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Re: Can you learn French culture from a movie?

by brian_d_foy (Abbot)
on Apr 20, 2005 at 17:44 UTC ( #449686=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Can you learn French culture from a movie?
in thread How do you master Perl?

Somehow I missed this reply earlier: that's excellent advice. I deal with this situation quite a bit since I spent a long time in the Middle East and now get to listen to people tell me all about what's it like over there since they saw it on CNN. :)

At some point, you have to stop relying on the information you got second- (or third-) hand and experience it yourself I didn't really define "master" before, but now I think I'll have to include "first-hand, direct experience".

It also reminds me of what a physics professor said about the Dirac equation for the electron: "Schrodinger is a nice place to visit and walk around, but you have to take a picnic basket with you to visit Dirac." Some places you can visit for a couple of hours, but other places you have to set up camp and stick around for a while if you want to get anything good out of them. :)

A big part of living in the culture deals with discovering why they do things. Almost everything, including the stupid things, has some sort of history behind it. That doesn't justify it, but it makes it understandable. Once you understand why something is the way it is, you can deal with it more effectively (including changing it if need be).

brian d foy <>
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[choroba]: low end, in my talk, will be code that "we don't touch because it works" and noone knows why
[choroba]: I want to present the most bizzare bugs and misfeatures I met when working for a large financial institution
[choroba]: I already gave a similar talk to my friends in a pub and at an internal conference at work and people liked it, so maybe...
[choroba]: LanX: That's the heritage, I can't do anything else
[RonW]: Sounds like some system my employer has "It does exactly what we need it to do and can't afford to risk anything we can't prove is 100% compatible"
[marto]: choroba sounds interesting
[RonW]: james28909 Why not write a Perl program to do the task?
[choroba]: RonW Yes, but then, one day, they needed to switch from FTP to SFTP, and... but I can't give the whole talk away here :)

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