adiaforon

Not essential to the faith

Tag Archives: computers

Is not playing the only winning move?

Is there a time when you should just give up?

In a word, futility.

I’m prompted to write on this today because my body is rested, but my mind isn’t. It’s one of my flaws to have a racing mind, fueled by a somewhat nervous and neurotic personality.

One thing I hate, sometimes, about the Manosphere is not that it’s, to reference Roissy, “where pretty lies perish.” No, not (really) the lies that I was carrying around in my head, heart, and soul about women, dating, etc. that have now have fallen from the sky and struck my own Cheylabinsk. Nor is it that the ‘spherians have pointed out some of my flaws and have motivated me to better myself in terms of fashion and nutrition. (Auto-didactism was something I started many years ago, so I’m safe there.)

No, what I hate is the glut of information. It’s also disjointed, which contributes to the glut. (Though I also believe it’s the saving grace, for the moment.)

Trying to read everything out there, which includes the PUA forums, strikes me as an exercise in futility. Now, it’s time for a movie reference.

Gen Xers like me remember, quite fondly, the movie WarGames, with Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy. For me, it has these great things about it:

  1. Watching Matthew Broderick in one of his earliest film roles. Before Ferris Bueller’s Day Off — which is often cited as the coming-of-age movie for Gen Xers.
  2. Watching Ally Sheedy when she was 21 and hot.
  3. Watching (retrospectively) a slice of early 80s yuppie Americana. The movie takes place in Seattle and sets up the dynamic of bored and unmotivated Gen Xer (Broderick) and his Baby Boomer parents, clueless and preoccupied with keeping up the suburban lifestyle.
  4. Seeing early hacker culture on display. Broderick’s character, obviously, is the smartest one of the bunch. How many of us who were into computers back in the day didn’t exalt when David changed his grades? Or, more importantly, made a crude remark to his teacher about his wife in a classic early scene?
  5. Seeing an intelligent supercomputer do its stuff, keeping you on edge as to how things were going to unfold?

WarGames is a Cold War movie. Gen Y and Gen Z won’t get many of the references in the movie because it’s now around 30 years old. A slice of history it now is.

I remember watching this movie many times on VCR and, earlier, on laserdisc.

Other than the scene where David successfully hacks into the Strategic Air Command computer system, and makes contact with Joshua, the one scene that always stuck in my mind was the one where David is talking with Professor Falken about Joshua. Falken tells David that there was one thing that he couldn’t get Joshua to understand: futility. “That there’s a time when you should just give up.” David, incensed, tells Falken that he won’t give up, and that carries him through the rest of the movie. Then, at the end, Joshua seems to learn his lesson, telling Falken that nuclear war is “a strange game. The only winning move is not to play.”

This is how I feel about the ‘sphere sometimes, after two years of solid reading and applying its lessons.

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