Sunday, July 29, 2007

Arguments, Advice, Frustration and Photoshop

There is not much in this world that leads to frustration quite as quickly as arguments or bad advice. In fact, arguments about bad advice just stomp on the gas even harder.

Frustration also comes in more than one flavor, so we will be discussing two of them today, class. You got your pencils and notepads ready?

Oh. Forgot. This is 2007.

Okay, you got your iBooks open and your bloody iPods turned off? Then listen up: I apologize for sounding semi-serious up there. On to the material.

I bought a PlayStation 3 because there were games slated for release that I can't get on my Xbox 360. This seemed a logical step for me, given the recent price drop Sony grudgingly applied.

I have a brother. Two actually, but one of them (we shall call him Steve) was offended to his very core that I bought both consoles. Though this conversation took place mostly over the phone, I will color code them just like an Instant Messenger conversation because I think that'd be fun. I'm red, because red is my favorite color. Steve is blue, because that goes with red.

"You already HAVE a 360!"
"That's true. I'm glad you've been paying attention."
"Well, it's a better console, and all the games anyone would want are already on it, or if they're on both, then they look better on the 360."
"Mighty persuasive argument. What about the games that it DOESN'T have?"
"They're not popular."

"I'm not popular. It'll be like a joining of souls."
"You should have just stuck with one console."
"Why? This should, in theory, double my fun. Now I don't have to worry about whether or not I'll be able to play some spanky new game, because I'll be covered."
"How much did you pay for it?"
"$500. How many games do you have?"
"About twelve. Why?"
"At 60 bucks a pop, that's $720. I have a total of three games, one of which I got on eBuy for $13. That means that, despite sticking with one console, you've still outspent me."
"So it sounds like you've been sticking with only one brain cell to do your thinking with. That's dedication, and I applaud you for it."
"The Xbox is a better system. You wasted your money."
"Don't be a twat, Steve. It looks bad on job applications."

And so on. That kind of argument will make you mad if you actually care about convincing the other person that you're right. Rule of thumb: fanboys and fundamentalists are immune to logic, and arguing with them is like trying to shoot holes in a lake. About the only positive outcome would be to entertain nearby listeners by being sarcastic.

So what if you can't argue with your opponent? What if, no matter what input you offer, your opponent comes back with cryptic answers in little boxes that have little or nothing to do with your input? And what if, throughout the entire argument, your opponent insists on reaffirming his desire to make your life easier and to keep asking you whether or not you're sure you want to say what you just said?

Thank you, Vista! Perhaps I will ask my administrator! Since this is MY computer, put together with MY hands and MY time, software installed by ME, configured by ME, I guess I have to find an administrator. I shall make Sprocket my administrator. He says "meh." What's "meh" mean, Vista? Should I put that in The Registry? Should I restart and boot from "meh"?

Or how about I just put the hard drive in the litterbox for a few days, and let you think about what you've done? Lousy rotten, stinking...

I eventually subdued Vista by pouring glasses of water into my computer, and completely reinstalled, after hours of backup. Why, might you ask, did I go through all this trouble? I wanted to install Photoshop CS3. That's all. Why did I want to install Photoshop CS3? Because I'm stupid, and I should have stuck with CS1 because it's more popular.


Jack W. Regan said...

What's even more enjoyable, is arguing with people who do recognize the authority of logic, but are too stupid to recognize actual logic.

Well, I must side with Steve. After all, relationships with multiple consoles are a big no-no. I can just hear the 360:

"You had dinner with The Other Console, didn't you?"


"Don't try to deny it! I can see the glazed expression from here. Did she charm you with graphics? Playable wrist movements? Hmm?!"

So, anyway, I'm appalled and when can I come play with it?

Jack W. Regan said...

Nifty graphic, too, by the way.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the graphic.

Hard to know where you left off bashing "Steve" and started in on Mr. Vista, but nice, cuddly and curmudgeonly all at the same time.

FooDaddy-- The Cuddly Curmudgeon!

Sounds like a cooking show.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of cooking, are you going to make me cookies? How about dinner too? Sounds good to me. See you Saturday Foo.

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Paul FooDaddy Brand said...

Aww, man! Now I'm getting spammed here too!

On a more positive note, I'm glad you folks liked this piece. I was reading it out loud to my brothers, and fortunately Steve wasn't paying enough attention to be insulted. That would have been...awkward.