Friday, July 28, 2006

Happy Sysadmin Appreciation Day – the Perfect New Class Holiday

Thanks to Russell Smith's suggestion in an earlier discussion of New Class culture, I have been visiting the Boing Boing site, which I commend to you. Last night they posted this wonderful notice:
In a few minutes, it will be July 28th on the West Coast, marking the start of national Sysadmin Appreciation Day. This is a fine idea. Sysadmins are the secret masters of the world, the tireless workers in the data-centers who quietly keep the Internet and its constituent PCs up and running. Sysadmins get more off-hour phone-calls than surgeons; for that matter, a good sysadmin is better to have around than a surgeon.
Here is the sensibility of what Avrom Fleishman thinks is the core of the New Class in a perfect gem of an example. Consider these markers:

• Being precisely conscious of time zones, and expecting that readers may come from any place and time zone.

• Comparing sysadmins with the high status job of the old technology, surgeon.

• Measuring how essential a job is by the number of off-hour phone calls it gets.

• No snark or ambivalence – unlike, say, President of the United States, this job really matters.

• And, of course, assuming that all readers will know what a sysadmin is.

A new class culture is being assembled all around us. It is fun, as well as rich sociology, to chart it as it rises.

3 comments:

Denis Hancock said...

You got that right. As a sysadmin and db administrator for many years, it's nice to be appreciated, even if it's just when things are going badly. (hmmm... it seems like there is a metaphor in there somewhere...)

Russell Smith said...

Thanks for checking out boingboing -- sometimes strange, often irreverent, occasionally offensive -- but never boring.

I wonder if you might do a post on a Top ten links for cultural exegesis? Maybe even make it a meme for the Presbybloggers ring?

Gruntled said...

I have been thinking about a student project for next summer on knowledge class humor. We might call it "Onion Camp."