Dissing the Mildly Competent

I’m mildly competent at a number of things. [“Mildly competent: can do pretty much all basic stuff, a fair number of midlevel tasks, but not an expert.”]

For example, I’m mildly competent at putting a web page together. I’m no pro, for sure, and my sense of design is about what you’d expect from a guy who thinks two different reds count as matching when he wears them, but I can write basic HTML, do tables manually, even edit CSS when required.

But the new WordPress block editor has defeated me. It refuses to let me customize beyond a basic level. WordPress used to be highly customizable with a bit of HTML knowledge. You could align pieces of the page where you wanted them. Set background colors. In short, design a usable page.

All of that is gone with the new editor, which is designed to “save us from ourselves.” Well, I don’t desire to be saved, dammit.

Meanwhile, the old editor isn’t even installed. (Yes, I know I can install it separately. I’m mildly competent, remember?) And I like the idea of blocks that will look good on a phone as well as on that old out-of-date thing known as a real computer monitor with room to display stuff.

But… I can’t change the background color of the way these posts show up on the home page? Really?

It’s not just WordPress that thinks up new ways to dis the mildly competent.

Microsoft has removed features from OneNote and PowerPoint. The latter, for example, used to have a very powerful graphics editor with which the mildly competent presenter could do amazing things. But oh, no, they’ve got to save me from myself. And so they removed it.

You’d think they wanted me to buy Photoshop. Which Microsoft doesn’t make. Nor do they make a functional competitor to Photoshop.

Go figure.

OneNote too has fewer features than it used to. Because…. Well, I don’t know because. Are we as a species getting stupider? (Okay, yeah, maybe it seems that way. But still, there must be more than a few of us mildly competent folks out there.)

Maybe Martin should make five-string guitars, since less than mildly competent players might get confused by having more strings than fingers. Or maybe doors should not have locks, because the less than mildly competent among us might get locked out. Or voting should be hard, because otherwise the less-than-mildly-competent might vote. (Okay, that last may defeat my whole argument here, but I had to bring it up. Just sayin’, Georgia.)


I was going to go for a walk, but there’s no sun today. I guess Someone thought we’d be better off if we weren’t given all those useless options. Just cloud cover. Much simpler.