Intellectual Laziness

Intellectual laziness is simply not doing your own research. You want others to do it for you because you can’t be bothered to — um — read.

Plan to read and do research for at least two hours a day — usually more.

The reason this exists is because few people properly budget the time to understand and learn what they are doing. There is very little time to read, study, debate, and ultimately keep up with all the new information. It is tough thing to manage one’s mental resources but doing so is critically essential to any technologist.

Unfortunately you will encounter this a lot. Usually it is the person next to you who comes into your cubicle to ask questions that can be searched in ten seconds.

Do not allow yourself to be a victim of others’ laziness, lack of vision, focus, and drive. Don’t be mean. Just don’t enable them.

💢 Few things anger me — and most good technologists — more than intellectual laziness. Sites like Let Me Google That For You exist because of it.


Because it is intensely rude to expect someone else to do what you could do for yourself — especially when I and others have invested so much of our own time preparing resources for you to use.

“Oh, I don’t have time to read your emails, or your site,” one mother laughed.

I actually added much to specifically placate her repeated “concerns” about what was going on with her own child’s learning and changes to schedules.

She was totally and completely clueless and had no actual desire to become un-clueless. In fact, she laughed at the notion that she should take some responsibility to understanding what was going on in her child’s life. She wanted a personal conversation for 30+ minutes a week. My time didn’t matter to her, after all, I’m only a teacher.

Needless to say she didn’t last long.

I confess I felt a great deal of “no soup for you” satisfaction kicking her out. I was so glad to be rid of her, but I always feel so bad for the amazing kid that lost the opportunity because of this ridiculously bad mother.

Later I randomly ran into an administrator from another school who identified her immediately just from my ranting description over beers with our spouses.

This woman’s laziness and reputation had worked drastically against the interests of her children. She either didn’t realize it, or didn’t care.

Don’t be her, or any of the millions of others like her.