Personal determinism is not a single idea but the general attitude that if you weren't born able to do something, you can never learn to.

Critiquing this attitude is cliche, except that most of the people who critique it in various forms actually embrace it in many of its other forms. Here are some examples of it that are widely embraced and which I seldom hear criticized (at least seldom for the right reasons):

I would honestly compare being unable to use a computer fluently in this era to being unable to read 50-100 years ago. Computers are the pinnacle of technology. Computers are the only invention whose fundamental idea is being able to program it to automate arbitrary tasks. The only piece of technology that isn't just a tool to accomplish a specific task, but a general-purpose tool. Computers are the only general-purpose invention that's ever been invented. Well, maybe electricity. But everyone knows how to operate a light switch and beyond that there's not much to know about using it. I'm not arguing we all need to know how to build computers. They're not going away; they're only going to become more essential to our lives. In just the last few decades computers have gone from being too expensive for individuals to afford to being so proliferated that most of us in America carry one in our pocket everywhere we go that can understand voice commands. If you're under 60 and live in America or a similar country and you think you don't need to learn to use a computer, you're fooling yourself.

This page was last modified 2020 May 08, Friday, 00:56 (UTC)