07 April 2010

The geek in spring

The spring around us is the matting season and it effects everyone, including the geeks, like my friend, who I'm not sure if he is desperate enough (he sounds so) or naive enough (he's young, still a student) that the best idea he was able to come with was a T-shirt announcing his availability:


I think I know enough to understand how it could work (for example as a joke among the friends) and when asked if I would wear it my answer was "probably if the shirt quality is good and if the print quality is good", still I found it an interesting "design" exercise to take the project seriously and try to help being it as good as it could, like using a monospaced font, terminal colors and keeping the 31337 as low as possible, so the message has a better change to be understood by the target audience.

This made me put some order in my mind and decide to write down a related piece about how the sex life is affecting a geek's ability to hack, maybe he will read it and get the clue :p
  • first, a geek will operate at full capacity (that's 100%) only when he gave-up sex, then there is nothing to distract him and he can concentrate on what's important, he won't waste the time on marginal things. This is maximum and constant productivity;
  • when in a stable relationship the geek will be able to operate at near the full capacity, again time lost, no distraction. The capacity is not used fully since the relation will drain some amount of his interest, but close, as a geek can't have a stable relationship when he can't do what he likes;
  • on the opposite, the lowest point is happening when the geek is actively searching for sex, he can't focus, won't be able to pursue the tasks, is unreliable. The code will be buggy, the documentation lacking, even the bugzilla tickets may get filled wrongly. Hopefully, this stage does not happen for a long time and end in one of the above-mentioned states;
  • there are also a couple of intermediary states where the geek will act unpredictably and inconstantly, the first one is when recently dumped. Then he will have moments of working above full capacity (>100%) to keep his mind busy alternating with moments of depression, when he is unable to do anything. The average is completely unpredictable;
  • the second case of unpredictability and inconstancy is happening during a new found flame, he will alternate from times at above full capacity when he is overconfident and feeling able to move mountains with times when he is unable to do anything, dropping the focus from geeky stuff to useless things.
Exercise: identify a geek around you, evaluate his work level and based on the items above try to determine his relationship status. Don't publish the results anywhere, nobody wants to read depressing stats, but if you feel like it, you can make for yourself a "fr33f0r53><" T-shirt, the source is Free.


  1. typos:
    * again lo losing time
    * can't to what he likes;

  2. thanks Anonymous, corrected, it was in due time. in many cases i don't correct typos even if when i find them myself because doing so to an already published article will break Planet aggregators, which see is as new.

  3. This is the kind of insight that will propel you into the ranks of senior engineering management someday. ;)

  4. "Matting consists of mounting a photograph to a mat board into which an opening the size of the photograph has been cut. The photograph is attached to the back of the mat with framing or archival tape." This is about some picture frames, right? :D

    Seriously, if blogspot does the wrong thing with the rss feed when updating articles, I humbly suggest trying some other variants that do the right thing (they do exist, you know), instead of shaming yourself for Internet cache eternity :)

  5. @rpetre: auch! to my typo

    no, the problem is not about blogspot feeds, but about how Planet is caching content (and who gives a shit the blog posts of yesterday?)

  6. Nuh-huh, sister! I just helped mapleoin to un-fsck the planet by hacking the rss to revert his "three days in the future" post.

    It's doable, trust me. You just gotta want it. You really have no excuse.