03-12-07 - 3

I'm having a sort of email exchange about C++/STL and it's making me really depressed. It reminds me that you basically can't have a useful discussion with anyone ever about something involving opinion. You can talk to people you already agree with. You can talk to people who worship you (or who you worship). You can not talk to someone who disagrees with you and is "strong" in not being influenced by your relationship. Usually they will intentionally hold their ground so as to not "give in". The most common example of course is politics. It's so common that it seems germane, but if you stop and think about it, the idea that a political analyst has a pre-set position is absurd. The job of a good policy mind should be to evaluate the situation and talk to various experts and formulate the best response. Instead, an expert on policy approaches problems from the stand point of using their pre-determined dogma on the problem. Most/all programmers (and humans) are the same way. They don't go into a situation with an open mind, rather they go in with their pre-set way of doing things and find how to solve the problem using that way. Mostly this is a perfectly fine way to work (for example, if you don't want to ever use the STL, that's fine), but it makes it impossible to talk to people about the actual pros & cons of doing something. Every time I think I should get back into the business, something like this happens and it reminds me how much I hate all the little foibles of human interaction, and I stay out.

(I'm not implying that I don't have these human flaws, in fact I probably have them more than usual, but I try to fight them as much as possible)

Another thing keeps happening recently where I do some minor thing which I slights a friend and they hold it against me as some major transgression. I sort of don't care any more so I just roll my eyes and say "whatever" and might never interact with them again pleasantly.

On second thought, the more depressing thing about the exchange is what a jerk I am and what a bad communicator.

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