Fables, Fairy Tales and Computer Programs

standupdeskmy new office has no standup desks, and i’ve gotten used to working that way, so i made my own over the weekend (shown at home above) and rather than use a brick or other weights to stabilize it, I decided to use books. I took it all into the office a bit self-consciously, because nobody has books where I work, and if they do, they are exclusively computer books. My little library contains a couple of those, but it also contains some books that are far closer to my heart, including Borges, Chuang Tzu, the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde, and Aesop’s Fables. This may be a CLM (as my wife suggests – a career-limiting move!) but when I look at them I’m reminded of who I really am and I like that.

Besides, there are some basic things these all have in common. Computer programs, such as Linux commands (one of the books in the collection) are fictional constructs created by humans for a purpose. True as well for fables and fairy tales. They have some required and some optional elements. They produce a message. You gain something from them, whether it’s learning how a greedy dog loses its bone, or the contents of the current working directory.

This reminds me of a short-lived series I did some time ago called ASAP’s Fables:

A dog was wandering in the woods when he came across a bear. The dog said to himself, I’d better get out of here ASAP!



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