Dispatches from Andyland "Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever!" — The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

March 10, 2007

The place you meet people who know all kinds of stuff

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 12:42 am

Last week’s This American Life podcast was an episode titled Quiz Show, and in it was a story about the MIT Puzzle Hunt. It tried to describe the contestants as people who are outside the norm in most of the year, but find one place and time where their unique talents become an advantage. The example they give is a greeting card author who in a lunch room conversation about monkeys on the humorous greeting cards turns into a long description of various primates, eventually leading to comments like “Planet of the Prosimians, That’s a movie I’d love to see”. As he’s going along a co-workers remark makes him realize that he is more interested in teaching people about primates than they are learning about them.

Listening to it, I became appreciative of many of the co-workers that I’ve had over the years. All of the people I’ve been exposed to who can tell me even little bits about: Linguistics, IETF Date specs, the difference between Major gods and house gods of ancient Greece and Rome, North Shore Bakeries, slang and metaphors used in old blues music, deer hunting, Windows NT TCP implementation quirks, homemade MP3 jukebox addons for cars, working outdoors in Downtown Crossing, ‘80s afternoon cartoons, robotics, amateur Shakespearean theater, Italy, how to rebuild a pickup truck, international telecommunication technology, digital video, reiki, cold war propaganda (on both sides), methods of safe cracking, midwest farming, and so much more.

It just made me realize how lucky for the co-workers that I’ve had over the years.

1 Comment »

  1. I just can’t understand why cold war propaganda makes me laugh so much

    Comment by Mike Devlin — March 10, 2007 @ 8:15 am

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