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.


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."