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Re: Re: At what rate are YOU progressing?

by merlyn (Sage)
on May 02, 2001 at 18:15 UTC ( #77323=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: At what rate are YOU progressing?
in thread At what rate are YOU progressing?

After a while you'll start realizing that all of these 'gurus' you worship are just plain folks like yerself. They just spend their time differently. They learn.
As an example, I can't tell you a thing about competitive professional sports or current sitcoms. I don't watch TV. I don't follow games. People have to explain to me when I'm watching the SuperBowl with them (to be social) that something that just happened was "good" or "bad". And I haven't seen Ally McBeal, and didn't watch my first Seinfeld until prodded by others, and after it was already in syndication rerun hell.

What I spend most of my spare time doing is being online. Researching the next item, reading about technologies, being here and on Usenet and IRC, answering questions. Well, and the twice-a-week trip to either the Karaoke bar or the live comedy club. And on airplanes, I'm just as likely to read the latest book from O'Reilly as I am a good SF novel.

Now project that backward 30 years. I didn't do sports in high school (I was the runt that got picked last anyway). I spent much of my time in the library, or at home reading whatever books I could get my hands on.

So, to get here, I traded all that "normal" stuff. I gave up my childhood for my career.

Would I do it again? Probably. But don't ask me any questions about our Portland Trailblazers; all I know is the stadium creates traffic jams occasionally, and I can't even tell you what part of the year the season is.

-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker


Comment on Re: Re: At what rate are YOU progressing?
Re: At what rate are YOU progressing?
by Dominus (Parson) on May 02, 2001 at 18:39 UTC
    Says merlyn:
    As an example, I can't tell you a thing about competitive professional sports or current sitcoms. I don't watch TV...What I spend most of my spare time doing is being online.
    I suspect that this is a red herring. You waste a lot of time on IRC. If you stopped doing IRC you would watch TV and get just as much done.

    (This isn't a suggestion, of course.)

    I don't think anyone can be 'productive' all the time. But some people watch TV in their downtime and other people watch IRC; I don't think it's really that different.

    --
    Mark Dominus
    Perl Paraphernalia

      Ahh, but the IRC is like here. I get info and give info, and yes, socialize in between. If I traded all the time I'm on IRC for an equal time watching TV, I would be less productive. Admittedly, I have to wait long moments before I get something from IRC, but those gems are worth it.

      -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

      Dominus, do you know how merlyn spends his time in IRC? I don't think so (I don't either), but I guess you have prejudice about how IRC is going on. It's not that all channels are just crap talk. If you e.g. take a look at most of the channels that reside in Open Projects Network you can find a lot of useful information there - mostly channels for opensource projects coordination. So I think accusing using IRC is a waste of time is simply a wrong assumption.

      Btw., is it just me or did merlyn's post read like adminspotting? *eg*

      Update:Sorry, Dominus, if I got you wrong. If it was meant with sarcasm or so then I didn't get it. I was just writing what I tried to interpret from your writing or between the lines. If I misinterpreted it: Again, sorry.
      --
      use signature; signature(" So long\nAlfie");

        That's a bit unfair to Dominus. He and I are often in channel at the same time, talking back and forth even. I think he knows what I do on IRC pretty well.

        -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

Re: Re: Re: At what rate are YOU progressing?
by turnstep (Parson) on May 02, 2001 at 18:41 UTC

    No TV. No sports. You just went up a notch in my book! :)

    And not all of us consider that such things "normal." On the contrary, those things keep the masses amused and distracted from doing "normal" things like learning, exploring, and asking difficult questions of themselves and their surroundings. Why have people partake in debates, communicate with their congresspeople, and learn philosophy and science when they can vegetate and consume instead?

      Says turnstep:
      No TV. No sports....those things keep the masses amused and distracted from doing "normal" things like learning, exploring, and asking difficult questions of themselves and their surroundings.
      I don't think that's true. In Annie Hall there's a great scene in which Woody Allen is at a horrible party inhabited by horrible boring intellectuals; he sneaks off to the bedroom to watch the basketball game. And predictably, someone comes to berate him for watching the basketball game when he could be improving his mind.

      Woody has a great speech about how this is a completely different kind of accomplishment, a physical accomplishment, and that the people in the other room are afraid of it because it isn't their kind of accomplishment and they don't understand it.

      One of the most wonderful things about sports is that they are universal. Everyone on earth has pretty much the same kind of body; that's why we can have the Olympics. To be uninterested in sports is to be uninterested in the body and what it can do. And of course you know many geeks who are divorced from their own bodies. But that is not a healthy way to be.

      Sports are not incompatible with learning, exploring, or asking difficult questions of one's surroundings. Many people shut off their brains when they sit down to watch the football game, but that does not mean that is the only way to do it---lots of people shut off their brains when they use the -w switch too.

      --
      Mark Dominus
      Perl Paraphernalia

        Right. You'll have to pry my snowboard from my cold frozen fingers. Which often I have to do myself. {grin}

        I'm just not historically much for watching other people make millions of dollars while competing at kids games, simply because the surrounding discussions at this end of the broadcast tend to be more tribal than constructive.

        -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

        Dominus writes:

        To be uninterested in sports is to be uninterested in the body and what it can do

        Ah, but that was not the thrust of my argument. Their is a difference between enjoying a sport yourself, and being in touch with your body, and the mass worship of sport teams that occurs, and is driven more by money that true athleticism. Yes, the players on a basketball team may be good athletes, but the majority of people watching it are not watching it just for the appreciation of the athlete's body and the player's control of it - they are also rooting for their team and vicariously living through the team, as in "I can't beleive we lost the game by one point!" and "My team plays again next Friday." Most sports fans are far from being in touch with their own bodies, and do not participate in sports themselves, but merely watch it. There is nothing wrong with this: it is their choice; I just feel society as a whole would be better served if just 1% of the energy, brainpower, time, and money that goes into following organized sports were spent elsewhere. While I grant that watching sports does not really detract from a person's life, neither does it enhance it.

        Sports are not incompatible with learning, exploring, or asking difficult questions of one's surroundings.

        Performing sports, no, but watching them? What does one really gain from watching two hours of basketball? Again, this is a personal choice, but as you say, it's a way of "shutting off your brain."

        I have no problem with watching TV or an interest in sports, but I will usually think higher of someone who *moderates* themselves in such activities, and has other interests, than someone who hovers around the national US average of 20+ hours per week watching TV. Is this an unfair judgement? Perhaps, but I've meet too many people in my life who have reinforced my opinion that few people actually *think* anymore, but merely wander through life. Luckily, a lot of the "thinking" people end up online, one reason I love PerlMonks as much as I do. :)

      The guy on the street can tell you all this detailed information about what celebrity is doing this or that and they don't know
      who wrote Moby Dick?!? I see it as bizarro world. The smartest people are pushed to the margins of society whereas joe blow jock is seen as normal. Would not a "Normal" society pay teachers more than ad execs and wouldn't our heros be great scholars that have fought for the betterment of mankind such as Chomsky and Rousseau instead of people that throw a ball thru a hoop and get a million a year. However I am not saying I am against people playing sports I myself am a mountain biking, surfing, and snowboarding freak Although these are more individual sports where self expression is the main factor Anyways I'm just ranting as Matt Sisk would say! cheers

      js
Re (tilly) 3: At what rate are YOU progressing?
by tilly (Archbishop) on May 02, 2001 at 20:20 UTC
    How many movies do you watch? :-P

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