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04 February 2011 @ 03:53 pm
One description of (casual, everyday) insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

We all have those moments when we're insane -- spinning wheels in the snow, for example, or honking in stopped traffic.

In what areas do you notice yourself doing this?
I'm feeling: curiouscurious
Chancemiss_chance on February 4th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
As a sort of aside, I've never understood that definition of insanity. I mean I get what it's getting at, but in so very many aspects in my life I find the *only* way for me to get different results is to do the same thing over and over and slowly get better at it. I find it very painful to watch young artists think that if they try a kind of drawing, say, once, twice, or even just a dozen times, and then determine that they are no good at that thing. So I guess for me I see a form of insanity in doing the same thing only a few times, and expecting different results.

Which, actually, I guess is my own answer to that question, too. So often I start trying something (Physical Therapy, an exercise regiment, yoga, etc.) and see some good results-- I'm getting stronger, more flexible, the pain is reducing-- and then, mysteriously, I stop doing it. There's apparently even a word for this: Akrasia, apparently means "The condition in which while knowing what it would be best to do, one does something else." And it's usually further modified by saying that you believe yourself able to do that thing, and have the resources, etc. I guess that's my most common insanity: knowing what I need to do, and not doing it, or not continuing to do it once it starts working, even though I *know* it will only really continue to work if I keep at it.
born from jets!!!catness on February 5th, 2011 01:09 am (UTC)
I agree on that definition not being entirely good for art, or really anything that takes practice to get right. Although, I'm beginning to believe it's insanity to ever think I might get good at playing the guitar. ;)
Jasonjd_trouble on February 5th, 2011 06:32 am (UTC)
Doing something again and again, and getting incrementally better at it, is NOT the same as doing the same thing over and over. By definition, getting better means you used a slightly modified process and got a different result. Essentially practice effects come down to the variables you can control versus the variables you can't. I believe the insanity definition implies that all independent variables are held steady and expecting the dependent variable to change.
Mouseketeer Stigmatatrom on February 5th, 2011 12:46 pm (UTC)
Even odds they _aren't_ doing the same thing every time though... Otherwise they wouldn't get better.
Blue Gargantuabluegargantua on February 4th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)

I'm a computer programmer. That isn't insanity, that's pretty much par for the course.

"This used to work and then I rebooted and now it doesn't."
"Try rebooting agin."
"It works now."

Less flip, the job is often about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results until you can figure out what it is that's causing the differences so you can make adjustments until you do the same thing over and over and you do get the same results. At this point, the code may still be broken, but at least it's broken consistently and that's pretty much half the battle right there.

blk: houseblk on February 5th, 2011 04:43 am (UTC)
I have a story I tell to computer programmer friends about when I first moved into my house, and half my power would sometimes go out. It was only half of it, seemingly not related to anything that happened inside or out. An electrician came by three times to try to find out the problem, which was difficult when the problem wasn't reliably happening. When he finally cracked open my outside electric box, a piece of metal fell out, and the power went out again.

I was elated, "That's great!" He looked at me, confused, "No, that's bad!" I had to explain that what I meant was, "Hurray, we found the bug. NOW the problem can actually get fixed."
harimad on February 6th, 2011 12:48 am (UTC)
Your statement made perfect sense to me!
born from jets!!!catness on February 4th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
Somehow, I always expect people to be better than they are. ;)
jordanwillow: tired bearjordanwillow on February 4th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
I go to sleep too late, set the alarm for too early, tell myself that I'll be able to get up and be productive when the alarm goes off -- and go to bed believing it.
Jasonjd_trouble on February 5th, 2011 06:34 am (UTC)
Plan for Pandemoniumroozle on February 5th, 2011 05:26 am (UTC)
I can't think of anything, she says, as she remains glued to the internet past bedtime.
(Deleted comment)
Mizarchivist: Bookworm hidesmizarchivist on February 5th, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC)
I did a thing I know I shouldn't do on Friday. I caught a bit of me on the sharp corner of my keyboard tray, so I forcefully jammed it all the way back, and in fact entirely jammed it so it was no longer useful. I had to get help to get it unstuck. I apparently do this once every other year or so, and never have the guts to tell the guy who helps me unstick the damn thing what really happened.
harimad on February 6th, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)
Certain interactions with my designated Difficult Parent.

Thinking that Being Right is, of itself, enough to convince others.
DancingWolfGrrldancingwolfgrrl on February 6th, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, I have a looooong list, but one of the ones tripping me up right now is thinking that if I schedule myself to do *really fun* things every night of the week, it will somehow make my need for downtime magically disappear.