by Jinryu

One of the bad habits that people have, including me, is when advice comes and the first reflex is to take it as a criticism.  Sure, it might be– but at the end of the day, whether I realize it or not, and even whether the person critisizing or not realizes it, it could be useful.  So if we could cut through all the dick-fencing and get straight to the point, we’d probably have a much easier time of things.  That’s seldom easy though, because we’re by nature emotionally fueled– and if the very basis of our energy is to be illogical, egos do get bruised.

The truth is, advice is seldom tailored to your individual system.  To use an analogy of software, people are like different platforms– some people are using a Mac, some are using a PC, some are using a machine that runs Linux or whatever.  Add into the mix iOS and Android, and a hundred thousand gagillion of different hardware configurations, and how really are you going to have software that really, really works?

Take a common application… something like Google search, or Dropbox.  Hell, even Angry Birds.  There’s two steps for something to work for you. If the software maker wants you to use their program, they need to show off what it can do.  It can do this directly, by you watching a demo video or something, but more than likely you’ll see what a program can do because you saw someone else using it.  The second stage is to reproduce that experience on your hardware.

Everyone’s heard that saying– results may vary.  And that’s the point.  You’ll see this stuff on someone else’s hardware, and in an ideal world it would look exactly the same and work exactly the same way. Easy example– that superbra or dual-saw you bought from the infomercial isn’t as good as it seemed on television.


It might.  But in the real world, usually, the fact is that advice, unlike modern applications, doesn’t always go cross-platform– what works for one person doesn’t always work for another.  Game releases nowadays might come out across PS3 and Xbox 360 simultaneously, and many apps come out on both Android and iOS nowadays (if they know what’s good for them) but the tihng is, the reason why this is possible is because professionals work on compatibility issues.


When it comes to advice, there’s two things to think about.  First of all, there is the usefulness of the concept in itself; secondly, there is the ability to make this concept work for you.  In computerspeak, that’s probably like regarding advice from others in terms of two things– source code, and your ability to compile it to your own system.


We’re all familiar with source code.  In life, that’s like seeing one of your buddies buy a Ferrari to solve their mid life crisis, or taking a cruise with next month’s rent.  Maybe they come back rejeuvenated and suddenly on a hair trigger to kick Life’s ass.  But if you did the same thing? Maybe you’d feel quite silly,  and wish that these things weren’t final sale.

But my point is this– a lot of times, we get angry at other people not because the source code is useless, but because we’re really bad at compiling.