The All-Thing
   


All carrot and no stick, since ought-three.

宮詞 (宋徽宗〔趙佶〕)

新樣梳妝巧畫眉,窄衣纖體最相宜;
一時趨向多情遠,小閣幽窗靜弈棋。

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Tue, 01 Jul 2003

Laziness

I was thinking this morning about how I was always considered the lazy kid of the family—I don't remember my parents or grandparents being shy about stating that explicitly. My brother was always ready and willing to do any kind of physical activity, but I was impossible to drag away from my reading, and, later, the computer.

I basically believed them at the time, but in retrospect I don't think I had, or have, a fundamentally lazy character. Looking back, I see that I just received so much pleasure from reading and from playing around on the computer that I really hated having to go out and endure the tediousness that was yardwork, or going to church, or whatever other moronic way they wanted me to interact with the outside world. Every minute outside felt like a minute wasted, and every minute I was thinking about being able to get back to my what I wanted to do.

I'm much better about that kind of thing today—I've learned to control my obsessive tendencies better (being able to turn them on is almost as fun as being able to turn them off is useful) and I have mellowed with age, like fine old grape juice. But of course, there's a certain amount of laziness that I think everyone has, myself included, in the form of being unwilling to do repetitive or menial tasks.

I think it's that type of laziness, combined with the obsessiveness, that makes me a good programmer. Larry Wall was right in his quip about "laziness, impatience and hubris" being the three cardinal virtues of the programmer.

Of course, they also combine to make me a poor scientist. This has been going through my head a lot, recently. What to do....

Posted at 10:26 | /code | (leave a comment) | permalink


   

The ripest fruit falls first. -- William Shakespeare, "Richard II"