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Re: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?

by punch_card_don (Curate)
on Apr 09, 2013 at 12:35 UTC ( #1027720=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?

There is good news in this spectactle of a thread.

The higher-ups asked me, as the poll author, to comment. Personally I don't think my opinion has any special value amongst all the others. And besides, what can really be said that's new in what's become just "yet another" pointless thread on the internet where people of differing opinions degenerate into talking very impolitely to each other.

But I will note this: There is good news for Perl in this thread. And really, what's good for Perl is all that matters on here.

What's good for Perl here is that, apparently, the Perl "community" is a real community in the most real-world sense. A place where people may have some common interests (like the welfare of a neighbourhood or of a language), but where people also have many differences.

Perl benefits from the same broad spectrum of human thought and values as the real world. At one end you have people with an unenlightened, politically incorrect, sense of humour. At the other you have your shrill, humourless, agenda-driven flakes. And you have everything in-between.

That kind of diversity of thought is one of the cornerstones of the success of mankind. It would be a sad and terrible thing if certain forces ever succeeded in making everyone conform to one sanctioned form of moribund group-think or group-speak. Terrible for humanity, and terrible for Perl.

So - good news, recruiters. When you advertise for a Perl programmer, you will not be presented with a succession of homogenized Perl-bots. Your organization will be able to enrich itself with all the creative diversity of mankind, warts, offenses, and all.

Have at it kids.




Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.


Comment on Re: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?
Re^2: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?
by talexb (Canon) on Apr 09, 2013 at 16:51 UTC

    Interesting -- I look at Worst Nodes occasionally and saw a flurry of comments on this poll. Hoo boy.

    Reading some of the comments, it seems a couple of people got out of the wrong side of bed that morning, especially when you consider the option after the 'person-hours' choice (unpopular with some) referenced Star Trek (that's the original version, you young-un's).

    My only quibble with the survey was that you could have offered 'thousands' and tens of thousands' of hours. After developing in C for about fifteen years, I think I finally felt competent. I'm almost there with Perl, after about the same amount of time.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

Re^2: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?
by schwern (Scribe) on Apr 09, 2013 at 19:52 UTC

    This is a fantastic example of Attack By Apology. We have all the attributes...

    • Not recognizing that someone was hurt.
    • Using the opportunity to inflict more hurt.
    • Using the opportunity to drive the agenda behind their "joke".
    • No showing of understanding.
    • Treating the incident like a joke.
    • No acceptance of responsibility for the consequences of their action.
    • Attempted derailment.
    • Claiming it's part of diversity to accept their attacks on others.

    I'm glad the PerlMonks leadership has gotten involved and asked the author to respond, however they should have read it before they allowed it to be posted. It has given the offender another opportunity to attack.

    I do not accept the author's response, it's just another attack. It underlines why the poll is not "just a joke" but is a hurtful reflection of the author's politics and philosophy. It does not belong on the front page of PerlMonks. It has nothing to do with Perl or Perl Wisdom.

    I ask the PerlMonks leadership to take further public action.

      I ask the PerlMonks leadership to take further public action.

      Well, you're kinda asking in the wrong place

      Wait a minute - the OP may have made a joke that identified no particular person, or even any particular group, and which, interpreted through a certain lens, could possibly offend some people's sensitivities.

      But the response that started all this was a direct attack on the OP - labelling his/her personal sense of humour as agression, and further attacking all male members of the Perl community with the assertion that they are all, by error of birth, saddled with a privilege they must spend their lives being careful to renounce - deny the very persons they were born as - so important is it that certain other people's sensitivities not be ruffled.

      But that's just fine in other people's eyes?

      'Cause, parsed, the message of many of these posts is essentially that all the men on here need to watch their step, lest the self-appointed values-police get miffed over any perceived lack of due deference to their sensitivities.

      Oh, that's much less offensive than the OP. (not).

      Wait a minute - the OP may have made a joke that identified no particular person, or even any particular group, and which, interpreted through a certain lens, could possibly offend some people's sensitivities.

      But the response that started all this was a direct attack on the OP - labelling his/her personal sense of humour as agression, and further attacking all male members of the Perl community with the assertion that they are all, by error of birth, saddled with a privilege they must spend their lives being careful to renounce - deny the very persons they were born as - so important is it that certain other people's sensitivities not be ruffled.

      But that's just fine in other people's eyes?

      'Cause, parsed, the message of many of these posts is essentially that all the men on here need to spend their lives denying who they are and watching their step, lest the self-appointed values-police get miffed over any perceived lack of due deference to their sensitivities.

      Oh, that's much less offensive than the OP. (not).

        I said I was offended by the statement, and that it was a joke in poor taste.

        I did not say "punch_card_don is terrible". I said "I think this joke is really crappy, and I question his judgement in making it; I think it makes us look really bad to promote this joke to every page, and I really think we should take it down and not defend it so we don't look worse."

        Let me make it clear here as I have done elsewhere on this page: No one here is intrinsically bad.

        Is this clear? punch_card_don is not a bad person. He made a call to tell a joke that is one that the Ethics Guidelines at most places I've worked at would say was a "come into my office, we need to talk" issue. Still not a bad person.

        The people who have been passing out flames and epithets are not bad people. They are behaving in an immature and ill-mannered way, yes - but that is a "do", not an "is". They themselves are not intrinsically bad people. Not making the most grown-up call, but not a bad person.

        I let myself show my anger, and I posted some sarcastic and angry words. But I'm not a bad person for doing that. I didn't live up to my own standards, and I apologize to anyone that felt I was unfair to them. I will try very hard not to repeat that, and I will appreciate a reminder if I do repeat it.

        Knowing you're not a bad person, however, is not a license to say whatever you like to whoever you want without consequence to your reputation, which is the sum of what your current actions imply about your future ones to others. Your behavior and yourself are separate items, but your behavior and your reputation are tightly bound together. (This may already be self-evident to everyone; the fact that most of the statements that came down to "feminism is bad and you're bad and stupid" came from the Anonymous Monk shows that there's at least an basic realization of this by even those with the poorest impulse control.)

        To boil allof this down: None of the actions here were specifically designed to cause harm. I think there have been some very poor judgements made as to whether particular actions were truly harmless and just fun, or not. There were certainly some choices to make deliberately unkind and unsympathetic choices. Whether or not any or all of these damage the reputation of individuals and/or Perlmonks is currently unknowable.

        There have been uncaring, hostile, sneering, and incoherent actions, and indulging in those is bad behavior, and a community that wants to grow should be discouraging and disavowing that - but the people involved are in general are not bad people. (Some of the more crazypants stuff I'm not sure about. You should be cautious about letting that anger and meanness become too strong; not being able to resist exploding in anger and meanness can turn you into a bad person. We don't want that to happen to you. Seriously, we really don't.)

        "So what can I do to help make Perl an in-demand language so I get the maximum return on my investment?"

        Part of that is making sure that every person who even just wanders by feels like the community is tremendously glad to have them, and that we're interested in what they care about, and that we'll help if we can. If there's friction, we won't look away from it or reject it, but say, "There's an issue. We are creative. Let's create a solution that doesn't have to be win/lose."

        Honestly this thread is waaaaayy too hilarious.

        The "joke" rests on the general theory that there are, as someone put it "shrill, humourless, agenda-driven flakes" out there who are so steeped in their own culture of victimhood that they cannot let any perceived slight pass without making a federal case out of it.

        This thread goes a long way to confirming the well-founded assumption of that joke. Geez - they have a whole lexicon that has to be explained for ordinary people to understand, and their own wiki dictionary.

        Thank goodness cooler heads have chimed in to counter-balance the whining and not leave the impression that hiring a Perl programmer will mean having your discussions and meetings completely derailed by socio-political zealotry.

      Uh, once again, apparently some people see things in posts that simply aren't there. "Attack by Apology"? I see no hint of an apology in the post being referred to. I do not see a shifty attempt at justification, at all. After all the vitriol in this thread, you expected him to talk all warm and fuzzy and reprentant to you? Gosh some people seem to read things that simply aren't there and get upset about them.
Re^2: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?
by ahpook (Initiate) on Apr 09, 2013 at 19:59 UTC

    "shrill, humourless, agenda-driven flakes".

    That is a far, far worse attack than your original "joke". You are absolutely proving the point.

Re^2: How many man-hours would you estimate you have invested in learning Perl?
by Anonymous Monk on Apr 09, 2013 at 21:37 UTC

    And you have disproportionately few women. I wonder why.

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