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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 <brian@stonehenge.com>

In reply to Re: Can you learn French culture from a movie? by brian_d_foy
in thread How do you master Perl? by brian_d_foy

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