+++*

Symbolic Forest

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Blog : Posts tagged with ‘masochism’

Masochism

In which we go back to BASICs

No, I’m not a masochist.

I take a strange, geeky, masochistic pleasure, though, in making things hard for myself. In doing computer-based things the long way round. In solving the problems that are probably easy for some people, but hard for me. In learning new things just because it’s a new challenge.

Today, I was wrestling with a piece of Basic code in an Excel spreadsheet. I’ve not touched Basic since it had line numbers, which is a long long time ago, and I barely know any of it. I forced myself to work out, though, how to do what I wanted.* It was mentally hard work, and meant a lot of looking back and forth to the help pages, but I got it done in the end. It might not be written in the best way, the most efficient way, or the most idiomatic way.** But doing it was, strangely, fun.

* or, rather, what the consultant I was assisting wanted.

** for non-geeks: every computer language or system has its own programming idioms, which fit certain ways of programming particular problems. Someone used to language A will, on switching to language Z, often keep on programming in language A’s style even if this produces ugly and inefficient code in the other language.

Things I meant to write about

In which we briefly scoot over things that deserve more space

A couple of things I meant to write about this week, but didn’t get around to:

Far more teenagers self-harm than previously thought. I’d like to say that I’m surprised, but I’m not. It’s puzzling, though, why self-harm is more popular here than anywhere else. For a long time, too, I’ve been thinking about writing an essay on the connection between self-harm and masochism: why do I feel that one is legitimate and the other somehow isn’t?

Little Britain isn’t funny,* and just repeats a list of race and class stereotypes. This is news, apparently. Being an indie-snob, I’d like to point out that I thought Little Britain was rubbish years before anyone else did – before it was ever on the telly, even. I noticed it wasn’t that funny back in the days when it was still a radio show.

* this was originally a link to a Johann Hari article which has now disappeared into the memory-hole following the controversies that hit his career rather badly. However, I originally found it this blogpost from Chris Applegate which still contains a bit of a summary.