'An illiterate disgrace': Richard Dawkins writes scathing review of Amazon instruction manual
It’s not just people labouring under the “God delusion” who provoke the ire of Professor Richard Dawkins. The outspoken atheist has launched a furious rant at Amazon over an instruction manual he described as an “illiterate disgrace”.
The evolutionary biologist, who once described The Bible as a “chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents”, posted a scathing customer review of another fallible guide to human behaviour - the instructions accompanying his $31.19 purchase, “AmazonBasics USB 2.0 8x DVD Writer External Optical Drive (Black).”
The “appallingly bad” manual was a “disgrace, and alone is enough to merit the minimum possible number of stars,” Dawkins wrote.
Urging Amazon to “please hire somebody who knows how to write at least ONE human language, to write your instruction manuals,” in a Tweet linking to his review, Prof Dawkins began by dissecting the exhortation to “Terminate software program used on optional drive.”
“Well, which do you mean, ‘optical’ or ‘optional’?,” wrote Dawkins, famed for his visceral disagreements with those who expound religious faith.
“It might seem obvious that ‘optional’ is a misprint for ‘optical’, but since it is distinctly puzzling how the new purchaser is expected to know HOW to remove a DRIVE from the computer (does it perhaps mean remove any old disks that might be IN the internal optical drive?) one is left wondering whether it really is a misprint after all.”
After checking the various international translations in the booklet, Dawkins writes: “I suspect that NONE of them is correct when they tell us to remove the entire optical READER.
“I suspect that they really meant to tell us to remove any DISKS that might be in the internal reader. I genuinely don’t know, however, what this ludicrously ambiguous instruction is really telling me to do, and am only thankful that the device itself appears to work, nevertheless.”
He continued: “But that’s not the end of it.” An instruction to “Terminate software progam” added to the confusion. “I looked at the screen capture picture, which is supposed to show you how to do this. The reproduction of the picture in the booklet is so poor as to be impossible to read.
“This is not a problem with my eyesight, for I scanned it at very high resolution, in order to try to read it, and it is indeed COMPLETELY illegible.”
“It is quite clear that whoever wrote the booklet never even LOOKED at it before sending it to press,” he complained.
Dawkins’ did not take kindly to the IT clever-clogs who told him how simple to use his Optical Drive was. “Startled by snarling hostility of those telling me to ‘Plug & Play’. Yes, that’s what I did, going AGAINST the manual,” he Tweeted.
According to the Amazon webpage, “132 of 142 people found the following review helpful”, including one respondent, named Edmund Blackadder, who wrote: “That’s a shame as I was gonna buy one of these, I don't think I'll bother now :-( ”.
It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959
Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
...and the perfect time to visit them
Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result
Life & Style blogs
iPhone 6 review: bigger, thinner, faster, brighter - Apple proves you can make the best better
iPhone 6 Plus review: more like a small iPad that makes calls - but perfect for some
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
More women now play video games than men
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
- 1 iPhone 6 review: bigger, thinner, faster, brighter - Apple proves you can make the best better
- 2 Sports Direct security guard allegedly banned Jewish schoolboys and told them: 'No Jews, no Jews'
- 3 Watch a man race the Circle line - and win
- 4 Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
- 5 Kanye West halts concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client, a glob...
£20000 - £25000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...