Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Worrying that you're wasting your time is a waste of time.

"At school, I was in the top set for maths. My teachers recommended that I study economics and statistics as my A-level subjects, but I had my mind set on a life fulfilled by the arts. I saw myself as an accomplished novelist or an interpreter for the EU."
See, that’s an inspiring thing. She was prodded down one path but took another. Quest for fulfilment, an’ all that.
"If you are studying for a degree in arts or languages, you are probably wasting your time, too. I mean this in a literal sense. The next three or four years of your life may be romantic, inspiring and entertaining, but you are still wasting your time. Trust me, I know a thing ab -"

Quoted is Belinda Parmar, who says in the Guardian that four years of inspiration, romance and entertainment was a waste of time. She then continues with her article about women in the field of technology (making plenty of interesting points worth listening to), but makes no note of the fact that she's just said something worrying.

Right at this moment, I'm spending my lunchbreak writing, and writing is what I love the mostest. It's not going to change the world, but so what? That doesn't mean it's a waste of time. In fact, given that writing is what I love the mostest, I'd say this is probably the best possible use of my time (other than Tetris, obviously).

Belinda Parmar evidently has a different measuring stick. To her, being inspired and entertained and blissfully running after dreams like a tortoise running after a rabbit isn't worthy of our time. I'm not entirely sure what she does think is worthy of our time, then. Walking the dog? Too entertaining. Travelling the world? Too inspiring. Juggling tictacs? Too romantic.

According to Parmar, technology is worthy of our time. Her article seems to imply that aspiring to technology-based careers that earn a lot of money and potentially help change the world is what we should be doing. It’s what we should be doing right now.

Oh yeah? Well, what if I don't want to? People often claim they aspire to happiness, but they don't really, of course they don't. Belinda Parmar found happiness early on in life, but then she said it was a waste of time:

"I spent a semester learning about Spanish chivalric literature, wrote a dissertation about surrealist images, fell in love with the poetry of Federico García Lorca and, in short, wasted four years of my life."
Instead, she claims she would've been better off on a technology course. Despite pointing out the abundance of creativity in technology, she also implies that technology and the arts are somehow mutually exclusive.
"While she may not ever know as much as I do about literature, I'm hoping that my daughter will embrace her inner geek and want to change the world."
And what if the poor girl’s inner geek is in love with the poetry of Federico García Lorca? Well tough titties, kiddo. Mum says that's a complete waste of time. Pick up your Raspberry Pi and learn to code instead. DO IT.

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