The Satisfying Snare

I know, I know. I should have been writing. But one too many people at LTUE mentioned something called “reddit“, and I innocently ventured into a pleasing pit of quicksand from which I have yet to escape.

It started with “WritingPrompts”, which was okay, but certainly not the this mysterious thing that deserved being mentioned over and over again. The posts were tame and controlled.

Then I must have run into some acronym I didn’t understand, and the fun began. I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t figured it out. Suddenly, I found posts with hundreds of snarky comments that had me giggling out loud.

I began exploring: “TodayILearned”, “NotTheOnion”, “Mildly Interesting”. I kept reddit open in the browser on my phone and returned to it whenever I needed a break.

One week I discovered “IAmA”, and spent my free time reading Q & A sessions with miscellaneous people.

“GetMotivated” took another week or so. Of reading about getting motivated. Clearly, it didn’t work for my writing. It did make me feel good, though.

I don’t even know how I found “ProgrammerHumor”, but I’m glad I did. I get the jokes. I understand the frustration. And I reconnected with something I’d forgotten about.

I followed a link to a humorous blog post: “A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages“. As I was reading through the footnotes, there was a reference to an article by Verity Stob.

“Verity Stob?”, I asked myself, “Where have I heard that before?” Something in my brain was poking at me from a distant past. It sounded so familiar.

Googled it. Yes, it’s a pseudonym. A catchy one that stays in your brain for over a decade.

Verity Stob wrote (and still writes, I am happy to discover!) satirical articles on programming. I’m sure I found her during the time I was reading articles from Dr. Dobb’s Journal, but I can’t even remember how or where I had access to Dr. Dobb’s at the time.

I still enjoy Verity Stob’s articles, now in The Register – yet another way to spend some time if you’re a geek looking to avoid writing.

Some day I think I hope to find a way out of this satisfying snare, but it might be a while…


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