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Date: 27 Nov 2010
Time: 06:17:37 -0600
For me, a perfect symbol of the promise and frustration of the internet/www is the emergence of online tutorials that promise to 'teach' software, particularly graphics, by all manner of 'experts' - from disarmingly confident primary school children, to introverted and scarcely coherent teens, to bluff mavericks from remote regions, murmuring in quaint or indecipherable accents. The results would be hilarious, if one had no genuine need of instruction, since the acute impression is of having entered some private world, or an unhappy individual's fantasies of command or authority, projected upon the kind of tedious and intricate software that could only have been devised by maths nerds, embraced by the confirmed loner. Mostly instruction is reduced to numbing triviality or abbreviation by the needs of time and thorough lack of a lesson plan. There is enormous scope for satire here. Often there is some small and devious renumeration promised to the instructor by a hosting site, regardless of qualification, which also accounts for the sheer torrent of ardent but not very helpful tutorials. There are also very 'professional' sites, where tutorials smoothly school one in some technicality essential for commercial kitsch or tawdry entertainment, but the overall impression is of a world where one pretends to knowledge, in the absence of education.