Levels of Genius
I've just added an RSS feed to this blog. Now, for most people this would just be a matter of ticking a box and the RSS logo will magically appear on their blog.
For me the process was a little bit more involved. This blog runs on my own Content Management System, so I had to write the code myself. This got me to thinking about how easy some people have it and that there is a whole hierarchy of knowledge in all matters technical. Take for example the process of adding a few numbers together.
Level 1 - Ordinary user - grabs a calculator and adds up the numbers
Level 2 - Internet savvy user - types the numbers into Google and lets it do the calculations (saving the effort of finding a calculator)
Level 3 - Old school user - does the calculation in their head, with all the inevitable brain strain and possibility for error that entails
Then there are the people that understand the technology and the maths behind the pocket calculator (there is a certain amount of overlap between some of these levels)
Level 1 tech-head - understands how to do calculations in binary
Level 2 tech-head - capable of writing the code to make a calculator work, including scanning the keypad and driving the display
Level 3 tech-head - the compiler and assembler writers that turn the code written by your fairly intelligent level 2 tech-head into code that directly runs on the calculator processor
Level 4 tech-head - can design the electronics that a calculator uses (not necessarily a pocket one)
Level 5 tech-head - integrated circuit designer providing the components for the people in the tier below them
Level 6 physicist - understands the atomic building blocks and can come up with new types of integrated circuits
So, next time you think you have been particularly clever think about those that are smarter than you. It's not just about tech though, creativity is always to be admired too. I, by the way, am a level 4 tech-head. To the integrated circuit designers and physicists, I salute you.