Dvorak vs. QWERTY

December 22, 2008

So, as many of you know I have been using the Dvorak keyboard layout for quite some time now. Although tying is far more comfortable, I have always been somewhat skeptical of the claims made about its efficiency. Therefore, I have wanted a non-biased way to see what the comparison looks like at face value. Much to my delight I found a dandy little JavaScript application that serves this very purpose!

After entering my entire Glenn Gould assignment into the applet (23 pages worth of typing) the results are clear as day. Dvorak saved a considerable amount of typing effort and, just like they claim, (almost) 70 percent of keystrokes were made on home row, as opposed to QWERTY’s mere 30 percent; and “finger walking” was reduced by almost 40 percent. Check out the stats and be amazed! (click the image to enlarge):

Now, try it out for yourself. Enter some text on your archaic QWERTY keyboard, and see how much effort you’d save if you used DV! (Remember, it only takes two weeks to switch, and you’ll be glad you did, especially if you do a lot of typing or play an instrument as Dvorak greatly reduces your risk of repetitive stress injury!)

Here is the link, it’s almost as fun as magic pen! (Well… ok, maybe that’s just me!) Dvorak/QWERTY Comparison App.


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The Idiot Test

September 27, 2008

Recently I have discovered a simple way to test whether or not somebody is an idiot in less than five minutes by means of simple conversation. There are a few simple rules to follow, but after the “test” is over, you will have a pretty good idea about the person in question. It works like this:

The Idiot Test:

Step 1) Begin a “small-talk” conversation with your subject. Choose wisely, as this topic must segue into Step 2. Good topics include affordable housing, abortion and most anything to do with philosophy or religion.

Step 2) After several minutes, present an extremely controversial opinion on the matter. You don’t have to agree with it, but you should be able support the opinion as if it were your own.

Step 3) Converse (if you can!) for several minutes.

There are three possible outcomes:

1) If you have a two-sided, intelligent discussion you have found a highly intelligent person capable of communicating effectively under stress.

2) If you experience an emotionally-charged response but still have a two-sided discussion, this implies that the subject has an attitude, but is still capable of communicating under stress. Although it can be difficult to converse with somebody who has an attitude, it should be noted that most people will try and protect their opinion if it is objected to in order to avoid experiencing cognitive dissonance. (The idea that the mind cannot truly believe conflicting ideas.)

3) If you find that the conversation is no longer a conversation at all, and is now significantly louder than when it began (i.e. continuous competitive speaking and/or yelling has occurred) then the person you are dealing with is an idiot.

Having an intellectual conversation is a “mind over matter” activity that requires restraint and creative reasoning. Idiots will always yell and scream before they stop and think. And intelligent people will always stop and think before they resort to yelling and screaming.

Try it, it works every time.