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Who Said That? Or, The Importance of V

Growing up I acquired a distaste for appeals to authority. Nothing was more infuriating than requesting an explanation and getting the response "Because I said so". This lead me to my mistaken view that an evaluation of a text should be based only on the text itself and not its source. Afterall, one doesn't need to know the author to determine whether statements in a text are true.i And if the text is in the form of code, the code will not execute differently depending on who wrote it. But experience has shown that, coming from the right mouth, "Because I said so" holds weight.

People are not equal. Knowledge and cognitive ability varies greatly from person to person. A good strategy for learning is to pick the smartest person in the room and listen to what they say. Maybe others will occasionally offer something intelligent, but it is expensive to evaluate useless babble. Ain't nobody got time for digging through piles and piles of pseudoscience to find little nuggets of information.

Indeed, two identical texts can have different values depending on their respective sources. If a text comes from someone you trust, it is worth considering. If a text comes from anon391, there is a risk it is guaranteed time spent evaluating the text will be wasted. Should the text turn out to be nonsense, there is no one to punish. Anon391 has not wagered his reputation by producing the text and thus has no skin in the game.

It would be nice if you could find a person whose brain worked better than yours and treat them as a fountain of truth. Unfortunately, although your brain may not work the best, it is the only one that works for *you*. So you must still evaluate for yourself the text that comes from a trusted source.

The above ideas are embodied in the proper use of V, The Most Serene Repbulic's version control system. Code is considered only if someone in the V operator's wot has put their reputation on the line by singing a vpatch. Making sure the code comes from a valid source is done *in addition* to reading and understanding the code. This is opposite to the method of the common layman, who neither reads the source nor knows the author of the code he runs on "his" machine.

  1. Apart from statements such as, "I, the author, have visited every country in Latin America." of course. []

2 Responses to “Who Said That? Or, The Importance of V”

  1. Diana Coman says:

    has put their reputation on the line by singing a vpatch

    Ahahaha, the requirement is a bit less than actually singing a vpatch!

  2. whaack says:

    Ahaha and you were concerned about the overhead required to publish a vpatch without the song step.

    I'm going to leave this error in the article.

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