Let me count the ways

1. Patronizing
2. Braindead
3. Out-0f-touch
4. Disinterested
5. Unimaginative
6. Passive
7. Ludditean
8. Narrow-minded
9. Apathetic
10. Lazy

And those are just my reactions to the attitude conveyed by the 'news' cited here (first item), not even touching on the atrocious paucity of seriousness, profound lack of engagement, and risk aversion revealed by the choice itself.

Gaaawlee, it's the internerd, har har. Them geeks are funny weirdos, not wanting to plop down on the couch and make like a potato. Why, those goofy folks are thinking, and it seems like they're working hard, and they're doing it for free??? Great balls o' fire, what's the world coming to?

Over the past week, I've probably spent 11 or more hours fooling around with various programs in order to convert a video file and a text file into a series of files suitable for burning into a DVD that will play on a standalone player with selectable subtitles. This will not make me any money. This will not make me any friends. This will not advance my career. This will not impress anyone I know or love. No one will understand how challenging it was or how many dead ends I explored before I got the steps of the process (I hope, I hope!) in order and operating.

At the same time, it wasn't 11 hours wasted watching TeeVee (although the tube was probably running in the background for at least half of the time). It didn't keep me out of the 70-degree sunshine blessing us in the middle of December. It didn't keep me from doing laundry, vacuuming, scrubbing the stove, paying bills, or cooking a few meals. It didn't cost me a dime.

As a matter of fact, I had fun. I tested a half dozen things and figured out where problems lie. I'm further along the production curve than I was a week ago -- more creative self-production, even, if I feel like it sometime. I communicated with a number of people I'll never meet. If what I figured out last night works (it's running at home while I'm at the office now), I'll share it with people I'll never meet -- potentially contributing to strangers' happiness and ability to accomplish tasks around the globe, or maybe ultimately read by no one, anywhere.

Maybe in three weeks someone else will come up with some tool to do what I've done with much effort and using all the ingenuity I can muster after, as noted, a long day at work. Many long days at work. I myself, if this works, will be able to explain how to do it in five minutes. But I've figured out how to do it myself. If not all by myself, all on my own. People who don't get why that's a buzz don't understand much about life, what makes it fun, what builds its meaning.

I feel sorry for people who see no value in engaging the world and mastering even a tiny piece of it this way.

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