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This is a question Ignorance

I once was in a programming class where the task was "build a calculator". A student did one with buttons 1, 2, 3 all the way up to about 25 and then ran out of space on the screen. We've asked this before but liked it so much we're asking again: What's the best example of ignorance you've encountered?

(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 12:30)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

A Pearoast Of A Pearoast
So this will be the third time I've told this story on here....

At one company I worked at there was a huge, high-profile, project that involved employing dozens of programmers from an out-sourcing company. Well, I say programmers but I actually mean people-pulled-off-the-street-and-poured-into-suits. To my jaundiced eye these "programmers" seemed to have very little programming skills and a breath-taking lack of knowledge of IT in general. So it was up to me to educate them.

"Hey Legless" squeaked one of the masses "What does TCP/IP actually stand for?"

Bear in mind that this was a web project they were working on. A web programmer didn't know what the very bones of the Internet stood for.

"That'll be Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Pixies" I lied smoothly.

He looked suspicious.

"Internet Pixies" he asked looking puzzeled

"Yup. You see the fathers of the Internet were a bunch of hippies so would name things out of Tolkien or from Dungeons And Dragons. I mean, you've heard of Unix Daemons? - Systems processes on Unix boxes? Well the Pixies carry the messages to the Daemons. It all makes a kind of weird sense when you think about it"

I was warming to my theme now.

"Then there's a bunch of other Pixies on the internet. Your dial up modem uses PPP doesn't it?"

He nodded.

"Well that's Pixie to Pixie Protocol. Then there's your mail - POP3. That's Post Office Pixie. I could go on but that's the meat of it. Pixies run the Internet."

He was nodding now and smiling.

"You know, it does all make sense. Can't wait to tell the other guys about this. We've been wondering about it for a while." says Mr Gullible.

And off he trotted.

(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 11:00, 4 replies)
There are so many...
...The lady who tried to use her pc mouse by picking it up and rolling it on her face
...The developer who destroyed his PC by removing the memory whilst it was still running.
...The Server team Manager, brought in from another team, whos' IT training extended to using a pocket calculator.
...The salesperson who called helpdesk, furious that his laptop had stopped working after driving over it in his car.
...the security manager who infected his own team with a couple of trojans.
Do I wish I were joking? you bet... We used to call these "UTS issues; "User Too Stupid".
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 10:55, 3 replies)
This really happened.
I've been driven in 4 wheel drive cars most of my childhood - kinda a necessity in Zambia.

About 11 years ago I bought MY first fourby (4x4=4 by 4=fourby) - a Toyota Landcruiser FJ60 (I forget the year). Something like this with aluminum bull-bar and runner boards for $4000.

It was a beauty, dualfuel on autogas and petrol. Very cheap for such a lumbering beast.

Now. I had never driven my own car before when I had been fourby-ing in the past so I really didn't know much about prepping the vehicle etc.

So. My neighbour and I decided to head down to 1 of the local beaches to do some fishing. In my new fourby. On the sand.
Off we went, I drove down the ramp onto the sand no problems and then we dropped a line in and cracked a beer.

No fucking bites apart from blowies about an hour later so we packed up and jumped into the car. I put it in reverse, eased the pedal slowly and within seconds I was pretty much up to the rear axles.
Out we get and scratch our heads. Further up the beach is another bloke fishing with his teenage son. I walked up and asked them if he could give us a tow. He asked me if I had my tyres down - the lesser pressure gives the tyres more surface area on the sand. I told him yes, and then he asked if I had a pump. I looked at him quizzically and dug out the bike-tyre foot pump I had in tool chest. He managed to stifle a giggle and told me I could use his to re-pressurise my tyres once I hit bitumen.
He got his car backed up and got out his snatch-strap (fnar). Then he said these immortal, ego-crushing, "You're a n00b" inducing words -
"Have you got the wheel-locks on?"
"What wheel-locks?" I replied.

He then showed me the front wheel-locks (on "Free"), shifted them to "Lock" and told me I was good to go. He got his car out of the way and I pretty much effortlessly backed off the beach and onto the ramp.
He & his son had the decency not to laugh at me. We used his battery operated compressor to re-inflate my tyres and off we went. I offered to buy him a few beers but without laughing in my face he refused but strongly suggested that I go to a 4x4 training course.

My Father's Day presents that year were a Hanes manual for my car, a cigarette lighter sourced tyre compressor & a snatch-strap.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 10:51, 7 replies)
This question is very unfair
to those of us who have proper jobs and friends and spouses who aren't retarded. Terrible bullying of the successful. Online.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 10:50, 3 replies)
I used to live in Brazil.
in the early says, I went into a shop to buy teeshirts. I asked for some help in dodgy Portuguese and was met with a puzzled look, and directions to the chemists 2 shops along.

Camisetta = teeshirt.
Camisinha = condom.

No prize for guessing which one I had asked for.

I also once went to a shop to buy a battery charger, and managed to ask for 'one who shits himself'.

carregar = to charge
cagar = to shit
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 10:46, 2 replies)

I overheard my boss (A fucking moron of the highest order) having a conversation with a Polish girl at work about whether or not they have post cards in Poland.

Me to my boss "Why wouldn't they have post cards in Poland"

Boss "Well it's a poor country, they don't have post card in poor Country's"

Me " Of course they have post cards in Poland, Name one fucking country that's don't have post cards"

Boss "Africa"

Me "Africa's not a fucking country, but anyway why wouldn't they have post cards in Africa"

Boss "They don't have any shop's"

Me "Of course they've got shops"

Boss "No i've seen it on TV, all they do is sit about covered in flys with nothing to eat. What they should do with a this money that people collect is build them some shops."

So apparently Bob Geldoff had it all wrong, all he had to do was build a few shops.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 10:39, 5 replies)

I was sitting at work cleaning my Android phone screen, when the old woman beside me anounced her son had one of those type phones.

Me "What sort is it"

Old Woman "Don't know, but it has a button that makes a dog come out and lick the screen clean"

Me "It won't actually clean the sceen"

Old Woman "Well not on the outside"

Nice to know they've invented an app to clean the inside of your phone.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 10:16, 5 replies)
Don't know if this counts
I work for the NHS doing clinical IT system management. A couple of years ago, I got a request through to make some changes to a clinic on one of the systems I look after.

For the homeopathy service.

I expressed my dismay to my colleague that the NHS was wasting money on what amounts to giving the patient a sugar-pill, crossing your fingers and saying "please work, please work!"

Now, my colleague was not far off retirement and had been a nurse for most of his life, he was pretty much the senior nurse for the entire city. So I expected his opinion to match mine.

Instead I got a 20 minute lecture on how it works, why it works and how I'm completely wrong to believe it doesn't.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 9:29, 6 replies)
Olympic foolery
A colleague on watching an Olympic swimming event on the TV in the office -

Him - "Some of these swimmers are like fish. They ARE just fish, that's all there is to it"
Me - "Like fish?"
Him - "Yeah, some of them have webbed feet and everything".
Me - "I doubt they have webbed feet, and besides fish don't have feet"
Him - "Well, flippers then. Fish have flippers"
Me - "No - fish have fins. Seals and turtles have flippers".
Him - "Well seals are fish".
Me - "What!!?? Seals are fish???"
Him - "Well, they are a sort of fish".

It's hard to soar with the eagles when you work with turkeys.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 9:28, Reply)
Liquid Ice
Me and my girlfriend in our apartment complex swimming pool late at night...

"The water's freezing in here", she says. "It's like liquid ice."

I couldn't really fault her science...
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 8:28, 1 reply)
so I asked her
"where's your boyfriend now?"

"he's in Nigeria, I think it's in Africa"

"oh right, how does he like working there?"

"he says it's OK... he says there are a lot of black people there"

(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 8:25, Reply)
"Repeat after me; Cats Chase Mice"
"Kets chess maise" the blonde repeated, eyes rolled up in concentration.

It was the final session in a long line of pronunciation exercises I'd been doing with a foreign corporation; trying to give each of its staff individual training to improve their phone skills. This last session focused on stress, where you give a bit more power to the important words (verbs and nouns) and less power to the weaker words like pronouns and articles (of, in, a, the), so that you don't rattle off your sentences like a machine gun.

"Once again, Cats Chase Mice"

She puffed out her cheeks, rolled her eyes and forced out "Caahts Chayss Myss"

"Better. Now try this: The Cats Have Chased The Mice".


"hmmm. Remember, these little words need to be softer. Lets try a little trick".

I pick up a pen and hold it like a conductor, and invite her to do the same thing. Tapping gently on the desk, we make a little rhythm. The trick is to tap the strong words, dee-DUM dee-DUM dee-DUM, like a heartbeat, three taps in six words. "ThuCATS uvCHASED thuMICE. ThuCATS uvCHASED thuMICE." Feel free to try it yourself, dear reader.

The blonde picked up her pen, and bent her hole body over to stare at the sentence printed on the paper in front of her.


The pen flew threw the air, followed by a string of Polish expletives. "It's too deeficult!" she wailed. "How am I supposed to move my mouth and my hand at the same time?"
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 7:59, 12 replies)
A friend's wife had gone on a computer course, to learn some basic office skills
When I was round there she excitedly showed me a powerpoint presentation she'd done, explaining: "These transitions were ever so difficult, I had to get the instructor to come and show me how to do it every time I wanted to add a new page." Looking at it, it was basically a slideshow with lots and lots of transitions, so I asked why she didn't just do what she did the previous time she needed to add a transition. "Well it's easy for you, EMV," she said. "You can remember things."

I had to admit, it does confer an advantage.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 7:32, 1 reply)
There is no limit to the ignorance of people who, it seems, can be persuaded that speaker cables work better in one direction than the other, and that power leads give better sound quality when run in.

A friend of mine proudly told me that he'd just spent a few hundred ona connecting lead which was ... shock! ... Oxygen Free High Conductivity Copper. Wow. He was a little disappointed when I, doing research in copper conductors at the time, pointed out that OFHC copper is used to make all electrical conductors.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 7:24, 22 replies)
Like arguing with a wombat's arse, only thicker and will probably do much more damage to your car if you run them over.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 3:49, 3 replies)
Do politicians count?
I used to work at Uluru and was part of a team showing the Federal minister for Aboriginal Affairs around the Culture Centre. After introducing him to many of the Traditional Owners, describing the Law of the area and talking about the stories of the country (20,000 years of occupation in a desert would suggest these fellas have their shit together), he turns around to the Park Manager and asks him "So, do these people have moral laws?".

Managed to extract an apology from one of the minister's assistants who had the decency to be embarrassed. I think that minister went on to become the Duke of E's etiquette advisor.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 3:42, 1 reply)
Condo vs. Condom
Last week, a friend lamented just how miserly her singing boyfriend was, by comparing him to his fellow bandmate, a percussionist, who bought his mistress a condominium. "He's not like the drummer; he won't buy me a condom."
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 3:27, 3 replies)
The purchase of a BMW
does not exempt you from the highway code. It does not make your busy day more important than everyone in front of you.

And in fairness, if you try and barge past in a 1-series, HA-HA. You are the cheapest of self-important pricks, you don't even warrant an expensive car in whatever job you do.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 1:14, 10 replies)
I love my mate. He is an adorable idiot.
EXHIBIT 1: We arranged to meet at midday. He eventually turned up at 1pm, all pleased with himself because "I'm on time for once!". I pointed out that he was an hour late. He got upset and claimed he was on time. We argued for 5 minutes until I was able to convince him that "MID-DAY" did refer to 12pm, not 1pm, in a similar way to "MID-NIGHT" referring to 12am.

EXHIBIT 2: I was trying to explain to him that metal was a good conductor of heat. This involved trying to explain the concept of conducting. When he told me that "Steel and iron are metals, but copper isn't. Is it?", I gave up.

He's 42.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 0:31, Reply)
Somewhat like a rabbit....
My wife is German - this has presented many opportunities for both of us to play on our respective ignorance of the others cultural nuances. However, my favourite, and by far one of her most sublimely played efforts was during the very early days of our relationship.

I had gone to visit her little corner of Bavaria, a region known as the Spessart, it's a really lovely part of the world, and there was plenty to see and do during my time there.

One day we visited a nice little castle sat amidst the forest. It is known as WasserSchloss Mespelbrunn (literally water-castle Mespelbrunn) due to having an excellent moat around it. Part of that day included a tour of the castle, with its many historical weapons and stuffed deer heads in various rooms. In one particular room, the plaques were much smaller than I expected them to be, and instead of deer heads mounted on them, they appeared to have rabbit heads. Closer inspection revealed that these rabbits did in fact have antlers. Perplexed, I turned to my wife and pointed at them, cusriously enquiring as to their origin. She looked up at them, and said in an offhand way:

"Oh, they're just Wolpertingers, they're pretty common in Bavaria."

I was astounded. I'd never even heard of such wonderous little rabbit/deer hybrids! I immediately asked a bunch of questions about where we might see them, were there any tame ones? Could people keep them as pets? Wifey answered them all in that serious tone that Germans do so well (and not making the animal sound as elaborate as the wikipedia article above) and suggested that I keep an eye out for them when we had a stroll around the forest later that day.

I spend the rest of my time there trying to track down a Wolpertinger whenever we were out and about, to no avail.

Eventually, I went back to the UK and was sat catching up with my friends and family on a rare sunny Sunday afternoon. Conversation turned to my trip to Germany and I talked about how nice the trip was, where we'd gone, and the mysterious Wolpertinger.

It was the giant laughter that accompanied my all-to-serious description of the animal, including my efforts to track one down that eventually lead me to realise that I had been completely led down the garden path by my good lady. I was impressed by how well she'd played that one.

tl;dr - Germans do have a sense of humour.
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 23:29, 3 replies)
Some gems from my other half
Her: (apropos of nothing, while walking down the beach) "Do Reindeer exist?"

Me: "...Yes?"

Her: "Well... Do they fly?"

Me: "Yes".

Her: "Really?!"



Some excerpts from games of 'twenty questions':

Her: "Mineral"

(I guess various things for twenty minutes or so before admitting defeat)

Her: "It was wool"

Me: "You think wool is a mineral?"*

Her: "Well actually it was underwear"

Me: "You don't have underwear made out of wool. You just don't".

Her: "Well, actually it was cotton. Cotton is a type of wool, right?"

Me: "..."

Her: "And wool is a mineral, so..."

Me: *dies of head/wall interface problems*

(I still tease her about her granite knickers)

She also managed to stump me with 'The planet Jupiter' which she insisted, point blank, came into the "vegetable" category.

*Smartarses who mention so-called mineral wool will be exsanguinated.
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 23:05, 10 replies)
I work with some people who are lovely but display epic scales of ignorance.
Two people I know didn't realise that bought and brought were two different words.

But the classic came from one person I work with. This person is quite a lot younger than me.
I was talking to my class about the eclipse in 1999, I asked my lovely assistant if they remembered it, 'not sure' came the reply, 'I wonder if you saw it at school', I said. 'Ah no, you couldn't have done as it was in August I think'.
'Oh yeah, and the middle of the night wasn't it, my mum wouldn't let me stay up'.
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 22:45, 8 replies)
As I've mentioned before the women of Guildford are a special kind of cunt.
One day I went into the bank to use the cash points inside.
There was a bank of about 5 each labelled above them, cash, except for the last one which said cash & pay in.
There were people using each one except the last one and a queue of about 5 dreadful, stuck up, Guildford women. I looked at the last cashpoint, clearly working.
I turned to the woman at the front of the queue and said 'you know this one is working?'
She looked at me like I was completely mental and said, as if I was a complete simpleton, 'yes, but that one is cash and pay in'.

So I walked up to it, took my money out and walked away to their joint gasps of wonder.
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 22:33, 1 reply)
Don't set fire to ants, kids.
Remember the solar eclipse in 1999? I went to Cherbourg for the day to see it - out overnight, day in Cherbourg, back on the evening boat. It was an overcast day, but the clouds parted half an hour before the Big event and closed in again half an hour afterwards, so I saw the whole thing, from a hill in the middle of town with the Musée de la Liberation on it. The only downside were a few really snotty English couples showing their contempt for foreigners. As one posh woman - who arrived late - said, very loudly "I explained that they would need to get out of the way so we could have a good view, but they refused to move. Well, what can you expect - they are French, after all." It still amazes me that someone could think it appropriate to speak like that when visiting another country. Ah well.

Anyway, for those of you who haven't seen an eclipse, it gets remarkably dark remarkably quickly at totality, and then remarkably light remarkably quickly afterwards. As things came back to normal, I counted five people with video cameras (which were quite expensive in those days), including Mrs Snotty's husband, looking at them in a bemused way, tapping them, peering through the viewfinders, turning them off and on. It clearly hadn't occurred to them that while pointing a video camera at a solar eclipse was fine, pointing a video camera directly at the sun as it emerged from a solar eclipse probably wasn't so clever.

It was the looks of bafflement which really made my day, and which remain the strongest memory I have of the trip.
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 22:32, 5 replies)
The millennium
I was running round Sydney in 1999, and being British was asked by a couple of locals we had become friendly with what our opinion on the referendum on the monarchy Australia was hold was. Having been out there for a while I replied that it didn't really bother me but I was surprised about the lack of press the referendum we were holding in the UK was getting.
"What's that then?" came the enquiry
"Well, obviously it's a bit offensive to a sovereign nation to be told you are having a discussion on whether you want our queen as your head of state, so we are holding one to see if we should tell you lot to fuck off and withdraw the honour."
I got bought drinks for about a week afterwards as they totally saw my point and wanted to show there were no hard feelings. Result!
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 22:30, 1 reply)
So I did, and nothing ever happened...
I used to devour comics and magazines when I was a kid. Now and again, I'd see the words, in bold capitals, 'STOP PRESS' - so like any other small child with a blissful ignorance of printing terminology, I did. Well, at least the first couple of times until I realised that all that happened was I ended up with smears of newsprint on my fingers.

Who were they kidding anyway? What on earth could have caused the editor of the Beano or Look & Learn to run into the print room, waving his arms manically and telling them to halt the presses?

Fuck off, I'm not that stupid. Er... except obviously, I was ;o)
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 21:46, 1 reply)
Ignorant Security Guards and Photography
A while ago I was in the West End and paused to admire one of the new buildings that's gone up on St Giles High Street with a wide angle lens when this grunt came out and ordered me to stop shooting.

I told him to fuck off or call the cops, and added it's on their own website:

"Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel."


He went to check it out, and didn't see him again
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 21:40, 4 replies)
This is a byproduct of a generation brought up on point and shoot cameras
I was once wandering around with a some of my gear at work which to the untrained eye probably does look a bit far out and mental. I was actually using those guys on the right, a Canon 1Ds3 and an EF300L 2.8; the lens weighs 5.63 lbs on it's own, so shooting hand held is quite taxing, and you're generally better off using a tripod.

I couple next to me made the usual comment of how large the lens was, but were actually quite nice, so I offered her a few shots with it, given her SD card would work in the camera.

I watched her try and compose her shot, hand-held, with the LCD screen, without it even being on live-view.

After I sighed, I taught her all about what a view finder is.
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 21:14, 2 replies)
Moon landings, yeah
Who believes in that crap anymore, eh readers
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 21:03, 1 reply)
When you're involved with animals you naturally encounter a few mentalist people. There's one or two I know who think they are Doctor Dolittle's and have a special empathy with animals. We've got a pair of Amur Leopards up at the Trust who are a bit snarly when you initially approach them, in contrast to the snowies we have who are completely blissed out. The trick is to let the Amur's have their snarl, respect their space, and they calm down. It's as natural a process as that.

One of these Doctor Dolittle's administers Reiki on them and genuinely thinks this is why they might settle down. I don't know what it is about her, but they generally completely ignore her efforts and continue growling; basically telling her to go away.

(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 20:47, 2 replies)

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