldn't even need a tool like Sendmail Enabler.
There may be other ways of interpreting it, but this is really just an excuse for me to launch into an idea I had been thinking about these last few days.
It's about leverage and the compression of time.
As soon as we get something difficult done, we ought to cast our minds backwards to see if we can find a pattern in the process. If so, we ought to re-organise the steps into a system, so that we can do it better, faster, and smarter in the future. This is the basis of progress. For all time.
This, in a nutshell, is the struggle that pits the Mac culture against the prevailing IT/MIS mentality. The IT guys want to luxuriate in the technical complexities; while the Mac guys just want to hit one button and get with it.
Where does that leave the guys like me, who do luxuriate in the technicalities. I believe that the IT guys have got it wrong. I believe that life is too short to worry about looking like wimps. The more complexity we take out of life, the better life is going to be.
It's funny. Just this morning I was corresponding with a Sendmail Enabler user, Stephan Riess, and he had a quote from Antoine de Saint Exupery in his signature line :