The QWERTY efect

As many things that seem random the order of the keys on the computer keyboards (at least the more popular ones in USA and Mex) is not. But against common sense it’s not made  to simplify typewriting but to make it harder.

The QWERTY keyboards are named so because  -q-, -w-, -e-, -r-, -t-, e  -y- are the firsts 6 characters of the first character row. This has been so since the mechanical type writers times. It turns out that the original typewriters keyboard layout allowed faster writing than the qwerty ones and the mechanisms of that time couldn’t keep the phase. There fore to avoid the constant jamming of type writers the qwerty layout was designed and popularized .

I believe this history encloses some valueble lessons. To begin with it teaches us to leave aside perfection and adapt to the possibilities to achieve  things. with out the qwerty layout it’s very likely that typewrites have never become popular (who like a machine that jams when it does what it is intended to do) and this would have a affected many things like science, literature, mail, etc. just think of the impact  that means writing faster and with clear and homogeneous charterers.

Never the lees the phenomena I’ll like to baptize as the qwerty effect refers to something negative and its the tendency to inherit solutions of the past as valid without reevaluate them. I’m talking about the things we do because they have always been done that way. The really valid reasons to do the qwerty layout are not applicable to the circumstances since decades ago, but most of keyboards are still qwerty. We invest millions of resources on improving PCs and millions of man hours learning to use software to be more productive but for some weird reason we still use qwerty keyboards.

This QWERTY effect that consists on attach to and take as valid solutions which circumstances or motivations are not longer  current or valid happen ant many levels, from large societies to small more defines groups and individuals. I invite you to think about the qwerty effects in your life, you’ll find that a small effort to change will bring you great benefits.



The unknown giant

On one of my eventual checkups of  http://news.netcraft.com/ I found that there where 10% less sites on the web form one moth to an other. the true was less impressive what happened is that a company hosting 10% of the sites stopped sharing it’s info.

The company is qq.com (completely unknown to me until that date). I wondered immediately who or what is qq.com? and how it grew so much with out me knowing about it?

A shot vist to qq.com answered most of thing even thought I couldn’t understand a thing on the site. Further Wikipedia search made everything even more clear.

qq.com is the maker of the Chines Messenger alternative and the sites (that mean 10% of the web) are an optional feature of this messenger.

So this expeirince reinforced some lesosns:

1.-Despite Internet and modern communication the world is stil very large and there we are very unaware of what happens in a daily basis on other parts of the world specially at the “far” east their our languages and alphabets are very different, we learn very little about their history, etc.

2.-China is the new SuperPower: Knows how to play gloably and is so big taht even thins that stay only in china can become the more or most (what everer) of the world.

3.- Instant messaging is main activity on the net cyber-surfers have more options every day but messaging is all ways a leading one and often the one at which more people spends more time.

Notice the lower-right corner the spontaneous coming and going of qq.com