Programming Reflections

Duck Typing Applied to People

The other day, my boyfriend and I have a conversation along the lines of the following:

Boyf: Why does X keep talking about how she’s a cricketer*?

Me: I know, she’s never even thrown a cricket ball.

Boyf: Seriously? Then she’s not a cricketer.

Me: She self-identifies as a cricketer, I guess she is.

Boyf: I self-identify as a lolcat, does that mean I am one?

* Changed to protect anonymity.

Credit: flikr / Kevin Steele
Credit: flikr / Kevin Steele

How does this lead to Duck Typing, though?

Duck typing means that if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, it’s a duck. It’s used in both Ruby and Python – see the Wikipedia article.

If we’re a little bit like compilers, my boyfriend is smart in that he uses duck typing to decide what they’re like. I know I’m more inclined to take people as they say they are, which causes ClassCastExceptions further down the line.

A while ago, I read an article by Penelope Trunk in which she says, “People who workout regularly think of themselves as people who workout even when they are ditching the gym and eating ice cream.” I’ve been thinking of this lately as I try and get back into the habit of training post injury. I think of myself as someone who works out, so even though I’m busy, and tired, I drag myself out and go. I’m actually finally starting to enjoy it again, too. However if I didn’t go, no matter how hard I thought about being someone who worked out, I wouldn’t be. I have to walk the duck walk, not just talk the duck talk.

Credit: flikr / anomalous4
Credit: flikr / anomalous4

Here’s my suggestion for the day – let’s duck type ourselves more. This means:

  • If you want to be someone who works out, go work out today.
  • If you want to be someone who’s reliable, do your best not to let people down.
  • If you want to be someone who’s pro-active, stop complaining about your boss (yes this definitely applies to me lately)
  • If you want to be effective, stop procrastinating.
  • If you want to be valued, create value.
  • If you want to change the world, go out and be the change you want to see.
  • If you want to be a cricketer, start by going out and throwing the damn cricket ball.

One reply on “Duck Typing Applied to People”

It’s slightly hilarious that this post never got the love that it should have.

Ignoring the insight, ignoring the geek humour, just the “production values” deserve a salute.

[WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

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