Saturday, November 04, 2006

Musings on spare time

What do you like to do in your spare time?

A fair question. A good question.

My personality type lends me to keep from idle banter with people who aren't very good friends. When I noticed that I had people that I'd known for years who I didn't really know anything about, I decided to make a conscious effort to ask some personal questions of these people. What do you like to do in your spare time was a pretty good question, and usually got people started talking about themselves. I used to think that people talking about themselves was annoying, but since I've started listening, I've found the experience very interesting. I suspect I simply enjoy not having to talk-- I mean, listening. I like listening to people talk about things that they like. But I digress...

Recently someone asked me this question (much to my surprise), and after I managed to sputter out an answer, and I became perturbed by what I'd said.

Er, so... Besides shooting? I... um... well, I code a lot... and... er... yeah.

Yeah, I think that pretty much captures the essence of my answer.

The subject was quickly dropped.

Over the following weeks I became more and more bothered with my answer.
Is that all I really do? I play games some times, but not that often. I draw, but that's really only when the feeling strikes me. I used to go to lots of fun websites, but I don't anymore. I've GOT to do more than just code! What the hell does that say about me? How much of a loser am I???

This line of thought and desperate search for other things I do for fun left me seriously bothered.

Until I happened upon something I'd forgotten a long time ago.
hacker n.

[originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe] 1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary. 2. One who programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming. 3. A person capable of appreciating hack value. 4. A person who is good at programming quickly. 5. An expert at a particular program, or one who frequently does work using it or on it; as in `a Unix hacker'. ...

From the Jargon File. emphasis mine

I'd forgotten. It's alright for me to code for fun.

It's what I do.

No comments: