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The Ordinary Slashdot User Answers 284

Hmmm... seems quite a few people (judging from email I've gotten) have figured out that this week's interview guest, Clinton Ebadi, is the 'unknown_lamer' who frequents, not that this was a great secret or anything. Anyway, Clinton has a pretty good sense of humor about himself and this whole thing, and I think it shows through clearly in his answers (below) to your questions.

1) Girls (Score:5, Interesting)
by Stoke (

At the age when most teens seem to be crazy over the opposite sex and dating, how is your situation with girls? Assuming you don't have a girlfriend, do you feel better off without one taking away your free time, or is it something you wish for?


No girlfriend for the unknown_lamer. I'm not cool enough. I really wish I had one, because here is my daily schedule:

  • 6am: wake up
  • 7am: time for school
  • 3pm: home from school
  • 4:40pm: homework done
  • 6pm: food
  • 6:30-10:30 - music / irc / tv
  • 11pm: sleep
Well, You see, I have a bit too much free time on my hands.

2) Just Curious... (Score:5, Interesting)
by Brazilian Geek (

Are you now or have you ever been a Slashdot troll? If so, please comment on the feeling of being a troll, if not, what is your favorite troll?


I am not, and never have been a troll (but I might be one in the future). Trolling is bad (except when the troll is modded up to 5:funny). I try to only post a comment when I have something worthwhile to say. And, I don't like losing my precious karma(12 whole points). I read at level 2, and I usually don't see any trolls (I used to read at -1...and my browser kept crashing.). IMHO, all trolls are equally funny. Except for the ones.

3) What are your plans for college? (Score:5, Interesting)
by Zachary Kessin (

If you have thought about it what do you want to do after High School? Do you have any ideas about college or further education?


I really want to go to college one day. And, I really want a job. Being poor isn't fun when you have a 4 and a half year old box (and other people are saying their "ancient" p2/500 is slow..try having the newest game consoles be faster than your box).

4) What are you listening to? (Score:5, Interesting)
by geophile (

When I was 15, my father said, "how can you listen to this? It's noise! There's no melody, it's just boom boom boom!". He was talking about the Beatles. Today, I am horrified to find myself saying the same thing about all rap/hip-hop/whatever, Britney Spears, N Sync, and just about everything else I hear that's been recorded recently. I don't buy much new music, but lately I've been buying CDs to replace my old LPs (The Who, Genesis, and yes, The Beatles).

At least there's Elvis (C, not P), They Might Be Giants, and Komeda.

Is it just me, or my g-g-g-generation, or does new music really suck? What are you listening to?


Pop music isn't bad. It's worse than that. It is horrible. I say, down with pop. I listen to extreme death metal and punk. So, I own the first two limp bizkit albums..but they don't such really bad. I really like independent bands from sites like (which is dead now) and is alive and well). I really like bands like cannibal corpse, cryptopsy, NiN, orgy, the offspring, NoFX, rage against the machine, and anything really loud. The words don't matter to me, its all about the instruments. Bands like cannibal corpse == the bringer of evil, but their guitar work is amazing. So, I guess you could argue(and maybe win) that the music I listen to is noise..but at least it isn't filth disguised as good- wholesome- music- for- the- whole- family. It tells you it is bad (but you just have to love the guitar work and the little complexities of the music).

5) How is it? (Score:5, Interesting)
by dbarclay10 (

Hey, what's up? :) I'm not a teenager, but I am a Linux user, and a rather dedicated one. I've come to the realization over the past year or so that, indeed, MS Office is actually a good software packager. Well, relatively speaking, of course ;) I find it fast, relatively lean, feature-complete, and more-or-less stable. I was wondering if you yourself have a particular software favorite that doesn't run under Linux?


My favorite software that doesn't run under linux...starcraft. Or rather, all of the blizzard games. They are amazing, and I love them. Why can't blizzard port them! I'd pay for all of them again if I could play them under linux (WINE can play them..but at a really low frame rate, and doesn't work).

6) If you were stranded on a desert island (Score:5, Funny)
by dattaway (

...and could only have one cd to load a blank computer, what would it be?


Well, Debian GNU/Linux! Well, that is almost 5 cds now..but I can count it as one, right? It comes with everything I'll ever need too.. with about 6000 packages to choose from.

7) Childhood toys? (Score:5, Insightful)
by Ralph Wiggam (

Pretty much every geek I've asked remembers loving construction type toys as children. I know my fave was Capsella because of the motors and gears, but there was always a big box of Legos in my house, too.

Did you play with toys like that in your 5-12 years?

What were your favorites?


I liked to play with legos. And k'nex. But I discovered the computer at age 7... and learned some BASIC when I was 8 (using a precomputer 1000 from vtech. Thank-you vtech). My mom brought home a laptop from NASA when I was 7 (end of 1993), and it was hooked up to the internet. I got a book on how to use lynx and SLIP and stuff a few weeks later, and I was on the net using a dialup SLIP @ 14.4k baud, on a win 3.1 running 486 from IBM (it was nice..except win 3.1 confused me). So, I guess my favorite toy was that little government owned laptop..then my mac (The mac actually is what got me really in computing..the learning curve was so small that I was able to explore deeper with things like ResEdit, MPW, and macsbugs easier), and finally my humble 166Mhz linux box (which I got a new 20GB drive for tuesday..finally, free space).

8) Times Change (Score:5, Interesting)
by HRbnjR (

When I was a geek in high school (10 years ago)... it was not cool at all. The computer club was definitely frowned upon by the "cool" people. My question is, with the rise of the internet, and computers becoming pervasive in "normal" peoples lives...has this changed? Or have geeks gained some respect?

I read an article somewhere (Wired?) that said geeks were the new sex symbols...doctors and lawyers used to represent power and success and where what men stereotypically wanted to be, and what women stereotypially chased after. But now, as it is suggested, do you think geeks have invaded some of this position? Do you see any attitudes like this in school?


I don't really think geeks have taken the position of doctors, but I think we have moved up a bit. I'm not taunted anymore, I'm just understood. People understand I'm not like them, and they don't care. They are still a few people who won't stop making fun or picking up me, but I can deal with them (because I'm bigger than them now). I really have noticed that "normal" people have invaded my High School CS class.. most of them are trying to learn C, and can barely use AOL. It is very sad (and the teacher are worse... quote from teacher: "Linux!? That's just a graphical shell on top DOS like windows is. Everything has to use MS-DOS to run" and "Since when has their been a version of UNIX for the intel processor? What? Since the early 90s? What is this BSD UNIX you speak of?").

But still, I get made fun of sometimes for using linux ("Linux sucks. You suck"). But I can ignore it, since a few of my friends use linux as well ( my school I know of..4 linux users. 2 debian ones (mike and I) and a BSD user..but only Mike and I in the CS class). My rant has gone on long enough now. Yep, everyone has gone up the ladder. Nope, IMHO geeks aren't like doctors.. if the "average" geek is anything like me.. (the one who uses IRC 11 hours a day, has lots of fun and gets excited after being on slashdot (and makes his non-geek friends read it too), and doesn't ever go outside).

9.)Now answer honestly! (Score:4, Interesting)
by OlympicSponsor

In 8th/9th/10th grade I was unpopular (hung out with the losers, didn't go to dances, etc). 11th and 12th grades I was merely neutral (went to some dances, knew a lot of people, but I wasn't a jock or anything). I bring this up not out of relevance, but to show that "I've been there."

My question is: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? What I mean by that is: Many geek teenagers exhibit anti-social characteristics, including: poor hygiene, little or no conversation skills and attitudes (for instance know-it-all-ism) that are off-putting. Do adolescents get into computers because they don't get along and don't understand why, so turn to computers (books, D&D, whatever) as something they can understand/master? Or do adolescents who get into computers/whatever use up so much brain capacity with intellectually challenging tasks they can't learn how to interact with others? Or some third thing?


Well, I think I became anti-social first. They said I had ADD, and they put me on ritalin. I promptly stopped interacting with other people (after I got off of it, I started returning to normalcy). People made fun of me because I never went anywhere, and stayed inside all of the time. So, I got that NASA laptop, and I started to use the internet (wait..that came first..). So, the computer didn't make me anti-social. Yes, I was a know-it-all for a long time. And I have a habit of interrupter people (although it isn't nearly as bad as it used to be). But, I'm not that anti-social. I have friends. The people with yellow and green hair are my friends (you have to love punk rockers), the l33t hax0rs at school, the somewhat-suicidal ones, and my fellow geeks. I am happy. Isn't that all that matters? The pop culture people look happy, but they aren't. They need music and icons to tell them who to be.

10.)Why a new Linux distribution? (Score:4, Insightful)
by Alan Shutko (

There are tons of Linux distributions, and each one has a different reason for being. Most distributions seem geared to one major point: learning how to make a distro, supporting a specific niche like small routers, being easier for Linux novices.

What's your vision for MentalUNIX? Why do you feel that you need to make your own distribution, and what specifically will your distribution do to make it fulfill that need better than existing offerings.

(The website seems to lack a clear description of the overall goal, though it has some mentions of new setup tools.)


BTW, a new, actually up to date site will be uploaded once SCP over at sourceforge starts to work again. Lots of the stuff like mdevelop weren't really my idea, but they aren't new programs. Mdevelop is more of a system built around existing apps. Imagine Glimmer + DDD + glade + a lisp interpreter all integrated. IMHO, linux lacks a really good IDE that can do everything you need..edit the code, debug it, and create an interface. Lots of programs come close(like emacs and code crusader), but most can't design an interface / debug your program internally.

My general vision for it is as the Universal distribution -- one that follow the FHS and LSB to the letter, and one that can use all package formats. The package format issue really bugs me. It scares away lots of people(almost scared me away). You have source packages, debs, rpms, slis, slackware tar.gz, and lots more. If one tool could install all of them, then life would be a lot easier for a new user.

Also, installation is getting easier every day now, so it will eventually have a nice installer, but I hope to make it better than the rest. Instead of dumping all of the packages in the entire distro on the user, they only get what they should need(and the all powerful kernel hacker can select exactly what they want). So, a new user who selected the "home" install wouldn't get things like gcc or apache. Now, not giving them gcc is a bit hard to justify, but mpkg will be able to handle source packages(the autoconfigure type), so it would grab the compiler when it encountered the source package / when you wanted to recompile a source deb / srpm / whatever).

Another really big part of mentalUNIX is making maintaining the distro easier. Mpkg will allow the maintainer (or user) to recompile an entire package tree with one command, for any platform their compiler can compiler for. So, it would be feasible for mentalunix to be available in specific versions for every x86 architecture, and make porting to things like PPC easier (you would still have lots of stuff to worry about, but you would know what packages failed to recompile, and you could focus on getting them to compile for the new platform). And, a maintainer could recompile one package, or multiple packages for more than one target platform with one command as well. The maintainer utilities are a big thing, and are going to be the first to be focused on. Making it simple for the maintainer to maintain helps to overcome the fear of trying to help join a project and it makes it easier for developers to make precompiled(or not) packages easier to produce.

"Ain't it l33t?"
All views expressed are IMHO.
Because MHO is better than yours.

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The Average Slashdot Reader Answers

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    No no no. Completely wrong.

    The plural of Kleenex is obviously either:
    Kleenexen or Kleenii

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm bored, so I'm going to give me thoughts on a couple of those questions as well... Woot! Another metal head =) In reference to the questions about being outcasts due to being a geek, if you factor metal into the equation, that would account for some of the frowns, hehe. People just don't understand metal, they can't seem to get over the "yelling" (which is usually just distortion and not yelling at all)... You know what's really funny about that? If you let someone listen to some metal, just a clip that's all instrumental, and do NOT tell them that it is metal (if you do, they'll immediately say it's terrible), they'll say they liked it... Then expand that little clip to include some vocals, amazing how their attitude changes =) Personally, I listen to it for the music, too, especially the guitar, I am a guitarist after all. There is absolutely no other form of music that is as complex as metal. As for that "which came first" question, I used to be a hardcore jock... I actually **shudders** listened to popular music too... The reason why I got into computers is because there was never anyone around to play football with... you needed at least 4 people and I could never find more than 1 or 2... Just doesn't work... So, when I couldn't play football, I'd mess with my Apple IIe. I quickly learned BASIC, and from there, I've picked up a whole slew of languages and OSes quite easily. I wouldn't really consider myself anti-social, but, I think that from my experience, certain things that "normal" people do seem, I dunno, stupid... I think using my mental capacity is much more fun than doing what "normal" people do, and therefore, I turn down certain opportunities to go out... That doesn't mean I never go out, it just means that I'll only do certain things. Anywho, I've gotsta go... Sorry if I spelt something wrong or messed something up, I'm kinda rushed here. So, there's my comments =) Bye, hehe.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Everybody is different and victimized though, so 2 out of 4 isn't bad.

    Of course, I'm not victimized, I'm one of the elite that is doing the grinding. heh.

  • First, I'll say that you shouldn't fret about having an `old' or `slow' computer. As long as you have a Pentium-class CPU and 32MB RAM, everything else is just cake. You can get that for around $100 at the used computer store in my town. It's not a gaming machine--but that's actually a good thing. Games, while at their best are works of art, are often a huge waste of time that take away from your learning about computers. So don't fret--hack.

    Second, check out Carcass, Cynic and Meshuggah if you haven't already. : )

  • I remember being sent to a psychologist to see why I was such an underachiever in school. Around age 9 or 10 or so.

    They didn't figure it out, but at least the ritalin perscription (which was definately not in vogue in those years, as it has been in recent years) wasn't pushed. No telling what I would be like now.
  • comment:

    " but as you learn critical business skills such as how to interoperate with other people without offending"

    or other critical business skills like supressing your conscience or sense of ethics. Had to be said. Many people don't WANT to "play the corporate game", because it's dirty. Dirtier than scat.
  • Maybe at 29 I am out of the loop, but this fellow at 15 is way more coherent and thoughtful than the majority of my pin-head software engineer colleagues. Good show.

    "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life."

  • It's hard to define pop.

    NIN is a good example. The Fragile has sold a lot less than Trent's previous works (ie. The Downward Spiral), and yet has gotten a lot of critical praise. Why? For one thing, it's a double-CD release, meaning that it's longer and costs a bit more. Radio airplay has been very light as there are few single-friendly tracks (and the few there are tend to have a bit of, um, radio unfriendly language or themes).

    But in some ways, NIN is pop. Nine Inch Nails is probably the most visible example of industrial music out there. I mean, the guy is (albeit rarely) on MTV.

    In that respect, pop isn't necessarily bad, as long as the artist doesn't compromise - and with The Fragile it's obvious that he didn't. It was quite obvious on first listen that the release wouldn't sell as well as TDS did simply because it wasn't so clear cut angst-y and yet wasn't exactly upbeat either. This drove some of the hangers-on away.

    I liked NIN before it became semi-mainstream, and continued to like it when he gained some popularity (while certain pretentious assholes missed out on some of Reznor's best material). He's in a commercial slump right now, but also an artistic renaissance - doesn't bug me, as long as he doesn't take another 5 years to release an album. If anyone lets a band's popularity or lack thereof stop them from listening to it, they're going to miss out on a lot of good music.

    I am in the middle of reading a book on the 'Millennial generation', ie. kids born on or after 1982. One interesting thing the book brought up that never occurred to me was that this resurgence of banal crap (N Sync, B. Spears, Backstreet Boys, and so on) is part of a revolving cycle. About every other decade a new generation starts off with 'safe', upbeat music. What is sacrificed in the way of importance and message is made up for in accessability and universal appeal. As those kids grow older things change and music begins to push bounds again. Early pop Beatles gave way to the counterculture of the late 60s and early/mid 70s. The Jackson 5 and disco gave way to grunge and hard rock. It's roughly a 20 year cycle.

    Food for thought... Luckily, Mr. Reznor isn't going anywhere, nor are some of his predecessors (SMG, Pig, MDFMK, FLA, and a whole ton of old Skinny Puppy CDs). Those of us who just don't get the new stuff can sit back and wait - some of these goofy kids will eventually come up with something meaningful again, no worries.

    - Jeff A. Campbell
  • ---
    nor are some of his predecessors (SMG, Pig, MDFMK, FLA, and a whole ton of old Skinny Puppy CDs)

    Oh yeah, and I know these bands didn't necessarily come before NIN. "predecessors" was the wrong term. Oops.

    - Jeff A. Campbell
  • ---
    I want to call myself something!

    Here's your first problem. Don't worry about what you call yourself, and then you'll be on a path to true happiness.

    If at some point in the future you walk/talk/act like a duck and eventually call yourself a duck, that's fine. You're a duck. But don't stress or obsess over it.

    - Jeff A. Campbell
  • ---
    I fall into this catagory somewhat - only for me it's country music. (Yea, go ahead and gag.)

    I won't gag. In fact, I'm intrigued. I've never heard country music before.


    - Jeff A. Campbell
  • It consistantly amazes me the generalizations I see on Slashdot every day. From the 'average Slashdot reader' to the 'average computer geek', everyone assumes that all geeks are the same. The same thing happens outside of 'our culture' - everyone stereotypes us as all the same, we're all geeks, we all sit in our basements alone every night, we all listen to the same music, and so on, and so on.

    First of all, if you want a referance to the 'hacker culture', forget about averaging anything, that eliminates the diversity that makes each one of us unique. How can you average a 13 year old male geek from Minnesota, a 22 year old female networking specialist in India, and a 22 year old cybercafe owner in Mexico? The same goes for slashdot posts - some are hardcore geeks, the ones that wrote emacs, designed Debian, were there when ADA first cropped up. Some are aerospace engineers, CIS students. If you take an 'average', you eliminate all of that in one swell foop.

    Someone asked if antisocial behaviour came before geekly behaviour, or vice-versa. That is not a yes-or-no thing, it's different for different individuals, and you'd have to ask each individual person. That question can't be answered by one kid.

    Someone else asked if geeks were still at the same level, or if we were as revered as doctors and lawyers. Again, some commenters agreed, and said 'yes, they worship us as gods!', whereas my personal experience (and I'm less of an antisocial recluse-geek) was quite the opposite - being harassed, made fun of, butt of jokes, and so on. It's not a general thing, it varies from school to school and area to area.

    People, please, can we stop generalizing and averaging everything out? Let's recognize diversity where others have failed to do so, let's not fall into the same trap again and again.

  • > Additionally the moment someone thinks "Music today is all noise and boom boom boom" is the moment their ego has gotten
    > ahead of rationale.

    Actually this is true. 90% of music today is crap. But 90% of music at any given time is crap. (With a nod to Theodore Sturgeon.)

    > Yes you define good music. Your tastes define all and are the final say. The world should stop and solidify at your tastes.

    T.S. Eliot once wrote that taste is not something you get born with, you develop. People who like music that is ``pop" tend to be people who really don't listen to music, just have it playing in the background while they do something else. if you actually listen to music, you develop taste.

    Case in point: many years ago, I listened to The Bangles, & liked them (to be honest) mostly because this all-girl band were killer in miniskirts. Several years later, after listening to bands like The Posies, Pond, & Afghan Whigs (none of whom I have ever heard on the radio, BTW), I happened to listen tot hem again. And I was surpised that they still pretty good to listen to.

    For the record, my taste in music may be dated, but is somewhat eclectic: I prefer The Posies & Screaming Trees to Nirvana, like Astor Piazzola, & wish I had bought some Schwester S tapes while I was over in Germany.

  • Pop bands:
    • N'Sync
    • Metallica (same thing, see here [])
    • Gangsta anything
    • Rage Against the Machine (which I like)
    • Hole (which I also like)
    • Nine Inch Nails (which I also like, just so there's no confusion.)

    Death metal bands:

    • Death (I'm not sure about 'extreme', but the best of the genre IMO)
    • Deicide (this one definitely qualifies as extreme)
    • Obituary
    • Carcass
    • Napalm Death
    • Suffocation
    • Entombed (once upon a time)

    And that doesn't even cover black metal (which is mostly European, btw), or the old 1980s speed metal.

    ObJectBridge [] (GPL'd Java ODMG) needs volunteers.

  • Is it really healthy to be listening to that crap?

    Interestingly, after I started listening to heavy metal and punk rock, my grades went up substantially ... and so did my general outlook on life.

    ObJectBridge [] (GPL'd Java ODMG) needs volunteers.

  • One thing which always bugged me is the presumption that anyone who has the outward appearance of geekiness (i.e., anyone that is poorly dressed, or into computer hardware, software, etc) is presumed to be intelligent and/or capable. It's been my experience that this is simply not true. For instance, I (and I'm sure most of you have too) have known lots of "geeks" that are merely "techies"; they may know the latest specs on x86 processors for instance, but they lack a fundamental understanding and a capacity to do much more than drool over them. Similarly, I've known many that lack the motivation to do well in any career. Now this is not to say that I think geeks are dumber, less motivated, or what have you, but rather that they are not too different from the rest of population. What makes "geeks" (necessarily) different is where they are visibally different: in their dress, in their clothes, in their attitude, or what you have.

    I might be able to understand this mistake from non-geeks, but why do so many so-called geeks, particularly accomplished geeks, buy into this idea too? I see it from many "geeks" I know and on forums like slashdot. Granted, this doesn't mean that one cannot infer with some certainty other characteristics about a "geek", but it simply goes way too far in my experience.
  • I didn't say it was a Danish company. How do you know there aren't any Swedes working there? Are you saying Danes are racist? No, seriously, I'm sorry I confused the Swedes and Norwegians. Sorry. I couldn't resist that one. I didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings. Anyway, if you noticed, that part of my post was meant to be a little humorous.
  • I had a similar experience. My teacher thought I was ADD and that I would need Ritalin. My doctor, however, is one who carefully diagnoses everything. He did diagnose me as being somewhat hyper-active. At the age of 9, that's pretty normal -- according to him. His prescription? He gave my parents a bunch of sports and activities in my area. I started Soccer immediately, then later Gymnastics and finally Swimming. I wasted a lot of energy swimming every day -- and my teacher loved that I wasn't so energetic in class anymore.

    ADD is the most inaccurately diagnosed disorder in the nation (US -- no international stats, sorry). 74% of all ADD diagnoses have been found to be incorrect. That is to say that 74% of the people out there useing Ritalin (or some other focusing drug) shouldn't be useing it. Another interesting fact: 28% of all Bipolar II cases (clinical depression) were at one time useing Ritalin.

    What is this society doing?


  • I found this comment really insightful - it summarized my own thoughts own popularity/nerdiness/loserosity better than I have ever put them. I always thought that was true, that the pop people are less happy; they're too busy trying to conform and hold their "position" that they forget to just enjoy life. While they're insulting us "geeks" to try and make themselves look better, we're just ignoring them and having fun.

    Ever consider that the "popular people" might actually *enjoy* their social circus? Sure, it's a never-ending merry-go-round of popularity contests, but the people who play them sure seem to enjoy them. All too often the people that can't play with the mainstream just end up creating some "alternative" which looks, smells and tastes just like the mainstream with a different set of criteria (ie, green hair) to regulate who matters and who doesn't, and a different set of icons and music soundtrack. The really funny thing is that the people who are "hip" to the alternative scene are often more elitist than the so-called popular people, largely because they're making a conscious effort to be different to begin with.

    The pop culture people look happy, but they aren't. They need music and icons to tell them who to be.

    Oh come on. At least be intellectually honest. For someone who spends 4 hours a day listening to death metal, accusing the "popular people" of needing some social signpost to orient them is really the height of hyprocracy. Where would Clinton's social compass be without his anti-music to guide him?
  • I agree. I think a better title would've been "Random Slashdot Reader". or "Random Teenage Slashdot Reader".

    or "Teenage Mutant Slashdot Reader" !!!

  • Computer "geeks" probably have more experience with depression and thei -dont-care-if-i-am-a-rejected-loser-because-i-am- intelligent syndrome

    And the solution, when you're the number one kid getting bullied in school is what?

    I for one am a Very Intelligent Computer Geek - and have always been so (always, as in, since the age of 6 or 7).

    You have to have something to look forward to, when you're going through the years of beeing bullied. I for one knew that the years would pass, and that when I grew up, I would become "much more" than the assholes.

    How right I was. :) When I look back on the bastards, I see a bunch of kids that are mostly drug addicts, or working as mechanics in some small garage.

    Some people get depressed. I didn't. I started my own BBS, and spent most of my time writing on it, discussing with people three times my age. They didn't know or care about my age - they cared about the discussions. That was _great_.

  • Train teachers better.
    Or, in other words, rework the teacher education curriculum, require education majors to meet higher standards, make them take more courses, attend more practicums, etc. This will make it harder to become a teacher. Intelligent people will say "Gee, I can follow this stringent, rigorous course of study and be paid $19,000 a year, or I can go into engineering and be paid $40,000 a year."

    It's not enough to merely train teachers better. If you set the bar higher but don't pay teachers better, you will lose teachers.

    Here's my plan:
    Step 1: Double every teacher's salary
    Step 2: Double the number of teachers
    Step 3: Eliminate the dead wood.

    Note that step three will likely require firing everyone who was a teacher before step 1.

    There are very few exceptions to the old saw that states "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. And those who can't teach, teach teachers."

    And to answer your question, no, the time I spent as a public school teacher didn't make me bitter or cynical at all.
  • Speak for yourself. Maybe you didn't belong on Ritalin, but it really irks me when people start trying to decide for other people that drugs are not good for anyone. For many people drugs are basically lifesavers - they help a great many people - where do you get off assuming that these people 'did a bad thing' to Clinton? Do you know *anything* about his ADD case? Why do you assume automatically that his case was anything like yours?

    I'm not ADD, but I used to be unipolar (depression), and you see all the same sort of ignorant anti-drug arguments. No two cases are quite the same - some people might not need drugs, but for many people it is the only option. Please don't attempt to be the judge of what is right for other people.

  • At least some of the geeks who replace us when the older models are obsolete won't listen to Britney Spears!

    It's good to hear that the geeks of tomarrow are getting the classical teaching of yesterday. Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it! (land war in asia...) Hence, we better not hear about you spending more money on marketing than development for mentalUNIX...

    But one comment as far as package tools: you should really take a look at alien [], it handles most of the major packages relatively well. to quote: Alien is a program that converts between the rpm, dpkg, stampede slp, and slackware tgz file formats. You might consider using them to achieve your goals... 'Why build a tank from scratch when B.A. Barrachas can just grab sheet metal and put it on a van!'

    Gonzo Granzeau

  • i like hip-hop and the british derivative/alternate triphop (eg massive attack, tricky, portishead).

    really though to say "i only like x type of music" is silly. you are really restricing yourself. along with hip/hop i listen to alot of other stuff from johnny cash to deadkennedys to classical to indian pujabi. it really depends on my mood.

    when i was clintons age i really only listened to punk though (black flag, dk, misfits, crucifucks, etc.) it was what i realted to the most. since then i have become less 13373 (or however it's spelled) and more open minded.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

  • Oh, yeah. I know what you mean. If only they wore decent clothes. If only they didn't act like that. They bring it on themselves. The people it happens to must have something wrong with them. It only happens to, you know, that kind of person. What do you expect going out dressed like that. Well, don't go out after dark alone. She was asking for it. She must be a tease. She must have done something to provoke him.

    Oh, wait, I forgot: were we talking about women getting raped or geeks getting beaten up? Oh, it doesn't matter, the logic is the same: it must have been the victim's fault, right?

    It'd just be easier if some people would realize that always being hostile or depressed is self destructive - though that's easy to say in hindsight.

    Being depressed is self-destructive? Gosh, I'm sure that all those depressed teen /.ers reading this will take this right to heart and stop being depressed right now! If only someone had told them earlier that their depression was the cause of the scorn of their peers, I'm sure they would have stopped immediately.

    Whoops, that was my sarcasm limit for the day...

  • Yes, it is somewhat of a paradox to have these people pressuring each other to be different when in fact they are pressuring each other to be like said subculture. Some will appropriate anyone who they don't like or has become too popular as not being a real .

    It is doublespeak. However most of these subcultures were born of the rejection from the popular and so being different is redefined as being unlike any "normals". The most likely reason why they all dress alike is because they feel a need to fit in with their new peer group - just like any other normal human. You don't stop being a kid once you associate the term goth, punk, candy kid, heavy metal rocker, etc with self.
  • "Umm...I don't think we are talking about the same 'Non-popular music'. There's a lot of 'Non-popular music' out there...what I'm thinking of isn't 'angst ridden'...and how can you say all 'Non-popular music' is 'personally boring'? Whatever"

    Sorry, I was specifically talking about the type of music this Clinton person in the interview was talking about.

    "My point was that while some people form their entire personality based on pop music, which is bad, taking some of your personality from music is not bad"

    Well if you mean personality as in general mood, whatever, yeah sure. I listen and enjoy lots of different types of music like techno/trance, classical, older rock, whatever. If I'm in my car or doing some particularly boring work music can be uplifting and enjoyable.

    My POINT though was that it is pathetic to actually think that there is a profound message in a certain genre of music - especially if its nonsense like punk music.

    OK, so some of your personality may be dictated by some of the music you listen to and vice versa, partially through the people you associate with with the same interest in music - but please elucidate how music profoundly affects how you live. I'd like to hear.
  • "There are plenty of songs I can think of which have given me insights"

    While this may be true, I'm not convinced that any three minute song can communicate any really profound ideas. The level of information in literature, textbooks and field specific finding/position books makes the so called profound messages in music seem pathetic.

    That said, a good song or movie don't have to be chock full of profound messages. One strong communicated message can make you learn something that results in you reconfiguring your world view.

    I thorougly enjoy music and movies as art and appreciate their respective mediums ability to convey emotion and perhaps a little positive and negative life pattern recognition (I admit, I even cry when viewing formulaic movies).

    But profound insight - not really. Non-popular Music specifically is mostly angst ridden and personally boring. I'd rather listen to something like the latest radiohead which really doesn't have a specific message - or classical music just for the enjoyment of listening to musical sound.
  • Pisses me off too. Most of the time it seems to happen when the kid can't sit still in class, and the teacher suggests to the parents that the kid might have ADD and need to be put on Ritalin. That happened to me - I was on Ritalin for 2 weeks but Momz took me off it cause she didn't like the effect it had on me. She said it was a big mistake to put me on it in the first place, and I'm glad she recognized that.

    I couldn't sit still in class because it was mad boring. Maybe rote learning works for some people, but I can't deal with it. I like to think and understand, not just memorize facts some monotone-talkin' teacher wrote on a chalkboard.

    So yeah, it's downright unconscionable that such a large percentage of kids get doped up on Ritalin so they can pay attention in class. It's the schools that need to be fixed, not the kids.

  • man, yeah hip-hop (some, not all) truly outshines this electronica movement. especially when all that synth crap starts sounding the same. theres very little message/meaning/nice beats. Some gangster hiphop is just plain entertaining. Outkast like u mentioned is phat and other groups know how to have fun and nothing but. Also, Being a geek can be rather helpful, it can help u meet nice chix at a boarding school "hey can u help me setup my network connection?" (sounds like the intro o a pr0no if u ask me) My freinds span the social strata. Its not that bad to be a geek anymore, people don't make fun of you unless you stay home all day, but its fine to code and be 'l33t where im from, just dont overdo it and itll be fine -n-rs-
  • I took ritalin for the last 4 years of my 9 year stint at college.

    It was the only way I was going to pay attention long enough to the drivel that I was forced to sit through -- yes, some of it was fun, but for the most part it was just painful. I have trouble respecting and therefore paying attention to things that try to make me conform.

    At any rate, I've since graduated and have been free of all stimulants (even caffeine) for quite some time now, with no problems whatsoever.

    It was a necessary evil to get me a degree. Which, when all is said and done, I am honestly glad I got. But I don't need it anymore, and am much happier without it.
  • If I had known his name was Clinton, I would have asked him if he knew what the meaning of "is" is. Maybe this Clinton would have known. Doh!

  • As someone who considers himself an indie-rock/beardcore/shoegaze music fan, I have to question your position.. I don't think that the popular kids in school are necessarily less happy than the misfits..

    I used to spend too much energy being disgusted with pop music and its fans, just as I spent too much time feeling sorry for kids in high school who were apparently always trying to fit in. Eventually I realized that I was working almost as hard to not fit in and to stand apart. When I got comfortable with that I could finally enjoy a Backstreet Boys song once in a while during the drive home from work.. What the hell, I'm not hurting anyone..Guilty pleasures are an important part of life. =)

    There is some middle ground, and I'm grateful that I finally found it (somewhere in high school). The hardships of social life in middle/high school were enough to make me want to become a teacher, if only to go in there and somehow convince all of the kids to relax and just do their own thing and learn to forget about what everyone else thinks. It was a hard-learned lesson for myself and I just wish to impart my wisdom on others..

  • most kids are never going to have any use for knowing HOW a computer works. thye just need to know it does, and what the process for getting from point a to point b

    This was an IT class. Presumably the students were there to learn how a computer works.

  • ...or ones such as SPK, Einsturzende Neubauten (sp?) Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, and may others, who really led the industrial "revolution" (damn, that's just too easy a metaphor :)

    ...Or, the ones that are taking it in new and fascinating directions today, such as Imminent Starvation, Winterkalte, Feindflug, Gridlock, and others of that sort...

    Problem is, especially given the more esoteric musics that you hear in the "industrial" genre, pretty much all the bands you name qualify as "pop". Hell, i've seen all of them on MuchMusic at least once :) Now, if you ever see a video for Imminent Starvation, i'd sell my own mom for a copy ;)

    Elitist mode := OFF

    Thanks for listening :)


  • People who like music that is ``pop" tend to be people who really don't listen to music, just have it playing in the background while they do something else. if you actually listen to music, you develop taste.

    And, as a footnote, those who do NOT like pop music are those who are too insecure in their tastes to admit to it.

    My primary listening areas are things like John Zorn, Beethoven's late quartets and sonatas, Albert Ayler, Shostakovich's quartets and symphonies, anything Coltrane did (all of those are among the most difficult music ever produced), plus all kinds of underground hip hop, metal, alternative country, techno, old and new jazz, ethnic musics, etc., etc., etc., etc., but I happy to say that I find most N*Sync and Britney Spears music irrestibly catchy. Anybody who doesn't is lying.
  • I think that some geeks are more respected because not all geeks are anti-social anymore. I'm a highschool student, I run linux on a few computers (not a guru, but I can get around), and I do a lot of web programming (I know, the evil, weak stuff, PHP/MySQL, JavaScript, ASP/MS SQL), infact that's how I make all my money. I can do the 6:30-10:30 tv/computer during the week, and then on weekends or holidays like this, that turns into 6:30-9:00 hanging out with friends, and 9:00-? partying, getting wasted, having a great time...I mean over this holiday vaction I've been to a party every night (except when spending time with family celebrating x-mas). One of the kids that I hang out with and see at all the parties is also a computer geek, and he's known as a big partier.

    computer geek != anti-social

  • Oh, nice moderating this guy down because he doesn't like electronica. How pathetic, that a valid comment goes to '-1, Flamebait' because the moderators lack the ability to distinguish subjective from objective opinion.
  • Seriously. My roomate is quoted as saying, "A girlfriend is like two eighteen unit courses." That translates to 36 units, or 36 hours per week, or just under 4 hours per day for the 7 day week. (I did all that math without a calculator :) )
  • I am in high school/college now and consider myself a nerd. Not because I am anti-social or have no friends; quite the opposite. I spend most of my free time with friends who are not majorly into computers. However, there is a constant track of my mind wondering, "What's the latest post on Slashdot?" "When is 2.4 REALLY coming out?" "Is my box still up? I sure hope so... damned DDoS" I think it's a state of mind that indicates your entry into nerd-dom. --Gavin
  • Why??? If i was on a desert island, with a computer, and there was females around, i'd want to STAY, not build a boat ;)
  • If so, I'm not a normal Slashdot reader, and didn't quite realize it.

    This is my biggest complaint about Jon Katz and his "Hellmouth" series, and that "normal Slashdot reader" thing. It seems like we as a Slashdot community are forming/have formed a stereotype of what a "geek" is or should be.

    I was not a loner in high school. I had lots of friends, was very active, and yes, I was also happy. I was also a math/computer whiz who got very good grades. I didn't find /. until after high school, but I did spend plenty of time coding, and do consider myself a geek.

    So let's not narrow down what we think a geek is, but rather appreciate how diverse we are.

  • ADD is the most inaccurately diagnosed disorder in the nation (US -- no international stats, sorry).

    Apparently, kids in Europe must be "immune" to ADD; there are little to no diagnoses of it there at all. ADD is something America specific, most of the rest of the world sees it as bad science.

  • "European children seem immune to the disease so the market for Ritalin is largely confined to America."

    Dr. James Keirsey - The Great A.D.D. Hoax []

    Before you dismiss Keirsey as some crackpot, I suggest you read some of his other material. He is one of the most respected psychologists in the country. Plus, his suggested treatment for children misdiagnosed with A.D.D. makes a hell of a lot more sense than pumping them full of Ritalin.

  • "Is it just me, or my g-g-g-generation, or does new music really suck? What are you listening to?"

    I'm under the impression that new music never sucks. Music always changes and your tastes never change that much from what you were initially introduced to. Right? Well, not necessarily, but for the sake of argument, let's just say that our tastes don't stray *too* much. Despite the fact that the music "sucks" in your opinion, people have to understand that music caters to the changing of the times and the evolution of musical taste. I'll admit that modern rock pissed me off in the early nineties. I grew up in the late eighties and I loved Def Leppard, Don Henley, New Kids On The Block *dips head in shame* ... Then my dad got me into seventies rock. And wow, it still kicks ass. In the last year or two, I've gotten into modern rock such as Metallica, Creed, and lesser known bands like Dust For Life and American Pearl. 95% of the people in this country probably thing American Pearl sucks. I love them. Sorry... that's the way things go.

    What's my point? My point is that music is about individualism. It isn't about pleasing everyone that hears it. So what if 75% of Americans hate Britney's music. If even one tenth of that other 25% buy one of her albums, that's about 6 million record sales. And by today's standards, that doesn't suck. In conclusion, we should not decide what music sucks and what doesn't popularly. I say, if music is good enough to make it to the mainstream, even if only for a moment, then it doesn't suck.

    Then there's all the factors of why this band or that song or this genre ... sucks. It's a bunch of crap. Music only sucks when individuals don't want to hear it. But just because Bing Crosby sucks by today's standards, does that mean his music sucks? No. It's his creation. It's his art. (arguably) And that can be said about all musicians and their music. It doesn't have to conform to anything, and you don't have to listen to anything you don't want to.

    So those of you complaining about music that sucks so horribly, why don't you stop your bitching and go out and listen to something you like. (or make your own?)

  • Hip-hop culture is as much a reality as geek culture. I've been involved in both, although the former is much more creative.

    I believe this wholeheartedly. Hip-hop is very creative. A friend of mine has a pair of turntables, another friend of mine has a phat ass keyboard, and I've got a buttload of audio software. Another friend of mine is a producer and has a couple racks of audio equipment at his studio.

    I love hip-hop, I've written several rhymes, I've made several tracks. I'd love to get into the hip-hop industry, it's the only thing that I love more than computers.

    Ms. Jackson is a very good song. Unfortunately, I get the impression that it's going to become quickly overplayed from what people have told me. I hear it's on TV all the time, they play it at clubs all the time, and it's always on the radio. I don't watch MTV, I don't listen to the radio, and I haven't been to a club in about 3 months, so I'm oblivious to the whole overplayed scenario. It's a great song, but I don't believe it's the best on the CD. Red Velvet, Humble Mumble, and Spaghetti Junction are all rivals.

    Lately, I've been listening to The Roots' illadelph halflife a lot as well as De La Soul's new cd. I'm awaiting both Method Man and Redman's new cds (both solos). De La Soul is slated to release 2 more cds in the Art Official Intelligence series. I was disappointed with Phife's Ventilation. A couple of good tracks, the rest sucked, IMHO. Q-Tip definitely outshined him in the solo realm, even though I like Phife better than his former anal-retentive nasal partner. It's Q-Tip's fault that the tribe fell apart, and I believe TCQ will see a reunion only if Q-Tip apologizes to Phife. I hope we see it happen.

    Anyhow, I'm way off-topic.


    "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."
  • You know it's interesting, but I almost never encounter geeks that listen to hip-hop. It's most always metal/punk.

    Of course, I differ a lot from most geeks. I was pretty popular in high school. I knew everybody. I knew the preps, I knew the skaters, I knew the punkers, I knew the geeks, I just knew everybody. I don't listen to punk. Can't stand it. I love hip-hop. A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip, Phife, Outkast (IMHO the best rap group ever, period, been listening to Kast since southernplayalisticadillacmuzik dropped in '94). EPMD, Redman, Eightball & MJG, Mos Def, Black Eyed Peas, Common, Talib Kweli, Goodie Mob, Jurassic 5, Twista, Timbaland, All City, Scarface, De La Sol, Tupac, Busta Rhymes, Wu-tang, etc... Of course, I've always loved Sublime & 311, too, way back before either of them were ever on the radio or MTV.

    I'm just wondering if there's *anybody* that reads slashdot that listens to hip-hop as well, because I've never encountered a fellow geek that enjoys it as much as I do.


    "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."
  • I always thought that was true, that the pop people are less happy; they're too busy trying to conform and hold their "position" that they forget to just enjoy life. While they're insulting us "geeks" to try and make themselves look better, we're just ignoring them and having fun.

    That's not insightful. No more than them insulting geeks in the first place. It's just putting the shoe on the other foot.

    Pop People: Hahaha! Look at the geeks! They have no social skills, they can't interact with people so they interact with computers! What losers!
    Geeks: Hahaha! Look at the pop people! They have no real social skills, they just emulate what they see Britney Spears do! What losers!

    ... but then, look at me. I'm a geek, I dream about code, but I also enjoy CHR music and I was elected to student government back in High School. What does that make me? A hideous mutant with no social abilities and no self-distinction?

    Any attempts to classify any group into neat, tidy little boxes is bound to fail. It doesn't matter if the group is pop people or geeks.
  • Mod that post up! :)

    Seriously, that's so true. Why are so few computer-types into hip-hop? I know I'm into it. Since most people consider me to be more-or-less the whitest guy they know, they are suprised that I'm a huge hip-hop fan.

    Considering how a lot of geeks tend to love wrting, creativity, and wordplay, I'd think that rap would strike more of a chord with them. I dunno... I guess by that logic, geeks would like Emily Dickenson too. :P

    There was a time when there was at least ONE big link between hip-hop and computers. Remember when demos were big? You know... Future Crew, etc... I always thought that a lot of demos had a cool hip-hop feel. Don't laugh... :) A lot of the demos had graffitti-style logos, and the demo crews has habits of giving each-other shout-outs just like rappers. Also, the whole spirit of the demo scene sort of echoed the hip-hip spirit... there was a lot of pride/boasting in rap AND demos, but there was a real sense of community too. And just like hip hop showed that you could make music with just a microphone and a tape recorder, demos showed that you could make awesome graphics apps with just a whole 'lotta assembly code. You know, stripping the art form down to the bare mininum.

    Maybe I'm reading too much into it. What do you guys think? :) []
  • Actually, thought it was 'ordinary', not 'average'... still, I would not describe him as ordinary by any standard.

    And yes, I agree that the slashdot 'community' is very diverse. Clinton is probably what most of us would point to as an outstanding example of the kind of person that /. attracts. Not average or ordinary (or even representative) by any standard I can think of, but certainly a well-regarded, intelligent and technically capable young individual that I want to think is out there reading and contributing.

    Sometimes I tend to think of the average or ordinary /.'er as goatsex, hotgrits, penis bird signal 11, osm types -- it is nice to read something that gives me some hope for the current crop of 'teenage computer geeks' that are capable of more than posting garbage and actually contribute to our slice of society.
  • hmmm.... I didn't get the impression they were looking for an average/representative person to ask questions. They did say 'ordinary' not 'average' - by this I took it to mean someone out of the crowd, instead of well-known figure as they usually pick for these top-10 question/interview thingies.

  • Yeah, but the people with yellow/green hair think they need to have yellow/green hair and intentionally be different to be accepted.
  • Grrraaagghhh!!!!!

    Money, money, money!!!

    What is the obsession????

    OK, yeah, money is necessary to survive, and to be able to get some of the things you want, but it is not an end in and of itself.

    I think it's great to want to go to college because I think it's a great experience. It's a time to get away from the 'rents, experience new things, and maybe, just maybe, learn something interesting.

    So, go to college, take some cool classes about stuff that interests you, have a kick-ass time, and, as a fringe benefit, come out of it with a piece of paper that tells employers they should pay you more. Or drop out and do your own thing. There is no one "right" path.

    Only one thing is certain in my mind, and that is that, if money is your sole motivator you will end up no better than the other corporate whore schmucks.
  • I don't really think geeks have taken the position of doctors, but I think we have moved up a bit. I'm not taunted anymore, I'm just understood. People understand I'm not like them, and they don't care.

    Graduating from high school a few years ago, and soon to be graduating college, I can definitely attest that being a "geek" has moved up a few notches. It isn't football or even "drama club" coolness, but we're indentified as having our own strengths and certain kind of charisma, instead of being perceived as the antisocial slacker of yesteryear.

  • I'd definitely have to agree with Jethro. That isn't a whole lot of free time [On school days, I've usually got 7-8 hours of free time - weekends, I've got the entire day]. I don't think I've ever been desperate for a boyfriend, but now that I've got one, I treasure my free time a whole lot more. He's a geek as well, and we both realize how valuable free time is, but even that doesn't affect the decrease in free time. I still devote at least two days of the average week to him, and we both once in a while end up making excuses to stay apart. You don't realize what you enjoyed doing until you lack the time to do it any longer.

    However, sometimes it's extremely nice to have someone to turn to when you're tired of the usual routine, or when you just need to get your mind of everything else. It doesn't hurt to get out of the house, as long as you can manage your time. :P Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? That all depends on the people involved.


  • that no one asked our average Slashdot user what his thought are about the Internet being used as a pr0n loader, or for that matter, if he downloads pr0n(like he would admit it).

  • Its almost a shame that I have to work/live with arrogant know-nothings everyday... when very interesting, intelligent, likeminded people are scattered around the globe. All in all this kid sounds like a fine person.

    Good luck to you.

    Anyone every think to build a geek-commune? ;)
  • A good teacher knows how to deal with those sorts of kids (like me) and give them stuff to do so they aren't bored off their asses!

    Correct. And that's exactly what the better teachers started doing with me - which is why I got an excellent education, particularly in the earlier grades. The teachers who didn't get it were the ones who ended up with a bored, cranky kid; those who did made all the difference (and had more fun too).

  • Definitely. When I was a pretty active kid (as kids SHOULD be, damn it!) I suddently found myself playing soccer most days, which was strenuous enough to keep me and the other kids calm. I wasn't that good at it, but landing in the mud while struggling for the ball sure was fun.

    If/when I have kids I'll make sure they have ample opportunities to play sports. This will keep the Ritalin away - and it's healthy too!

    (By the way: you can play soccer and be a geek at the same time. Not difficult. On topic: does the subject of the interview, by chance?)

  • Thank heavens they didn't have Ritalin when I was a kid. I was one of those smart but disruptive ones in first and second grade - often got nasty notes to my parents saying I was mouthing off in class - and had they put me on Ritalin I am sure I would have learned much less.
  • ABSOLUTELY TRUE! In the software engineering field I've noticed exactly what you have mentioned, which is that people naturally buy into the myth that anyone who is poorly dressed, and of an unkempt look, preferably talks about Linux and anything else "counter-culture", naturally simply must be some sort of genius hacker. It's the paradigm of the glass ceiling in software development : So long as you have non-ascending traits you are a god among your co-workers, but as you learn critical business skills such as how to interoperate with other people without offending you appear to be of lesser talent.

    Of course one can overcome the `detriment' of dressing well and having good mannerisms by constantly proving themselves, but nonetheless it's annoying having a incompetent co-worker perceived as a contender because they cut their own hair, have constantly bad breath and can't talk to anyone without putting them in a mindless stupor of boredom.

    I am Boron!

  • Recommending to a 15-yr old that he sleep more, or take time for a girlfriend is an utter waste of time. At his age, or even through to college, spending more than 30-minutes to 1-hr on a girlfriend each day is crazy. Prioritize - work now, fun later. Much later.

    Perhaps my mood is bad, but why is this 3, Funny? 3, Insightful is more like it. =)

    Actually, while you're young, you should learn to ration sleep. Attending MSMS [] forced me to ratchet down to five hours or so plus power naps. College actually got easier--mainly because I got lazy because scholarships are paying for it and my parents and I aren't--so my sleep schedule stretched back to a "normal" amount. Now that I'm doing everything at once, those valuable techniques I learned as a kid come in wonderfully handy.

  • There's a lot of anti-ritalin sentiment. I think that's very misdirected. If you want to complain about anything, complain about all the doctors who prescribed it when they shouldn't have.

    Don't take my comment as anti-Ritalin, or anti-any kind of drug. My complaint is very much about misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis is a potentially serious error, whether in engineering or medicine. That and using drugs merely "because something must be done and this is something" instead of proper diagnosis and proper prescription of the correct drug for the condition in question.

  • mobydisk wrote, among other things, to inquire,

    > And another thing. Does everybody here think that because they read Slashdot that they are "different?"

    no, i'm proud to say i don't need *slashdot* to make me different.

    i'm different because i'm a sixteen year old *girl* who loves linux, even though i know practically nothing about it as yet, because while i was on holiday the power supply in my desktop died, and i'm not bothering to install redhat on my laptop because of its wretched winmodem, that obviously i knew nothing about when i bought it.

    i'm different because i love to read science fiction and technopunk thrillers, british comic fantasy, greek surrealist poetry, pre-revolutionary french biography, classical greek literature, classic british and french novels, dilbert, books on italian architecture, and everything else worth reading. it's quite an expensive little hobby.

    i'm different because i listen to opera, german industrial garage music, alternative folk/punk/rock chicks like ani difranco and liz phair, cabaret tunes, a little jazz, medieval choral music, bach and mozart, greek pop music and rembetika, and classical greek poetry set to music.

    i'm different because two-tone chanel slingbacks make me swoon, the discovery of a perfect new lipstick fills me with euphoria, and all i want for christmas is a hermes trenchcoat and *anything* made of barguzin sable.

    i'm different because i love to write almost as much as i love to read, and the book of poetry i am working on has already been called "exquisite" by the founder of an award-winning poetry publishing house.

    i'm different because i'm an active member of a centre-right political party in a little south pacific country most of you probably wouldn't be able to find on a map given an hour with a magnifying glass.

    i'm different because i'm in limbo between schools, because i'd rather flip burgers for the rest of my life than go back to the intellectually stifling hellhole i recently escaped from (a feat i managed only because of a sleep disorder, and low blood pressure, that reduced my attendance to 49% last year, not a day of which i actually skipped), and the only correspondence school in my country doesn't think i'd quite "fit in" with them, either.

    typical slashdot readers? there's no such thing! you people should know that by now!

    dictatrix, aka the duchess.
  • some of the postings now and in the past refer to people being anti-social and nerds. I don't consider myself a nerd and never had. I had lots of friends in high school, played on various sports teams, made the honour role year after year and also developed an interest in business and computers.

    I work in the computer industry and was just wondering......does one have to live, sleep and breath computers to make it big?

    And is there such a thing nowadays as the stereotypicial nerd? What are they like now?

  • Relax...

    "LEGOs" is not plural for LEGO. It is slang for "LEGO bricks".
  • I am a senior in high school who has been introduced to slashdot just recently, via the show The Screen Savers on techtv (as many of the slashdot users may be familiar with). I read all the time about kids who are rejected for being geeks and who find fun and social interaction with the computer and the Internet. Unfortunately, my situation is not quite so bright - while I have used the computer for many years for games and Internet surfing, I have only recently been introduced to Linux and other such fields. I became so interested that my father has procured an old 166 mhz Pentium to try Linux on. I hope that this will allow me to see what everyone is raving about with Linux.

    Anyway, my question is this. It seems that all the high schoolers (and the former high schoolers) have long histories with computers. Clinton, for example, has been using them (and learning all sorts of languages and stuff) since he was 8. Is there anyone like me out there? I have a huge identity problem - there is no one at my school that I could call a true friend (maybe one or two). I feel like I am SO behind the slashdot geek group that I can't identify with geeks. I want to call myself something!

    I am a fairly average social reject. I spend more time on slashdot than I do with people at school (aside from in school, of course). I enjoy computer games a lot, yet I long to be part of a group and have friends like me. I listen to good music and detest pop. I really dislike popular people. I hope I can find someone out there who has similar sentiments - I feel so excluded even from the slashdotters. Please respond, preferably via email (remove the SPAM's from the address). Thank you in advance.

  • I got the same impression. For 15, he's got a pretty level head on his shoulders. If he worked in the same place I do, I have a feeling I'd never have known his age, if he talks and expresses himself as well in person (which it seems he probably does). One guy I worked with was like that. I talked to him for 6 months about a multitude of topics (from games to politics to world events, etc) and assumed he was close to my age (somewhere in his early to mid-20s). The guy was barely 18!
  • by Don Negro ( 1069 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @07:24AM (#1425678)
    The FAA has never had any problem issuing my medicals, ADD diagnosis, ritalin scipt and all.

    Of course, when I was in puberty, ritalin made me damned near psychotic -- angry all the time and prone to violent outbursts that left me wondering what was going on, even as they were occuring. So I got off of it, but got a new prescription sophomore year of college. It is a really useful tool for adult ADDs, but taking it regularly, 2 or 3 times a day would be somewhat counterproducitve, for me at least, because coming down leaves your brain as numb as a 7 hour cross-country.

    Ritalin is really useful for people who are ADD. The problem is that only maybe 25% of ADD diagnoses are accurate.

    Don Negro

  • by waldoj ( 8229 ) < minus author> on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:43AM (#1425679) Homepage Journal
    No offense intended to the interview subject (really, I mean that), but what was the point of this? Somebody wrote, half-kidding, that we don't actually have any idea if this is really representative of the average /. user, which I think is actually a good point. Because if Clinton isn't the average /. user, then it's just "Interview With Some Guy."

    I guess what I'm reall asking is this: What brought this on? How did this come to be?

  • by MAXOMENOS ( 9802 ) <maxomai@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday December 29, 2000 @11:08AM (#1425680) Homepage
    I have yet to hear a radio station play a song by Cannibal Corpse, or even some of the old school death metal bands that actually played Death Metal and weren't manufactured bands.

    I used to have a radio show (kulturwehrmacht radio at Shreeve Hall, Purdue University) that had death metal, speed metal, and punk...I usually opened the show with the Jello Biafra track "A Word from Our Sponsor" from the Terminal City Ricochet album, followed by Napalm Death or Entombed or Slayer or Morbid Angel. And it played 8:00 AM Sunday morning, as the mostly very proper, ultraconservative, constantly-trying-to-convert-everyone Sunday Morning listening audience was sitting down to breakfast. Needless to say I got quite a few complaints from the people who thought I was Satan incarnate. Oh yes, and my Goodbye George Bush, post-1992 election show was one of the most wicked ever.........

    ObJectBridge [] (GPL'd Java ODMG) needs volunteers.

  • by NoseyNick ( 19946 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:48AM (#1425681) Homepage
    Why do SO many people pretend "I (used to) play with legos" - it's WRONG WRONG WRONG. The plural of LEGO is LEGO. "I have lots of lego". If you INSIST on adding an "s", try "I have a lot of lego bricks"

    sorry, pet peeve.

  • by BeanThere ( 28381 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @09:54AM (#1425682)

    When I bought my last car, I got a buddy at work, who is good with cars, to help me.

    South Africans on the whole are pretty apathetic/ignorant about bad service, I'm afraid. They tend to take a "roll with the punches" attitude, which isn't really a good thing. One of the largest computer retailers here is called "incredible connection", but most technical people refer to it as "incredible corruption". Their profit margin is close to 100% and their service is crapper than you could possibly begin to imagine. Yet most people don't even seem to realise that they are being screwed over royally, and even when they do, they tend to just shrug it off, saying something like "what can we do about it?". 'After sales service' is almost unheard of in this country. Somebody else I know bought a computer from Mecer, another large computer retailer here, and it literally wasn't set up properly (this is VERY common when buying computers in SA) - the DVD drive didn't work, there were size copies of the graphics card drivers installed, the computer would freeze up all the time - and yet this person called me before calling the company, because she was under the impression that she had somehow messed the computer up (another common misconception that makes people here afraid to demand service.)

    A friend of mine wanted to put a CD drive in his computer, but it had the old red-paint warranty-void crap on the back. Buying a CD drive is simple, right? I mean, buy the drive, get an IDE cable, set the jumpers, and in 10 minutes you're up and running. But this place needed *several days* to install it, and were charging big bucks for so-called labour. He was promised it would be finished by a certain day, when we went there on that day, they hadn't even begun on it. The secretary was rude with us as well. We asked for it to be done while we waited, so we went off to the back to painfully watch a clueless mininum-wage "technician" attempt to install it. After he'd put it in the computer wouldn't start up at all. It was a big mess, but we eventually did manage to escape that place with a working CD ROM drive. But he voided his warranty and never went there again for further upgrades. But that store is still there and going strong, three years later.

    It sounds like it's a bit better in the states, but over here, the computer retailers have waaay too much demand to care about little things like service.

  • by chown ( 62159 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @09:18AM (#1425683)

    Ritalin is really useful for people who are ADD. The problem is that only maybe 25% of ADD diagnoses are accurate.

    Here, Here. When I was in school I was of the opinion that ritalin was merely a vehicle for the pharmeceutical companies to fill their pockets either more, and children were easy targets. I mean, what parent would deny their children the chance to be "normal" if all it takes is a little pill?

    Now that I'm an adult, and after I've had some rather serious psychological problems that very nearly drove me the point of needing hospitilization, I'm a little more lenient with my views on drugs for mental health. Among other things, my shrink diagnosed me with ADD, and I laughed at first. But after being on wellbutrin for a while, I think he's right. I still don't think I should have been on anything in high school, however. I'd probably still be wasting my time in college and doing what society told me I should be doing, instead of doing what I actually wanted to do. I think adult ADD should probably be treated, and it's not a bad thing. I think it's probably also diagnosed more accurately.

    Just my 2 (drugged :) cents.

  • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:36AM (#1425684) Journal
    I certainly agree that there can't be any real 'average' /. reader just chosen. Being picked by the maintainers of the site means you may fit what /. wants to present as the average consumer of their site. I think what we have here is a person that fits a lot of the 'stereotypes' that the rest of the world gives to geeks, and this interview was probably meant to be some sort of platform for a geek to step up and say I'm not that stereotype.
    To be perfectly honest, this interview seems to almost have reinforced that stereotype. No offense to Clinton, beacuse I am friends with plenty of people like him, and find them to be some of the most decent and intelligent and interesting people i know. If you look at his answers, the most indepth response is, by far, the question having to do with his MentalUNIX distro. Some of the other questions, questions involving defining points in everyone's life, relationships/school/jobs, are just sort of brushed over and only half answered. I honestly hope that Clinton was just being lazy, and if he really wanted to, could easily write at least as much about his thoughts on girls or school or whatever than he did on a computer project.
    I dunno, although as I said earlier, I find the concept of an average /. reader to be kind of silly, if someone put a gun to my head and asked me for to describe one, this kid would've matched pretty close to what I'd say. Not sure if that's good or bad.
  • by benenglish ( 107150 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @11:15AM (#1425685)
    Critical evaluations of music, art, etc. are just foolish and narcisstic : Let ME tell you what _I_ like because obviously what YOU like is shit and you just haven't seen the light.

    Not if it's done right.

    While I generally agree with you, criticism can serve a very valuable function - saving consumer dollars. As a former film critic, I dealt with a similar situation, i.e. an overwhelmingly large number of choices and consumers with little idea where to best spend their money. I found that the best approach was to be very up-front with my prejudices. I did a column on them annually. It was always something along the lines of: "I like this stuff and this actress and if I see a movie with her in it and that kind of subject matter, I'll overlook all kinds of glaring flaws that might drive you crazy." Those of my readers who shared my tastes could then read my reviews and know that if I liked a movie, they stood a better-than-even chance of liking it, too. Likewise, I frequently got email from people who said "I know you like crap. You said so. Anytime you recommend a movie, I know to avoid it." That was fine; I was helping them, too.

    The problem with criticism, as I see it, is that most critics come to confuse their prejudices with an objective standard of quality. It just ain't so. But as long as the prejudices of a critic are known (and s/he doesn't take him/herself too seriously), crticism can be a very useful tool helping the reader best decide where to spend their entertainment dollars.

    I don't know who does criticism in this fashion nowadays. The Absolute Sound, a magazine that critiques audio equipment and recordings, used to require a lengthy essay every year from every contributing critic on their musical tastes, equipment, and predispositions of judgement. Any intellectually honest critic or published outlet for critical writing should do the same.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Friday December 29, 2000 @11:09AM (#1425686) Homepage Journal
    I really have noticed that "normal" people have invaded my High School CS class.. most of them are trying to learn C, and can barely use AOL. It is very sad
    god forbid someone wants to learn something they don't know!
    this is the same kind of elitism jocks use when they think your sad bacuase you can't throw a ball as well as them.
    I applaud people who take something thats really difficult for them. They have more balls them someone taking class's that are easy.
  • Look, to everyone who suggests he should get a girlfriend, you are way off:

    As a college student, you will (and should) throw out those values for sleep, work, and fun

    My typical week is like this:

    - 20 credits worth of classes (probably like 40~ hrs of class/lab time)
    - 42 hrs a week at my programming job
    - 25-30 hrs a week consulting
    - 25-28 hrs a week sleeping

    Typically, this leads to about 5-10 hrs a week of free time. That is girlfriend time, and relaxation time. Plus sometimes homework, but not usually.

    College is supposed to stress your limits, push you hard. If you pay 20k+per year, and dont push yourself, you are a goddamn fool.

    Life is about moving forward, not about sleeping in to 8 am, or 10am, or sometimes noon. A good life is about being the first one in line for breakfast, the first one to finish the test, and the last one to bed at night.

    Recommending to a 15-yr old that he sleep more, or take time for a girlfriend is an utter waste of time. At his age, or even through to college, spending more than 30-minutes to 1-hr on a girlfriend each day is crazy. Prioritize - work now, fun later. Much later.

  • by Ergo2000 ( 203269 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @07:27AM (#1425688) Homepage

    Pop music isn't bad. It's worse than that. It is horrible. I say, down with pop...I really like independent bands...I really like bands like cannibal corpse, cryptopsy, NiN, orgy, the offspring, NoFX, rage against the machine

    Good day to you! Excellent replies though I do take issue with the evaluation of music. Firstly NiN, Offspring, RATM : That IS Pop. No matter how you slice it that's no less pop that Britney Spears. I'm not saying that devalues their musical capabilities or contribution in any way (because I don't think that way), but just as an FYI. It's like back in the mid 90s when "Alternative" music comprised the vast majority of radio play. Alternative? Uh...

    Secondly what does the independent bands moniker contribute to the music? Seriously this reminds me of a discussion I had with a friend some time back. We both were fans of a certain band and he then revealed to me that he was becoming less of a fan because the band was "becoming too popular". Huh? Too popular? How does that affect if you like the music or if it strikes a chord or you can empathize with it? Not liking something because it's popular is just as bad as liking it because it's popular. The throngs of weenies screaming for Boys to Men are no worse than the "counter-culture" lackeys in the shadows dissing all those pop mavens. There was an excellent article on this but I don't have the link handy: Anyone have it by chance?

    Additionally the moment someone thinks "Music today is all noise and boom boom boom" is the moment their ego has gotten ahead of rationale. Yes you define good music. Your tastes define all and are the final say. The world should stop and solidify at your tastes.

    Whenever you think about anything that involves taste, always realize that everyone knows what is best for themselves, and there is no way to question someones personal taste. If someone likes listening to a beeping door chime 24 hours a day then that's what turns their crank. Critical evaluations of music, art, etc. are just foolish and narcisstic : Let ME tell you what _I_ like because obviously what YOU like is shit and you just haven't seen the light.

  • by TDScott ( 260197 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:33AM (#1425689)
    While this isn't true of most IT teachers, I must say that there are some real bad ones out there. Mind you, the exam boards aren't much better.

    I believe until either this or last year, they didn't accept "Linux" as an answer for "Give an example of an operating system."

    In my opinion, computing in the secondary education system teaches children to use a computer - not to understand a computer. Sure, we [and I say we, 'cos I've just entered college] were taught to change font sizes and type [50wpm before the class. Gotta love that.] - but if something went wrong, hardly any of the other kids had any idea what do.

    "Miss! How do I save this to disk?"

    "Click there... that's it, select that..."

    The teacher was telling the kid what to click on - and he was just blindly doing it, and not learning how to *use* a computer. In my opinion, that's the wrong way to go about it.
  • by wesmills ( 18791 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @08:26AM (#1425690) Homepage
    However you may feel about yourself, there IS someone out there for you. Personally, I have been involved with Anneliese for nearly a year now, and she is the best thing that has ever happened to me (read my bio). Don't be discouraged. Ask that girl (or guy) out that you like. Don't let it go!.

    I have to second this emphatically. I spent most of my high school career believing (sometimes rightfully so) that I was so completely different that there wasn't anyone I could associate with, much less relate to on an intimate level. In a way, I was right, because it wasn't until I was out of high school, into college, and met someone. Amazingly enough, we met online, through IRC no less, and have been excellent friends and a great couple for over a year.

    One of the things you never think you "need" is companionship, and in the past I would have been the first to agree with you. However, once you have that special someone, you'll realize you never want to go back.

    People speak badly of meeting someone online out of fear that a person won't accurately describe who they are, and that they'll fall for a false image. That's a very true reality, but just remember that choosing someone to be with is like every other choice in life: no one's making you do it, and don't settle for anything less than perfect for both of you. There's nothing wrong with meeting online. Much like people meet others whom they are compatible with in bookstores or class, you stand a much better chance of meeting someone you'll get along with if you both frequent the same areas. Cari and I are real examples of this. :)

    So have fun, and don't forget to make sure your life is fulfilling in all aspects, not just computers.


  • by dennisp ( 66527 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @07:48AM (#1425691)
    "... liking it because it's popular"

    Early adopters often want something special that not many other people have so they pretend other people like that 'thing "only because it's popular".

    That's why people in certain subcultures get pissed off when something that was "theirs" becomes popular culture.

    They even get to the point where they would rather see that 'thing stay a pathetic failure instead of becoming successful so that they can keep it as their own little special subculture.
  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:33AM (#1425692) Homepage
    ...of Slashdot readers in general? If so, I'm not a normal Slashdot reader, and didn't quite realize it. I don't listen to heavy metal, and don't come home and do music/IRC/TV. When I was in school, that was what the "normal" kids did. They talked (on the phone mostly, some did IRC) and liked TV & music. The nerds were on their computers morning and night. That didn't mean IRC or Quake, it meant coding.

    And another thing. Does everybody here think that because they read Slashdot that they are "different?"
  • by mapletree ( 85582 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @09:42AM (#1425693) Homepage
    Actually, Legos are Danish. Legos are Denmark's largest export product, followed by dairy products and herring. Notice the lack os an s on herring. Herring is one of the real unaltered plurals in the English language.
  • by 13013dobbs ( 113910 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:30AM (#1425694) Homepage
    6:30-10:30 - music / irc / tv
    11pm: sleep

    What happens from 10:30 til 11? Being a young computer user, there can be only one answer: He is masturbating furiously to all the pr0n he got on IRC.

  • by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Friday December 29, 2000 @11:04AM (#1425695) Journal
    I'm not trying to decide for other people that drugs are not good for anyone. I am not anti-drug. The correct drug used for a correctly-diagnosed condition is great. If the right drug is being used for the right condition, great benefits can be reaped. For example, using antibiotics for a bacterial infection - great benefits. But using antibiotics for a viral infection is not only wrong, it doesn't do any good. It just seems to me that the balance is being struck wrong when 75% of the cases are misdiagnosed (and so 75% of the people on the drugs - ie the vast majority - shouldn't be on drugs at all or are suffering from something else and should be on a totally different drug altogether).

    Can't concentrate in a class that's so stultifyingly boring that even the morons are losing the plot? He's got ADD, put him on Ritalin.

    Have a common cold? Put him on antibiotics (never mind that antibiotics do nothing for viral infections).

    It just appears from where I'm sitting that over-prescription - using drugs as the silver bullet - runs a bit rampant, that's all.

    I don't remember what this scenario is called, but it goes something like this:
    1. Something must be done
    2. This is something
    3. Therefore we will do this.

    which is like saying:

    1. My dog has four legs.
    2. A cat has four legs 3. Therefore my dog is a cat.

    It seems a lot of time, teachers see a kid who's bored, maybe a bit of a smart-ass who talks a lot, and Something Must Be Done. They tell the parents, "Oh he's got ADD" as the Something in question. And the chain of misdiagnosis begins.

  • by canning ( 228134 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:48AM (#1425696) Homepage
    Why would you be surprised? He's male right? He doesn't have a girlfriend and he has four free hours a night. He also has the resouces of the internet or a custom pr()n mag.

    I think the rest of the readers (along with myself) just assumed the obvious, OF COURSE!! Who hasn't?

    Now then, does anyone have the link to the Pamela / Tommy Lee video??

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 29, 2000 @08:16AM (#1425697)
    Actually, i think A practical Guide to Boatbuilding is on disc number 5, in the contrib section.
  • by jafac ( 1449 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @09:21AM (#1425698) Homepage
    My idea of the average /. user, a snapshot:

    Likes to web surf a little bit.
    Likes computers, technology, scifi,
    (other /. topics, they may or may not like, but I'm pretty sure we're all pretty much on those three).
    Likes commenting to strangers about those three (and other topics)
    Probably a little opinionated. Probably a little insecure in those opinions; (call it "open-minded" thus enjoys reading others opinions.
    Likes learning new things from people who know (or at least can convince others that they know).
    Probably a bit bored.

    Every other characteristic is probably up for grabs.

    Over the years, I've conversed with really stupid people, or people who know a lot about microchip design, enough to do it for a living, and for a hobby, they comment intelligently on the latest cosmological data and theories. There are people who are MCSE's, who dig Windoz and believe in a single-vendor solution and dominance (because that's what "the market" dictates) - and there are others who are violently pro open source, and write their own OSes. Lots of people who are web designers. There are very few true democrats OR republicans, just people who are afraid of the other side, and die-hard libertarians, followers of Ayn Rand, and die-hard socialists. Some of us believe we should "melt the guns", and others believe that "an armed society is a polite society". There are a lot of very spiritual people, lots of pagans, even a few satanists, even a few Christians, and then there are a number of solid athiests. And then there are a lot of agnostics. Fans of just about every kind of music imaginable (except Pop - er, hey that's funny, isn't it?:)
    Lots of us are unathletic, or don't carry an interest in athletics. Some of us work out 20 hours a week, play football, lots of us are into martial arts.
    Some of us were picked on as children for being different, others were embraced and cherished for those differences. Others were just not perceived as being so different.
    Many of us are caffeine addicts. Some of us drink, or even consider beer to be a hobby, or an intellectual pursuit.
    I'm sure we've all visited a porn site or two.

    We all think Cowboy Neal is a big dick.

    Yes it's a big wide wired world out there. We're from all over. Different generations, different upbringings, different economic status. Some of us live behind filters, but we're all net-connected, we all have voices that want to be heard, and ears that want to listen, minds that want to learn, and we all dream of a better tomorrow - yet fear the coming dark times. We're from all over. Different generations, different upbringings, different economic status.

    Billions and billions of us.
  • by Bob McCown ( 8411 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @07:31AM (#1425699)
    6) If you were stranded on a desert island (Score:5, Funny) by dattaway ( ...and could only have one cd to load a blank computer, what would it be? Clinton: Well, Debian GNU/Linux! Well, that is almost 5 cds now..but I can count it as one, right? It comes with everything I'll ever need too.. with about 6000 packages to choose from.

    Personally, Id rather have A practical guide to boatbuilding.


  • by Kyobu ( 12511 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @08:43AM (#1425700) Homepage
    Because in the language we speak, lego is a noun, not a trademark. Do you say, "I need a Kleenex® facial tissue?" No, you say, "I need a kleenex." Certain trademarked words have become part of the language, and that's just too damn bad for the cmpanies that used to own them. I ain't havin' no Swedish executive tellin' me how t' talk. (Disclaimer: I got nothing against Swedes.)
  • by Jethro ( 14165 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:16AM (#1425701) Homepage

    Clinton, in your response to the girlfriend question, you say you have 'too much free time' on your hands. But in your schedule all I see is:

    6:30-10:30 - music / irc / tv

    That's only 4 hours!

    Believe me, that is NOT a lot of free time. Enjoy it while you can. Nevermind that a girlfriend (who might suck up all your time, but might be a fair tradeoff). Just wait till you do school/work... you'll be dying to have enough time to play a complete match in Tribes. You'll want a TiVo so you don't have to be innefficient about watching TV. You'll be pissed at the cats for wanting food NOW when you've just got someone in the rail sight.

    Enjoy your freedom while you can!

  • by digsean ( 19076 ) <sean&synclog,net> on Friday December 29, 2000 @07:11AM (#1425702) Homepage
    Finally, Slashdot did something close to a human interest story!

    I am a 15 year old in South Jersey who lives a life near to Clinton's. Waking up on my Christmas Vacation to read something about (what i would consider to be) a down to earth guy answering questions like he WAS some superstar just fills me with vitality, showing that my generation of hackers, coders, geeks, loosers, punks, and freaks are cared about and important out of their small social circles.

    To all my akin freaks and geeks in the world, I would like to extend my thoughts and motivation to you.

    However much of a looser you think you are, you are important. You may think you are the greatest thing in the world. Your not. But, you are better than your average teenager, with the ability to grasp your future in the present. Go out, get a job. Go over to your local ISP or webhosting company, work for free or cheap. Get buisness experience. Use the talents that you have been developing most of your lives. Be competitive, and do honest work.

    However you may feel about yourself, there IS someone out there for you. Personally, I have been involved with Anneliese for nearly a year now, and she is the best thing that has ever happened to me (read my bio). Don't be discouraged. Ask that girl (or guy) out that you like. Don't let it go!.

    To the Slashdot team:
    Thank you for doing this. You have done a great service to the community giving this guy a chance to become a pseudo-celeb., getting maybe his 15 minutes of fame (Maybe, its just his first 15 seconds)
    I hope you do this again.

    I hope my rant has not been in vein, and that someone reads and understands what I am trying to say.
  • by dennisp ( 66527 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @08:39AM (#1425703)
    On the other hand, you can usually tell that people with green hair/400 piercings/mohawk/whatever do have problems.

    There are several possibilities:

    a) rejected by popular locus because of event(s), looks, lack of social graces -> depression -> dressing differently, acting like an asshole or drawn out and suicidal -> results in no friends because of deviant behavior -> start at 1

    b) behavioral problem which means the person acts like a complete out of control idiot, possibly because of some trauma or hanging out with the "wrong" group (i.e., other people who act like idiots) -> fucking up in school -> tension because of behavior -> possible bad result

    c) ignorance and teen angst -> exposure to stupid ideas -> world is all wrong syndrome (ugly, scary, the man is out to get you)

    Computer "geeks" probably have more experience with depression and the i-dont-care-if-i-am-a-rejected-loser-because-i-am- intelligent syndrome.

    Usually when people get older, they get over it. I did. That's why I cringe when I see people categorizing themselves as computer geeks. Often in this context it's because they feel rejected.

    Obviously some people can't get over being a loser, if for example they are extremely ugly - but if they carried themselves differently (like developing other strengths) they would be in for some sort of improvement in human response in the form of friendship and cooperation.

    That's not to say that I condone rejection. It'd just be easier if some people would realize that always being hostile or depressed is self destructive - though that's easy to say in hindsight.
  • by ukyoCE ( 106879 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @07:43AM (#1425704) Journal
    But, I'm not that anti-social. I have friends. The people with yellow and green hair are my friends (you have to love punk rockers), the l33t hax0rs at school, the somewhat-suicidal ones, and my fellow geeks. I am happy. Isn't that all that matters? The pop culture people look happy, but they aren't. They need music and icons to tell them who to be.

    I found this comment really insightful - it summarized my own thoughts own popularity/nerdiness/loserosity better than I have ever put them. I always thought that was true, that the pop people are less happy; they're too busy trying to conform and hold their "position" that they forget to just enjoy life. While they're insulting us "geeks" to try and make themselves look better, we're just ignoring them and having fun.

    All in all great responses from a seemingly random (l)user! Thanks Clinton
  • by cluge ( 114877 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:03AM (#1425705) Homepage
    Hmmm after reading this I am absolutely sure there is no such thing as "Average Slashdot User". We are a wonderfully diverse bunch, interesting read though.
  • Many people don't WANT to "play the corporate game", because it's dirty

    I understand generally where you're coming from but let me give it a slightly different spin:

    1. They aren't "corporate game"s, they're the same games that have gone on since the beginning of mankind and will go on until the end of humanity. From the English monarchy, to Rome, back through the Incas, the exact same activities of syncophants and backstabbers have been played. There is nothing intrinsic about corporations that will change that. Build a power structure and those games will be played.
    2. Acting too innocent to play power games and dismissing it with the wave of the hand is one of the classic signs of someone fervently playing power games. It's basically saying "I'm not winning at the current rules so I'll dispel them as unethical/immoral/etc...okay am I winning now? No? Okay anyone who's in a position of power is a shill suit that knows nothing! Am I winning yet?"
    3. I'm talking more about simply social skills, and that isn't corporate games (my previous points were just for the hell of it. ;-]). Being able to understand when you're horribly boring your victims with mindless blabbler is a simple social skill that has to do with respecting the feelings of others, and it isn't a corporate game. Looking professional is actually showing respect for your coworkers and company by saying "I look professional for you". Someone famous said something about "Manners are showing respect for your guests" and that's exactly it : Manners aren't haughtiness or pretentiousness, they're showing respect for your guests : i.e. You're worth me showing good manners.
  • by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Friday December 29, 2000 @07:01AM (#1425707) Journal
    Well, I think I became anti-social first. They said I had ADD, and they put me on ritalin. I promptly stopped interacting with other people (after I got off of it, I started returning to normalcy).

    That really irks me badly. Idiot lusers who want kids to conform to their definition of "normal" so use the magic bullet - put 'em on drugs.

    I missed that horrible fate myself by a hair's breadth. When I was 14, my school forced my parents to take me to the doctor for evaluation (or I'd get expelled). Fortunately, our local doctor had a clue and told my mother, "Mrs. Smith, your son is a perfectly normal geek, and his school is all fscked up" but in more flowery language of course. The fact the sheeple did this to you, frankly, annoys the heck out of me. It annoyed the heck out of me when they tried to do it to me, too.

    It's a good thing my doctor did have a clue. A misdiagnosis of ADD and the treatment it would involve would have barred me from my other great passion in life - flying - because the FAA would have a hell of a time issuing my medical if that was the case.

  • by Faulty Dreamer ( 259659 ) <> on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:47AM (#1425708) Homepage
    Hang on there pal. There is a big difference between "Extreme Death Metal" and radio pop metal.

    Godsmack=Radio Pop Metal
    Cannibal Corpse= Extreme Death Metal

    I have yet to hear a radio station play a song by Cannibal Corpse, or even some of the old school death metal bands that actually played Death Metal and weren't manufactured bands. Bands like Death, Atheist, Sabbat, Pestilence and many, many others. The "eager and huge American audience" seems very small when you are a part of that audience. A large following in Florida and a few scattered souls around the rest of the country. Oh, for the good old days.;-)

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"