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Insular Assumptions About Intelligence

by Clovis_Sangrail (Beadle)
on Jun 11, 2012 at 18:25 UTC ( #975613=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I don't have a whole lot of occaision to use Perl. Recently I did, and I ran into some questions that I asked on this website. I wrote up the background of my problem, asked some questions, and got some good answers and interesting comments, including the following:

"Sock Puppett Alert: For someone who just 'showed up', your language hints that you have been here for a long long time."

Gee, I guess when I asked my question I sounded like I knew alot more about Perl than I was letting on? I replied that I'd never been on this website before, and don't use Perl alot.

The above comment bothered me, more than I would expect it to, and it's only recently that I've been able to articulate to myself why. Not to blow my own horn overmuch, but I think that the 'Amonymous Monk' who posted that comment was reacting to the generally well-written and at-least-sort-of-intelligent sounding/reading nature of the questions that I posed. And she/he was making the asumption that any person that intelligent could not be as ignorant about the Perl Programming Language as I was professing to be.

Everyone says that there is no such thing as the Reniassance Man anymore, and I agree with them. There is just too much knowledge in too many diverse fields, one cannot hope to know everything that there is to be known. A logical consequence of this, and one that is important for the aforementioned Anonymous Monk (and all the rest of us) to understand, is that one can be very intelligent, brilliant even, and simultaneously not know a blessed thing about the Perl Programming Language. In fact, given that there is no much to know in so many different fields, the smartest people in the world (whoever they may be) probably make *all* us Perl Programmmers look stupid.

Comment on Insular Assumptions About Intelligence
Re: Insular Assumptions About Intelligence
by Your Mother (Canon) on Jun 11, 2012 at 19:20 UTC

    I'll take your ignorance at face value if it'll make you feel better. Strictly as a kindness, you understand. And how dare you pretend to be JavaFan, while we're at it!

    I'm sorry, my lawyer informs me it is not April 1st and I might frighten away a perfectly viable Perl hacker by exposing the absurdity of the community too early. Here's to biding time. Strictly as a kindness, you understand.

      I am *not* pretending to be 'JavaFan', I am being accused of being 'JavaFan' in drag or something. I feel a little like the mis-routed tourist who is suddenly appointed God by the natives, and fears he will be expected to walk through fire or something. Mr/Ms 'JavaFan' apparently knows alot about Perl and can answer lots of questions about it. I cannot.

      Anyway, absurdity only makes me stick around...

        dint fool me. Gods don't say "alot"
Re: Insular Assumptions About Intelligence (.../u/me)
by tye (Cardinal) on Jun 11, 2012 at 19:31 UTC

    Similarly, one anonymous monk may know sufficiently much about posting to a web site to be able to reply to you and yet not know enough about other things to be able to realize that their "sock puppet" accusation is ridiculous. :)

    I frequently interview experienced programers who have made it past several layers of vetting in the hopes of hiring them for the position of "Senior Perl Developer". Even in that environment, knowledge of Perl (much less advanced knowledge of Perl) is not assumed.

    Also, a not-insignificant portion of many of my work days is spent in activities that are primarily motivated by a likelihood of me discovering things of which I have never before heard.

    - tye        

Re: Insular Assumptions About Intelligence
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 12, 2012 at 02:49 UTC

    ... Gee, I guess when I asked my question I sounded like I knew alot more about Perl than I was letting on?

    Actually no, I think he meant you've had an account on perlmonks before and you've created a new account

    But that is a bizzare comment, since,

    A socket-puppet is a rare thing on PerlMonks, some idiot creating a throwaway account, to create the illusion of popular support -- responding to his own comments saying "yes, i agree, great idea" -- and you merely asked for help

    I guess your writing style could be mistaken for one or two frequent posters, but the charge of sock-puppetry really doesn't hold

    If you're open to commentary on your style, I might classify it as a bit flowery or maybe even hoity-toity -- a fakakta characterization I know :)

    My suggestion is skip the yada yada and try to get to the point sooner :) How do I post a question effectively?

Re: Insular Assumptions About Intelligence
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Jun 12, 2012 at 03:38 UTC
      Too much Shakespeare.

      From the meditations section intro:

      ... For example, if you want to share or discuss opinions on hacker culture, the job market, or Perl 6 development, this is the place....

      Perhaps this topic *is* drivel, but then it's drivel about aspects of Hacker Culture

      And I really am NOT this 'JavaFan' person. I suppose that remark is off-topic too, but then so are the claims that I am 'JavaFan', and I don't know where else to address them.

Re: Insular Assumptions About Intelligence
by zentara (Archbishop) on Jun 12, 2012 at 08:38 UTC
    Everyone says that there is no such thing as the Reniassance Man anymore, and I agree with them.

    I disagree with that. While it's true that this is the Age of Specialization, and most of us are educated to differentiate their experiences, there are a few who still integrate. Seldom seen, they hide under rocks, scared of all the specialists running around with their blinders on, who claim to know the answers to life's persistent questions. :-)


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth.
    Old Perl Programmer Haiku ................... flash japh

      Well, I might go so far as to agree with you if we change the definition of 'Reniassance Man' a bit. Originally the term meant someone who knew (or had at least studied) all the formal knowledge that there was to be known. I say that's just impossible these days, and it's been impossible for decades.

      Maybe the "Reniassance Persons" of today are those who grasp the overall shape or rough outlines of the whole of Human Knowledge, and can drill down to the particular area of knowledge that they need/want.

        and can drill down to the particular area of knowledge that they need/want.

        That's the way I do Perl. :-) Things change so fast now, that it is relatively useless to stuff your head with too many details. You need to get the big picture, then drill down as you say.


        I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth.
        Old Perl Programmer Haiku ................... flash japh
Reaped: Re: Insular Assumptions About Intelligence
by NodeReaper (Curate) on Jun 12, 2012 at 12:53 UTC
Re: Insular Assumptions About Intelligence
by Argel (Prior) on Jun 25, 2012 at 21:14 UTC
    Just ran across this, so I apologize for posting so late. I would guess that someone was suggesting -- in jest -- that you were JavaFan. In that light, I think you are reading way too much into it. Relax a bit!!

    Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks
    My deviantART gallery

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