The Cognitive Style of Unix

“One of the most deeply held beliefs in the culture of *nix (and
everything that springs from it) is that the steep learning curve
pays off. Yes, the tools seem cryptic and “hard-to-use”, with
hardly any crutches for the beginner. But if you stick with it and
keep learning you will be rewarded. When you grok the power of
economical command lines, composability and extensibility, you’re
glad you didn’t run back to the arms of the GUI on the first day.
It was worth it.

“There is another belief that goes deeper, and it is the reason
that after decades of existence and millions of
newbie-suffering-hours, the learning curve has not become any
easier, or gone away. That belief is: the learning curve has value,
it is essential for learning, and it needs to be preserved, not
whittled away in the name of “ease-of-use.” 1

“I recently came across some research which rigorously backs up
this line of thinking.”

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