Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Maximum Efficiency

This is my favorite bit from Slackonomics: Generation X in the Age of Creative Destruction, by Lisa Chamberlain. From Chapter 5 (""), Jen Bekman, former director of interactive programming at Disney, describes her decision to go back to college after the dotcom bubble burst and left her jobless in 2000 1997:
I had gone to Hunter College, but never graduated. So I tried going back to school, too. I took two classes at Hunter: a modern poetry class and a media studies course. I was getting a lot out of both classes; the professors were great. But I remember there were materials on reserve at the library, and you had to go check out a book and Xerox the material. You had to get a Xerox card and stand in line to photocopy the book. I just had this moment where I was like, "What the fuck?" There was no way I could do it. It just seemed ridiculous. There might be some arrogance in that, but Xeroxing a book seemed completely disconnected from my desire to learn. It wasn't just Xeroxing a book, but everything that represented. After years of working in this new, exciting arena, doing things no one had done before, making money, to then be standing there in line to Xerox a book - needless to say, I didn't finish the classes.

The lesson here, as always, is an education is not worth the trouble of Xeroxing something in order to obtain it. If a professor refuses to provide you with a pdf of all the relevant materials, walk out of that class and never look back. Xeroxing can mess you up. Lots of things can mess you up.

Cyborg knows what I'm talking about.