mtbetter at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 2 22:54:54 EST 2004
I recognized my impulse response in your description,
though I hesitate especially at this point in my life
to put myself in the successful category.
I also recognize the fate/free will dichotomy in it.
I think I examine what I have done because somewhere
down deep I believe that I could have made another,
different, decision. I believe the right option is
available to me. I believe this so innately I suspect
it is part of my personality makeup and not a
conscious choice to believe, though I consciously
agree with my inclination. (If that made a bit of
Just the mind wandering...
Homesteader-types are often those who believe they can
choose. Is it possible for everyone to believe in
--- clanSkeen <sgian at planetc.com> wrote:
> > There is no reasoning with someone who lives in an
> excuse driven world.
> The most frustrating work I've attempted to date was
> some years ago when I
> was doing custom programming with a partner (using
> Lattice C, it was that
> long ago). When the program or subroutine would
> crash, I immediately
> started combing through the code to see where we'd
> made a mistake.
> Invariably Roger's conclusion was "There's a bug in
> the compiler." and he
> went about to PROVE that his code was sound but it
> was only the compiler's
> fault. In some four years of doing this work the
> score for errors ended up
> being: Programmers: 43,234 Compiler: 0
> I did 90% of the work, sometimes 110% of the work
> since I found Roger's
> errors while he was still setting up tests to prove
> that the compiler was
> buggy. Nor did it do any good three years into the
> partnership to remind
> him that in three years of trying to prove the
> compiler was faulty, he was
> wrong 100% of the time. "Yeah, maybe, but this time
> I'm sure! I didn't
> make any mistakes, there's a bug in the compiler."
> I've seen that paradigm at play anytime I encounter
> "successful" people or
> wastrel people. At the drop of a hat, the
> successful begin an intense and
> meticulous examination of their decisions and
> actions. If examples other
> than theirs appear, they examine them just as
> closely to see if there is
> anything to be gleaned from them. Even direct
> criticisms are thrown into
> the fining furnace to burn away the dross and see if
> anything remains might
> be of service. Then and only then does the
> successful person look around to
> see if there is some external thing affecting their
> The wastrel is not so but looks everywhere but
> within themselves for the
> reason for their wastrel-ness. It's always someone
> else's fault, external
> influences, circumstances. In Pearl S Buck's "The
> Good Earth" Wang Lung's
> wastrel uncle comes, as it says, "slouching along a
> furrow" to ask his
> nephew for some money - which annoyed the crap out
> of the protagonist
> because he had
> worked in the fields for his money while the uncle
> and his uncle's whole
> family lounged about:
> "I ask you pardon, my uncle, for not stopping in my
> work. These beans,
> must, if they are to bear, as you know, be
> cultivated twice and thrice.
> doubtless, are finished. I am very slow - a poor
> farmer - never finishing
> my work in time to rest." His uncle understood
> perfectly Wang Lung's
> malice, but
> he answered smoothly, "I am a man of evil destiny.
> This year out of every
> twenty seed beans, one came up, and in such poor
> growth as that there is no
> use in putting the hoe down. We shall have to buy
> beans this year if we are
> to eat them."
> And that is why the excuse driven are spring-loaded
> and on a razor's edge to
> defend their illusion that it's all SEF. Even the
> most common discourse
> threatens to shatter that illusion and evokes a
> "A hand powered mill will grind enough masa for a
> large meal in about ten
> "Oh, yeah, there you go again telling everyone what
> to do!"
> And you are r-r-r-r. You are r-r-r-r. You are
> ......... right. (There I
> said it, Lynda is right). There's no reasoning with
> the excuse-monger.
> Reasoning eventually comes up against reality and
> experience. To excuses
> there is no end.
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