The temptation of arrogance

I wanted to change the default alert sound for Calendar events on OSX Yosemite. I found a thread on about it. First, I was surprised to find there’s no way to customize the sound effect in the UI. Second, I was shocked to find this reply in the thread:

Let’s think about this.

This user is sincerely making the case that updating a config value in an obscure file (XCode recommended, by the way, because we don’t know the side effects) is a better solution than selecting an option from a menu in the Calendar app.

I’ve also seen this kind of arrogance in StackOverflow threads and other technical forums. When someone asks how to do something, someone replies to ask, “Why would you ever want to do that?”

It’s always¬†disappointing to me to see technical knowledge being wielded as a weapon like this. A lot of people in the tech community lack the tiny amount of discipline required to act politely toward those who know less. It casts all of us in a bad light.