Column Under Construction (2003 10-30)

I made an allusion to this to a few people at the summer competitions. What is this? It’s a column, akin to the Question of the Week. Well, except for the fact that I won’t be asking any questions. Actually, now that I think about it, I will ask a question each time. Might as well put the poll feature to good use. And how about you guys asking me questions? Anything at all, I’ll answer at the bottom of each of these. Personal, opinions, anything. Yay, PMs! Or you could use the old-fashioned e-mail.

God, I love the chit-chat forum. I can post things that are pointless, or just have nothing to do with FIRST. I suppose this is a little of both. A column under construction. I suppose this will evolve over time (and the construction part is semi-FIRST related :stuck_out_tongue: ). Anybody have a better name for this? I was thinking about “The Weekly Rant”, but this isn’t weekly, and it’s not a rant. Well, I probably will have a few rants to get off my chest in the next few weeks, but this time, it’s going to be a little quiet. Maybe I’ll just stick with “Column Under Construction”. Now that I think about it, that has a nice ring to it.

Speaking of weekly, we need to set a timetable for each of these. I was thinking bi-weekly, but there’s the problem of me forgetting what’s on my mind when I write these after two weeks. You know what? It’s my column, I’ll put it out whenever I feel like. I may put out one a month, I my put out four. I guess however much is on my mind will determine this. What is this anyway? I could say it’s a column, akin to the Question of the Week, but that’s just being redundant. This is whatever I want it to be. I’ll make it about sports if I’m in a sporty mood, politics if I’m in a politic-y mood, personal stuff if I feel like it, maybe a few opinions here and there, and anything that may be going on in this small world. Let’s call this a conglomeration of sorts.

Who will agree with this? My theory is that half of you will agree with half of what I say, and the other half of you will agree with the other half of what I say. What’s sad is that the theory actually makes sense. Unless I’m the crazy one. But we’re all crazy in our own way. Hell, Dean Kamen himself is crazy… crazy enough to try to defy physics. But it’s interesting what crazyness can do. For Dean, it’s a successful invention that I predict in 10 years time will rule the land. Without crazyness, we wouldn’t have half the things we have. Crazyness gave us most of science (like relativity, and I’m crazy enough to actually know it). We also have crazyness to thank for the aforementioned Chit-Chat forum, and the Jeopardy game that came with it. The Jeopardy game adds plenty more crazyness to this world (yes Big Mike, I think you’re crazy). But enough about that. I’m getting crazy just thinking about it.

Crazyness also segues (pun intended) to the next topic. It’s Halloween tomorrow! Woo hoo! I’m crazy enough to dress up as a professional wrestler, who dresses up as a superhero. If you look at the Halloween thread I started, there are also people crazy enough to dress up as a robot, a New York Giant, The Amazing Tin Foil Man, the monolith from 2001 (yes, a big, black box), a 42 ð fairy (whatever that is), and Manson. Halloween is all about being crazy. At least until you start portraying your Halloween alter-ego on Chief Delphi. Then you’re just hopeless. Er, not that I know anyone like that. Maybe I should dress up as Woodie Flowers instead. I have the hair and the pin vests, after all.

Moving on, I realize that the Screen Savers are on in 10 minutes. Then there’s Survivor, then WWE Smackdown. How’s that for taste? Reality game shows and sports entertainment. I feel like I’m still discussing crazyness. Most people say that about my music too. My playlist ranges from Britney and Christina, to Bon Jovi and U2, to N’Sync and those $@#$@#$@#$@# Backstreet Boys (thank god they both broke up), to Santana and Jimi Hendrix, to Michelle Branch and Avril Lavigne, to Dan MacLean and the Allman Brothers. And all that doesn’t even scratch the surface.

But then again, we’re all crazy. I think I said that before. And I was hoping I got off that subject. Perhaps crazyness is just there, and can’t be avoided. Especially in this crazy organization we call FIRST. Who would’ve thought I could spend more that half a column talking about how crazy things are? Let’s take a look at the poll question before I totally go off on a tangent. Listening to The Screen Savers right now, I figure we’d keep it straightforward. Simple: which do you prefer? Mac, Windows, or Linux. Not necessarily what you use, but what you prefer.

Like I said before, I love the chit-chat forum. Nowhere else could I write something like this. But, feeling that I’m overstaying my welcome, I’ll end this, and save anything else significant until next time. This is a column under construction. These are my thoughts. I’m Eddie McDonnell, reminding you to have a fun and safe Halloween. Catch you on the flip side.

i so am not crazy… just mis understood

-1, Pretentious

This is what a blog is for.

*Originally posted by FotoPlasma *
**This is what a blog is for. **

Yes, but at least I know people will read it here.

What is the definition of crazy?

adj. cra·zi·er, cra·zi·est
Affected with madness; insane.

Informal. Departing from proportion or moderation, especially:

Possessed by enthusiasm or excitement: The crowd at the game went crazy.

Immoderately fond; infatuated: was crazy about boys.

Intensely involved or preoccupied: is crazy about cars and racing.

Foolish or impractical; senseless: a crazy scheme for making quick money. *

I doubt many people are insane. :] :yikes: :] :yikes: :] I might be a littleout of it I admit, but crazy?

I’m mentally stable to a degree. I can microwave cookies and make them soft again. For I am the microwave god!!!

But seriously, the chit chat forums really are a place to post whats on your mind. A column of the week would be great. Something for me to read in CADD class with Jon when CNN isnt on.

Go for it!


*Originally posted by EddieMcD *
**Yes, but at least I know people will read it here. **

That doesn’t necessarily mean that it belongs.

*Originally posted by Amanda Morrison *
**That doesn’t necessarily mean that it belongs. **

But chit-chat is a place where anything non-FIRST belongs. Therefore, this only being semi-FIRST related (and there will be some FIRSTness in future articles anyway), it belongs in the Chit-Chat forum.

you’ve already got your little trivia game, eddie

I really don’t see this as chit-chat, but more of a mindless rant. Chit Chat is for discussion and not rants. Anyways… get yourself a blog.

As for your whole “craziness” thing… Dean is not crazy. He doesn’t defy Physics. Nobody defies Physics. Physics isn’t a thing, it’s a collection of ideas. Dean merely uses the laws of physics to create a balanced equilibrium that accomplishes a task. I don’t see any laws of Physics being broken here.

Einstein wasn’t crazy. Some of his ideas were already generally accepted ideas that he further developed. Science has always been built upon the people that came before them. I don’t think anyone can argue that any single scientist/inventor was a revolutionary. Discoveries just don’t happen that way. It’s a common misconception made by misguided and/or ignorant people.

*Originally posted by Jnadke *
**I really don’t see this as chit-chat, but more of a mindless rant. Chit Chat is for discussion and not rants. Anyways… get yourself a blog. **

I completely agree. The Chit Chat forum would be chaotic if everyone started blogging here.

*Originally posted by Amanda Morrison *
I completely agree.
I, as well.

Maybe it’s time we take a step back from the case to case basis and talk about what is appropiate in the chit chat forum. (way to go Ken, another boring message that kills threads)

On the surface, the chit chat forum seems to be whatever non-FIRST discussion people feel like having. But that’s not exactly accurate because some people feel that blogs are not appropiate in this forum. So, let’s look at what’s been appropiate in the past:

Movies is ok.
The existence of God seems to be ok too.
Thousands replies threads for word games and posting games seems to be ok, as long as there’s only one for each.
News related topics are appropiate too.

Politics threads didn’t exactly go well and lots of them were locked because of the intensity and heat of the discussion.
Live chat where people should’ve been using IM softwares aren’t allowed.
And as some people pointed out in this thread blogs shouldn’t be allowed neither.

So, I guess the trend here is that as long as the thread is interesting to a lot of people, and doesn’t cause discomfort to others. I believe an easier rule to use is “What’s right is what produces the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people.”

Another appropiate rule should be “if you are using this forum to benefit yourself at the expense of this place, then maybe you should think twice about doing it”. That would stop people from taking advantage of the gallery for their own purposes of sharing pictures, or sharing online journals.

I guess I am a little troubled about the following question: If Eddie’s blog are seperated into individual questions and individual threads, would people be so quick to tell him to “get his own blog”? What draw the line between what’s appropiate and what isn’t? I just think whatever decision is made, they should be consistent. I would be perfectly fine with opening chit chat for EVERYTHING to shutting down chit chat completely, as long as it apply to all people.

I am also a little troubled about how there is this norm around the forum, and everyone is expected to have a certain quality to their post. Everything is fine until someone act against the norm, and suddenly comments like “you shouldn’t do these” are made. That in and of itself doesn’t really help to get people to stay close to the norms.

And about craziness, I think you are over generalizing the word itself. Just because you use it in all the situation you talked about doesn’t mean it is the appropiate description. For example, I believe Dean is really bold in the sense that he want to change the world, but I wouldn’t call him crazy for wanting to make the world better. He was bold in trying to create a human transporter that balance on 2 wheels, but the developement of Segway itself has gone through the scientific method and many experiments and testing. It’s not as if he went crazy one night and came up with the Segway and it works.

I believe the words you are looking for is more along the line of innovation, creativity, and the willingness to be open-minded (flexibility?), but that’s just my belief.

Actually Ken, your post was very insightful.

This was never meant to be a blog, it was meant to be an opinionated article. I can see where some of you might think it’s a blog, and I suppose I could’ve made it a little less personal on my behalf. But I want this to be unique. So you are going to get a little about me each time.

Back to Ken’s post. I agree with probably everything he says. Last I checked, FIRST was also about the exchange of thoughts and ideas. I’m just getting my thoughts and ideas out there.

I suppose I said it myself: only half of you will agree. The people who actually found enjoyment in this, the people who read this and thought “hey, this was pretty good”, really don’t have a reason to post. They don’t need to show their appreciation. It’s always the people who disagree that show it (Coco excluded :slight_smile: )

Well, at least all this gives a jump-start for my next article.