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vek (2312)

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Journal of vek (2312)

Sunday July 28, 2002
10:58 AM

Interesting Read

[ #6698 ]

Simon Cozens on "Why did I really quit Perl?".

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  • It [] all seems to boil down to "being around those Perl nitwits made me a nitwit; so now I'm going to go away and be a rebel, and I'm gonna keep it real, and people can't handle that!". A very tired Western trope. You'd think the appeal of that riff would have worn off somewhere around the billionth time it was used.

    Alternate analysis: Simon's perception of the group's nitwittery was just projection of his own latent nitwittery, possibly mixed with some amount of "those other people are trusted and listen to (and paid!), but why aren't I? That's not fair! I wish everyone would just shut up and listen to all the brilliant things I'm saying!". (For "trust", freely substitute its fightin'-words version, "cult of personality".)

    When all you've got is bile-colored glasses...

    Random idea: free psychoanalysis for Open Source programmers -- so that people can get sessions with a therapist/analyst/etc who can teach them to relate to others non-dysfunctionally, without expecting every interaction to reinforce their messiah/persecution complex.

    Universities have this, except they call it "conflict resolution" to make it less threatening. It's basically therapists who spend all their time doing damage control on all the loonies in academia. "Now, Professor Shreck, Dr Kang told me you said some very confrontational things about him in that faculty meeting, accusing him of making up his data. Is that what you said?" "Yes!" "Do you know for a fact that he is making up his data?" "I have a hunch he is!" "Just a hunch?" "What, I need more? I'm a genius!" "Oy. Now, Professor Shreck, we've talking about this before; you really can't say things like that without support. Now, I'm going to give you a special yellow pad you can write these things on before you say them, and then once they're written, you have to check off the boxes that say 'I have support for this' and 'I'm sure that this isn't just me being out of my mind and playing status games.' Can you do that for me, Professor Schreck?" Etc. etc.

    Alternate approach: free drugs. Or hell, let's just cut to the chase and make ESR a crack-head. Might be good for a larf.

  • An example and a metaphor: Why are there comments on use.perl journals? Because Perl people can't just read what other people have been up to. No, they need to jump up and have their say. They've got to yak. They need to be heard. That's the self-centered thing coming out again. Perl is full of guys in the second row. Full of them.

    What's he talking about here? I make comments on use.perl for the same reason that I write my name in the toilet water when I'm urinating - I'm bored and I don't have a life.

    • I found the comment on comments a bit odd also. If anything, it seems that enabling comments on journal entries is a sign of willingness to give others a say, which hardly implies arrogance. I suppose one could argue that it's arrogant to think anyone will want to comment on your entries, but surely that line's been crossed when you decide to put up a journal in the first place.
  • Simon has a point here. The three pillars of programmer's wisdom in the Perl community were laziness, impatience and hubris. I understand laziness and impatience. Hubris is probably a bit outdated now (except probably for really clever people that do really useful hacks -- but don't get too excited about it.) I mean, if perl 5.8.0 is a success, that's because of people running smoke tests, people writing regression tests, people managing the bug database, people hunting typos and doc glitches, and so on. No
    • That's a different kind of hubris. There's hubris for yourself and hubris for the sake of the attention of others. Three guesses as to which is the good kind...

      You are what you think.
      • That's a different kind of hubris. There's hubris for yourself and hubris for the sake of the attention of others. Three guesses as to which is the good kind...

        Hangon. That's two options and you're giving me three attempts to make the correct choice?

        I'd have to be really really Homer Simpson to lose. Even Bart would be smart enough to use "none of the above" for his third attempt. :-)