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
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