Saturday, January 19, 2013

Oh, My Adorable Brain!

I'm usually sympathetic to stories about idiots. But not this one.

"When typing a password, XX% of users start all over at the beginning if they make a mistake." Is this supposed to show us that they're too stupid to drop into their password three characters along? Or that they are such creatures of habit that they don't know their passwords except as an entire routine? Are we supposed to feel superior because we don't have to do this, or feel like, "Oh, I'm such a nerd!" because we do do this?

Here's the thing about passwords: they don't display on the screen. When you've made a mistake, you don't know which of the black circles is the mistake. My finger went to press "P" and landed off the side; did it press "P" and "open bracket," or maybe "dash," or maybe all three? Despite how adorable it might seem, starting over is not the result of quirkiness, but the result of rationality. The fastest solution is to start from the beginning. But fewer people want to hump the rational; compare the ratings of New Girl and Charlie Rose.

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