Rohit's Realm

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March 29, 2006

Condescending to the (Techno-Illiterate) Masses

Hi, my name is Rohit, and I am a closet elitist. There—I said it. Man, it feels so great to finally let that out. I know it might be hard for some of you to believe, especially since I spend so much of my time trying to conceal that fact, but it is true. And I am not just one of your garden variety I'm probably smarter than you elitists, either; oh no, I am something even worse. I am a techno-elitist.

All you hopelessly inept morons out there who found this site looking for cocaine on Google (an especially bright move, if you ask me—do you actually think drug dealers have websites, moron?) are probably wondering what the hell a techno-elitist is, right?

Well, let me ask you this: do you have that shitty ass, digital rape–aiding, good for nothing, sorry excuse for a browser known as Internet Explorer open for browsing this site? Or maybe you are one of those gargantuan idiots who actually equates that familiar blue e icon with the Internet. Tell me, are you one of those jackasses who uses some shitty Windows product and then cannot figure out why your computer is running so slow or why Bob in Eastern Europe is using your credit card? Well, then, my friend (and I use that term loosely), quite frankly, I don't care to condescend to talk to you, and more importantly, neither does my website. Or at least, it didn't, until two days ago (I still don't).

If you are indeed one of these contemptible morons still using broken technology like IE that doesn't support well-respected web standards, you might have noticed that this site used to appear incredibly distorted and broken in Internet Explorer. The only reason I know is because someone who used IE (at work, not by choice) told me last year; I don't use Internet Explorer, and I don't use Windows.1 Rather than wasting countless hours fixing a site that validates as standard XHTML/CSS like I did the last time I redesigned my site, in this iteration, I simply decided to ignore it. That's right. For nearly two and a half years, my site did not support Internet Explorer, by and large the most popular browser on the Web.

How can this be? How could I not support such a popular browser? Very easily, in fact. I don't use it. My friends don't use it. In fact, no one I know uses it, with few exceptions (sorry Garett). So, why should I care? But, Rohit, don't you think it is important to be accessible? What will Joe Sixpack think when he sees your site?

Well, I am being accessible by using standards. And as for Joe Sixpack, who gives a shit? If Joe Sixpack (or Redneck Rob, or Ditsy Daisy, or any other assclown, for that matter) wants to use some fucked up browser, well, they're going to get some fucked up result, and that's the end of it. If they think less of me for it, that is completely immaterial to me. Their credibility (and intelligence) has already been drawn into question by their choice in browser; their ill-founded and uninformed opinion does not matter. Neither do they—as people. If people are using IE, I don't really care what they see; in fact, I don't even want them to see anything at all—their audience is neither desired nor tolerated. And, that, ladies, gentlemen, and idiots of both sexes, is what is called techno-elitism.

Nevertheless, in the grand tradition of periodic condescension to the masses that all elitists are known for, I finally discovered (quite by accident) the problem causing my site to be broken in IE and worked around it. Much to my surprise, it wasn't the traditional IE bug with float and clear as I had long suspected. It turned out to be something far more inexplicable. Apparently, the text in p tags was not being properly wrapped by IE, causing the size of the column div to exceed the set width, and fall below the right column to compensate. The fix for this was using some kludge:

.left { /* left column */
  max-width: 550px; /* Firefox, et al. */
  width: expression(this.width > 550 ? 550 : true); /* IE bullshit */

Low and behold, this CSS hackery seems to have fixed the problem. Not that I really care, but why not patronize the masses from time to time, right? Maybe it will bring some minute joy to their otherwise miserable, techno-illiterate lives. Oh, and by the way, if you are still using IE to read this, rot in hell, asshole.

^ 1 I am technically forced to use Windows at work, but I have a FreeBSD VMWare image I use as often as possible to compensate.


Thanks Rohit. BTW, I started to pop my collar too.

Reading this gave me the same feeling I get after going to the bathroom after waiting in line for 20 minutes to use the bathroom at Raleighs after drinking a pitcher of Sierra Nevada.

"closet" elitist?

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