Sunday, December 27, 2009

YAPCA

So Andy and I have had several discussions lately, and as you would probably predict, we end up using the same argument to make the same point in multiple discussions. So we started naming them. Hey, it made sense at the time, and in fact, its a handy shortcut. For example in our discussions regarding the Verizon early termination fee, I used both the Dvorak Keyboard argument as well as the Star Trek argument.

So here is the first “Yet Another PaulC Argument”, the first one that I will document is the “dvorak keyboard” argument, and it goes like this:
Two years ago I switched to the Dvorak keyboard, I no longer use a QWERTY keyboard layout. There are many stories out on the interwebs about how the QWERTY keyboard came to be, but the fact is that its inefficient, regardless of how it came to be. For example, with your fingers in the home position on a QWERTY keyboard you can type 300 words, on a Dvorak keyboard you can type an astounding 5,000 words without moving your fingers off of the home keys. Turns out that its pretty easy to switch your keyboard layout, so I switched. Dvorak is superior in every way, and since I switched my hands no longer hurt from typing and I can type even faster. OK, here’s the punch line: I already know how to type QWERTY at about 80 words per minute, so why switch to Dvorak? Because the QWERTY layout is so inefficient and stupid that it offends me.

So the Dvorak Argument is basically that inferior technology is offensive to point that it may actually need to be shunned. But of course it can also be applied to non tech issues.

For example, Andy and I were discussing cell phones (get ready for it Jim) and I applied the Dvorak Argument to the iPhone. Is the iPhone a great phone? Almost certainly. Will I ever buy one? No. Its a closed system, it can’t multitask, the screen resolution is low, etc. So while its an acceptable phone, these technical issues (which many people just don’t care about) are enough to make me not want to use it. So rather than go through the entire justification, I just called the Dvorak Argument shortcut. 

An example of a non technical discussion was the Smart Car. The U.S. version of the smart car is a tiny, slow, expensive car that gets 43 mpg, the EU version gets 69 mpg. Yes, the EU version gets 26 more miles per gallon. Why? Because its a turbo diesel. The Volkswagon TDI gets 50 mpg and its a real, full sized car that costs the same as a “Smart Car”. So, I won’t buy a smart car; Dvorak Argument.

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