Join, don’t judge

Like many people, I like to dine in a good restaurant, where the mood is mellow, the waiter is a fine host, and the cook is passionate about good food and nice presentation. The courses are perfectly timed with your appetite, and each shiny polished plate of food contains the best looking, smelling and tasting food with the nicest textures. After desert, you get the best fresh mineral water coffee, and just sit there, satisfied, happy, in good company. The waiter discretely places the check on the table, and you happily pay whatever that check tells you to pay, and add a big tip for good measure, to show you had a great evening.

The next morning, you check your bank account and discover there is not much left. Yesterdays meal cost you a bit more than you anticipated. But the memory puts a smile on your face, and you just decide that it’s worth it.

At work you tell a colleague about your great meal in the perfect restaurant. He smiles and listens, and asks directions to this perfect restaurant. He drives to the restaurant, looks at the menu and writes down what you had. Then he goes to the supermarket and buys the ingredients for the perfect meal you had. He goes home, and tries is best to cook everything to perfection in his small 1 bedroom apartment while constantly chasing the cat from the kitchen sink. He removes yesterday’s dishes from the kitchen table, lights a candle and eats the food. After he finishes his desert he has his Senseo coffee and enjoys the sound of the dryer beeping that it’s finished.

The next morning, he comes in and tells you that you’ve been screwed. He goes on and on about how he had exactly the same meal, and maybe even more, for about 1/10th the price you payed at the restaurant. Where you had to listen to pre-selected restaurant music, he could choose his own. Where you had to wait for the waiter to bring your courses, he could just pick them from the kitchen sink at will. His meal was so much better than yours.

In fact, each time somebody asks about your wonderful dinner, he butts in to say that that restaurant is a ripoff, and how you can have a much better experience with more choice, more freedom, at only 1/10th of the cost. As soon as anybody so much as mentions this restaurant, he starts is rant all over again about how people should not go to that place. What could have been a wonderful exchange of culinary experiences turns into a holy war, where people think they should “win” a discussion, ruining it for everybody,

Luckily, in the real world there are very few people so fanatic, going to great lengths to ruin that moment in a conversation where you can tell about the great restaurant you found. Or are there?

Macbook Pro Unibody, Matte screen Dell XPS 15
Macbook Pro 15″
2GHz Intel Core i7
4GB 1333MHz DDR3
AMD Radeon HD 6490M 256 MB
250GB SSD OCZ Vertex 3
Dual layer DVD writer
1GB Ethernet
SD Cardreader
USB 2.0, Firewire 800
Dell XPS 15
2.2GHz Intel Core i7
6GB 1333MHz DDR3
NVidia GeForce GT 525M 1GB
Dual layer DVD writer
1GB Ethernet
9-in-1 Cardreader
USB 2.0

Two laptops. Roughly the same specifications. Still, one of these is almost 4 times more expensive than the other. If you’d own one of these laptops you probably enjoy the choice you’ve made, for whatever reason. You’d want to tell your colleagues about the wonderful new computer you bought, and how you enjoy working on it, how it looks, how it holds all your music, how easily it edits videos and how it plays HD movies. But most colleagues own their own laptops, and will immediately stop you in your tracks, telling you that you bought the wrong laptop because it’s too ugly, can’t play a 3D movie, is too expensive or doesn’t have that essential megatunderpurplebit connector you’ve never heard of.

Isn’t it funny how computer enthusiasts often forget that they’re taking the fun out of each other’s story by disapproving somebodies choice simply because that decision is not based on the same criterea?

Motorcycle riders are often very different in that respect. When you drive a BMW GS80  and pull up next to a Ducati Panigale, the rider will most likely smile at you. When you compliment him on his beautiful new bike, he will probably return a compliment on the pristine condition of your classic. You can exchange pleasantries about how you enjoy your bikes, without down talking the other guy’s bike. He will happily ride along with you for a few miles down a beautiful road, even though he has to make his 195hp supercomputer wait for your reliable mechanical boxer.

Motorcyclists celebrate riding regardless of sound, style or skill. Cooks celebrate food regardless of price, place or palette. Computer users could learn to celebrate computing regardless of form, function or fan noise. Smartphone users could celebrate connectivity regardless of color, coverage or cpu.

Respect is only gained by respecting others.


3 Responses to Join, don’t judge

  1. Maurice says:

    Geweldige blog weer Rolf! Goede opbouw, vermakelijk en herkenbaar.

  2. Marc says:

    Nicely put! But, which restaurant was that? 😉

    • rolfje says:

      I’d like to imagine that it was the Italian restaurant we used to visit quite often a few years ago. The owner was a true host, welcomed everybody as a friend, made you feel at home, served awesome food and let you stay as long as you wanted (no closing hours). I’m really sad he sold the place to somebody who can’t stand in his shadow. I do hope he made a lot of money and is now living in a beautiful home near his familiy in Italy. He deserves that.

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