Joe Nocera, embarrassment.

A picture named coffeeCup.gifJoe Nocera, columnist for the NY Times, has waved the technological white flag of surrender on behalf of his generation.

In a recent column he said: “I acknowledge I’m at the age where I’m losing the battle to keep up with technology.”

That’s such crap. This is a columnist at the NY Times? He’s willing himself into obsolescence. My own opinion — if he’s too lazy or stupid to get with technology, which today is incredibly dumbed-down and easy to learn — then they should get a person Nocera’s age who’s not so quick to give up on themselves. This guy is taking up space and using it for no good purpose. And it’s not as if the Times lacks for such willful ignorance among its columnists. It’s all over the op-ed page.

My recommendation for the Times is that they send Nocera to remedial tech boot camp. Find him a tutor who will tell him how Twitter works. Show him how to take a picture with his smartphone. Show him how to install the Instagram app. In a couple of weeks, he’ll see how ridiculous the idea that, at age 61, you can’t get on board with the latest mobile technology. It’s designed for idiots who can’t be bothered to read docs, for crying out loud.

And by the way, no columns about the boot camp while you’re in the boot camp.

PS: An even better idea. Get someone Nocera’s age who has lived a life in tech, who loves it, and empathizes, and can explain it. There are lots of us. The Times is doing its readers a disservice by telling them a 61-year-old can’t understand the arc of tech. Go the other way. Set the expectation that they can.

PPS: Get Diane Rehm to explain it to you. Once a guest on her show said her listeners were too ignorant to understand the First Amendment. She got livid. My listeners are the smartest, most informed people in the world, she said.

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About Dave Winer

Dave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.
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