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TorgoX (1933)

TorgoX
  sburkeNO@SPAMcpan.org
http://search.cpan.org/~sburke/

"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Wednesday November 28, 2001
10:29 PM

scenius

[ #1412 ]
Dear log,

Two weeks ago, I kvetched to my doctor about my, er, overactive brain chemistry, and she prescribed paroxetine ("Paxil"/"Seroxat"). I'm a week into the 20mg per day dose, and it's amazing the good that normal stable brain chemistry can do; I can actually think straight now, and relax; I'm even getting high scores at Tempest, without grinding my teeth. And while Pod::* is still obviously appalling, I can imagine viable solutions which don't involve acid, lye, and having to dig graves in the desert.

I admit that I was apprehensive that the paroxetine would remove whatever drive compels me to write free software, but I think that that was just an irrational application of the prevalent "crazed genius" cliché, the idea that to be clever, you have to be off-kilter -- at least being irresponsible, and at most being tormented and raving mad. Of course, that's nonsense, both for art, and for programming.

In fact, not only does individual cleverness not depend on being daffy (quite the contrary), but I think that collective cleverness does not depend on individual cleverness. While many people involved in Perl are brilliant, I think the goodness of the language comes not mainly from genius (any one grand epiphany of Larry's), but from the collective "scenius", as Eno called it ("scene" + "genius"), which we see as CPAN -- without which Perl would just be a (duly) glorified Icon.

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