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> Plus, you would have to give these unwashed masses access to the systems.

This is unfortunately the kind of thinking I see with people I know who are tasked with system administration. They take pride in their work, setting up infrastructure to run unnoticed in the background, but I've noticed a tendency to simplify the job to extreme by making sure said infrastructure can't really be used. After all, if no one uses your system, they won't break it and you won't have to fix it. Users, instead of being customers, become adversaries.

I don't know anyone who does that on purpose, but I see the tendency to go there unconsciously. Restrict this, limit that, block everything. Principle of least privilege. It all makes sense from security POV, but when applied internally, users have to fight with support to just get their job done. I especially dislike this when it's happening in the educational context (schools, universities, hackerspaces) - computer systems there should serve as opportunities to tinker, learn and explore. Strict limitations significantly hinder usefulness of the infrastructure while saving only little work for admins.




Exactly. I have yet to deal with an IT organization[1] that does not have at least some level of adversarial relationship with its userbase. The level of adversarial behavior seems to be directly proportional to the computer knowledge of the user, as well. It is much better to be completely ignorant, or feign such, than to think you know what you are doing.

[1] IT groups that aren't large enough to be organizations, say 0.5 - 3 people, don't seem to have this issue as often or as badly.




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