The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Weekly Wacko (13)

Do You Speak Crazy Smart?
When you’re a programmer (like I was/am), you work with very smart, very odd people. I was cleaning out my apartment today in preparation for my move, and I found a few notes where I had written down some gems I overheard co-workers saying.

My supervisor: I’m running the [blah] test … What would cause the [blah] to be different?
A super smart guy I called The Robot: Shitty programming?

From a normally normal person (happily): You know there are times when I want to be just a mythical person! Haha!

A super, super smart mathematical guy who looked like someone who’d been living alone in the woods for 40 years (bumping into someone): Oops. I’m sorry. Glad we’re not riding motorcycles.

Yet another kooky guy: You realize in the future every time a computer breaks down we’ll be penalized. It’ll be considered genocide.

Same guy as above: I’m an old guy … [x years old] … But what I’d like to do is go to Israel and pop [pop meaning punch in the face] a few. Pop! Pop! And if I die, I die.

Same guy (happily telling a story): Went out shooting with [Joe] and some other guys this morning.
The robot (completely uninterested): Sounds lethal.

[This same co-worker also tried to convince a Chinese-American co-worker that China is, essentially, the devil.]

A co-worker with a nerdy/cynical sense of humor: So you’re taking your training? … Has anyone gone to jail yet? … Well, there’s still hope, maybe the plot will get more involved.

[I would run some tests that this co-worker put together and I would have to double check some numbers. So I’d look and see ‘8.675309,’ then I’d look at my work to verify, ‘8.675309.’ Eventually that stupid song stuck would be stuck in my head all day.]

Not a direct quote here, but a memory. During a meeting we learned that a co-workers house had been burnt down. Everyone sat thinking that is very sad for [Joe]. A co-worker brought this up, and brought a picture of the burnt down house, to try and get us to donate supplies for [Joe]. One co-worker (a brilliant math guy) looked at the picture and noticed that some specific material had burnt. He pulled a calculator out of his pocket, punched in a few numbers and then said something along the lines of, ‘the temperature must have gotten above [x] degrees if [x material] burnt!’ He and the motorcycle guy then debated the temperature.

And my absolute favorite! I was told I would be ’steering’ a meeting, and it was my first time to do this. I put together some slides and began presenting in front of three guys. One of the guys was the same is the motorcycle comment guy from above.

During the presentation the super smart guy asked a few questions and I would sort of answer them, sort of say, ‘I’ll get to that with slide [x].’ Eventually the super smart guy said:

I don’t quite get this yet … Is there something later that will help me understand this? (I nod yes.) Ok. It’s like you’re the director and I just have to trust you because you’re the director. I wouldn’t go to “King Kong” and five minutes in say what is this? Why are we in New York City? Everyone knows gorillas come from Africa. So I’ll just have to trust that you’ll explain it later.

Amazing. My presentation, naturally, had nothing that would in any way make any normal brain think of gorillas, or King Kong, or NYC, or movies. But this is the kind of logic a magically brilliant mathematical mind like his thinks in.

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