I’m outliving my usefulness

By on January 20, 2016 9:54:42 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1491

I’m officially a cranky old man.

Everything. Is. Crap.

Sometimes I just feel so much despair because of the sheer incompetence I see with companies with vastly more resources than I do wallow in.  If, for instance, Microsoft can’t write a freaking search algorithm for the Windows store or some high profile game’s trailer looks like it was put together by marketing interns it tells me that my dream of retiring and throwing money to hire people to do the things in the areas I have 20 years of experience is just a dream.

There’s an interesting book called Outliers. It makes a compelling case that people who are awesome at a given thing (hockey, music, etc.) are that way only partially due to native talent but mostly because they’ve got 10,000 hours of expertise in that area.  At some point, after that level of expertise has been reached, the individual moves on.  They sell their business or change careers or retire. 

So I’m pretty depressed about the whole thing.  I’ve been doing this for 25 years now.  You can collect a lot of 10,000 hours in lots of areas. Some useful (budgeting) some not so useful (OS/2 device drivers). But at some point, everything starts to become frustrating. You don’t want to have to re-explain, for the thousandth time, an algorithm you’ve written dozens of times or the tricks needed to do video editing fast or the right tools to crank out an article quickly or how the proper layout for a website or any other number of things.

I have seen this issue creeping up for years. I just had hoped that I would eventually just throw money at the problem.  What really brought the despair home was seeing the new Star Trek Beyond trailer.  Such total crap. It means even marketing departments with massive resources still can’t grasp their own demographic. There’s no hope.

Anyway, I’m just ranting.  I’m getting old.  I can’t believe it’s happening but it’s true.

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January 20, 2016 10:55:15 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

I've recently learned that holding on to the "old" way of doing things is not productive. Leaders must set the vision, but embrace the new ways younger folks make it happen. If we make the vision clear enough, and focus on results, we get what we want. If our vision is murky, we don't. When you compare two products and can clearly see one is good and one is not, the difference isn't usually budget, it's leadership. My $0.02.

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January 20, 2016 11:13:10 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Don't we all?

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January 21, 2016 12:11:41 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Old? Continue to do what you believe in. "Legacy". The appreciation for what you do well and what you have done in the past will come through sooner or later. And it will find a lot of affirmation and support.

 

Being rare or unique in your own eyes does not mean you are so in the eyes of the larger masses. The human race is on the precipice of a number of decisions and actions. It should not be allowed to forget about those made in the past and their outcomes. Don't deprive the future of your perspective and the application of your experience and expertise. They would be the lesser for it.

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January 21, 2016 1:33:18 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

You're a cranky old man...?

 

......That makes me..........um.......

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January 21, 2016 2:07:31 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums


I’m officially a cranky old man.

Bullshit!  You might be cranky, but you're certainly not old.... not by a long shot.  Quite a few of us here have a few years on you, and it's no fun getting/feeling old, so enjoy the 'not-so-old' years while you can.

 

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January 21, 2016 2:09:37 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,

You're a cranky old man...?

 

......That makes me..........um.......

An old fart with attitude. 

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January 21, 2016 4:59:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy, Focus on what brings you joy, follow your heart.  I wish the world was fair - that all people would treat everyone (clients, consumers, etc.) as if they were their neighbors. Alas, it just ain't so.  I experience brief bouts of joy and bliss only when I stop focusing on what everyone else is doing 'wrong.'  In my sixth decade I have finally started to learn this.  Look to what you enjoy - and, for a time, pretend all those not outliers don't exist in your corner of the world. Focus on your bliss. Here ends my old age rant. Now to get rid of the crankies by cranking up Fallout 4 - and cry over this next ending (finishing second playthru following a different path). 

 

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January 21, 2016 6:01:35 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

So...

 

Yeah, that trailer is pretty bad, but I can't imagine it's a worse movie than the last one.  Hell, if they're not on a ship for most of it, maybe that means there isn't a super ship for a bad guy, or maybe a super ship for a bad guy is why they're on a planet punching everything and I'm just being optimistic again...

 

As for being old because everything pisses you off, welcome to the club man, I reached that plateau in high school.

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January 21, 2016 9:13:24 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

You are not old Brad, I am, but you certainly are not. The stupidity of others is not your problem, just run your own company and let everybody else fail if they choose to do so.

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January 21, 2016 10:41:53 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

By changing their brand, Star trek have essentially opened up the positive future, not just guns and war for another franchise. They may do the action flicks okay, I haven't watched the second film they've done because quite honestly there are better franchises for action flicks. 

The good news is, eventually someone will  take up the role of an intelligent sci fi show that isn't just explosions and lightshows, at the moment we have modern day genre shows filling that role, because it certainly isn't star trek anymore, which is unfortunate but I can accept that brands change. I am however awaiting the sci fi show to replace star trek at this point in that role.

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January 21, 2016 10:58:23 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting starkers,
An old fart with attitude. 

 

LOL Hey, I resemble that remark!!!

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January 21, 2016 12:21:57 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Avatar137,


Quoting starkers,
An old fart with attitude.   



 

LOL Hey, I resemble that remark!!!

That's alright, I ASSemble remarks like that just for people like you.

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January 21, 2016 1:29:57 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

My Father, Elmer: "Don't worry Charlie because it's only gonna get worse". Hey he was right and I see no bottom.

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January 21, 2016 1:39:45 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting LightStar,

You are not old Brad, I am, but you certainly are not. The stupidity of others is not your problem, just run your own company and let everybody else fail if they choose to do so.

Tom I hope I can grow oil like you. I'm 63 I don't know but I think you have 2 or 3 years on me. Hopefully I can take semi retirement in a year or 2.

The bit of advice you gave is sound. In my own field I see what I consider to be a lessening of competence and an unwillingness to learn from experienced people such as myself. It used to eat at me but not anymore. As you say, it's not my problem.

Brad all you can do is what you have always done. That's more than good enough.

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January 21, 2016 1:59:45 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

I have yet to live into usefulness let alone outlive it so at least you have your several 10,000 hour learnt skills as your  legacy 

Everything. Is. Crap.

In that case you are in a position of privilege. You are a content creator so you can buck the trend and strive for greatness within your field and show how the experienced get the job done  

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January 21, 2016 6:08:09 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Speaking of experience.......sometimes I can run rings around so called knowledgeable lads fresh out of college, life experience does count for something after all. Best advice......just keep doing what you do best and let the other 'less knowledgeable' person(s) eat your dust.  

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January 21, 2016 11:13:43 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Chasbo,

In my own field I see what I consider to be a lessening of competence and an unwillingness to learn from experienced people such as myself

That is a trend that has become entrenched in modern society.  The young and inexperienced seem to think that their 'education' counts for everything and experience is "just old".  I recall a time [not so long ago] filling sand bags to help keep flood waters at bay, and this pair of whipper snappers going 'hell for leather' and thinking nothing of technique.  We did try to advise how to 'better' do it, but they ignored us and within a couple of hours both were buggered, puffing for breath and unable to carry on. The [other] old bloke and myself, however, just paced ourselves, had filled many, many more bags [we did over 80, they managed less than 40] in the same time and were still going. 

Yup, old dogs can teach young dogs old tricks... IF young dogs are willing to prick up their ears to listen, that is.

Hehe, it reminds me of the old bull and the young bull up on a hill surveying the herd of heiffers below.  The young bull says to the older one: "How about we run on down there and eff a few of them heiffers?"

The Old bull replies: "Why don't we just mosey on down there real casual-like and fech the lot?"

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January 23, 2016 2:30:21 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

This is NOT a feel good post.  This is a solution post.

 

Dating as far back as even ancient Rome itself people faced harsh conditions and worked out systems to compensate for it.  Among the most historically famous were later known as guilds.  Today we call them modern mentoring apprenticeships.

A little known fact is many elite have their own apprenticeship programs for the same reasons you listed above.  The problem is you can't just pull one of the "clueless" middle fraction of the pyramid and apprentice them up top.  It just doesn't work well for the same reason conscripting men for service late in life often results in less than optimal soldiers.  All potential candidates have to be panned out from among the bottom "losers" fraction and sometimes head hunting.

■ An apprenticeship can be considerable investment but it pays for itself along the way with good stewardship.

■ Many have failed because the master while fully skilled at a trade confuse that with being fully skilled at teaching it.  Just because you have a black belt in karate does not automatically mean you have a black belt at instructing students!

■ Talent, mindset, and commitment are not enough.  The student needs to have a passion early on.

Whether your call in life was CEO of Stardock or Supreme Dark Lord of the Sith, eventually life's time catches up to you but your apprentice will carry this heavy cross and later be thankful for becoming stronger.

Hope this helps and remember the greater something is the greater it can go wrong.

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January 23, 2016 4:05:15 AM from Brad Wardell's Little Tiny Frogs Brad Wardell's Little Tiny Frogs

So you're worried that everything will fall to shit once you retire? You're probably right. Time to go full McAfee   

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January 23, 2016 11:24:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

went full retard - YOU NEVER GO Full McAfee

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February 11, 2016 4:19:16 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

It's ok, not to fret. We will one day be all obsolete. The more that computers and all of the algorythms and code replace jobs that used to involve human finesse and skill, not only will the product look a lot less unique and inspired, but we will work ourselves right out of jobs. But maybe our AI overlords will be kind to us.

 

FYI, I'm really not this paranoid. I'm just in one of those moods today.  

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February 11, 2016 11:48:55 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Froggie, I know where you're coming from (especially on the OS/2 shit).  I have a LOT more than 10,000 hours in development and constantly ran into people fresh out of college that 'knew' more than I ever learned the hard way.  Problem is that I've never been diplomatic in the face of ignorance.

 

My solution?  When the wife left I just blew it off and retired -- with the intention of keeping on writing code.  Did write a lot of code for a project that will never be commercial.  Now I read and write a lot of English (and a little code) and play a lot of GC.  And wish I could still create something that mattered.

 

Yah done good, boy.  Do some more before you retire, please, for us old farts.

 

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