Ignorance Arrogance or Autism

I had the pleasure of attending a technical talk the other night at the Morgan Stanley building down by the docklands. Or at least it was pleasurable when I was able to hear the speakers. Let me elaborate.
Lets for arguments sake say that you went to a talk by one of the following:

witten.gifEdward Whitten. One of the smartest guys on the planet. His brain generates so much heat they run a heat exchanger around his head. This runs a 2 Mega Watt steam turbine.

don.gifDonald Knuth Intel are experimenting with Knuth’s DNA in order to grow their next generation chips.

Would you take along your laptop. Some of you probably would. Would you plug it in? Possibly, you might want to record the talk. Would you type while they are talking. I wouldn’t, it’s pig ignorant. You might not know it but some of us want to hear them speak. The tapping on the keyboard is distracting.
Perhaps you’ve already had the pleasure a talk by Donald Knuth. We’d all be dying to ask him a question. I know I would. Some of us would be itching to stick our hands in the air and grab his attention. Should we talk to your mates or interrupt him with some witticism’s only you find funny. I think bloody not!
So why the hell do some people think its ok to inflict us with this crap when the speaker is not someone famous. These people took their time to do the talk and I was there to listen to it. I don’t want to hear the audience unless it’s relevant. If you really want to tap on your keyboard leave the room. If you have to interrupt make sure its something worthwhile or wait to the end of the talk or talk to the speaker after it. I am convinced that an awful lot of people in IT have Autism or Aspergers but don’t know it.
So, I ask, is it ignorance, Arrogance or Autism?

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