Wearing dice on my head since 2008 Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart. Randomly amazed.

Variance

· by roy · Read in about 2 min · (290 Words)
Categories: Just Another Day | Tags:

I’m a fan of unpredictability and randomness, and I easily get bored with regularity, repetitiveness or consistency. I once articulated this as a life philosophy to a friend - that I preferred a life with periods of highs and lows, like a sine wave, instead of a simple and boring flat line.

This is why I often enjoy games like Scrabble or MTG. Basically competitive skill-intensive games that still have a significant element of random chance, so that the games while interesting, almost never play out the same way. For computer games, I really like the ones that have any sort of random/procedural generation - probably one of the reasons why I really latched onto Civilization and X-Com when I was young.

This is also why I probably couldn’t thrive in any career that involves a lot of repetitiveness or doing the same thing day in and day out. I can’t imagine working as something like a security guard or a cashier (aside from the low pay obviously). This is why programming is great for me a career - it’s highly skill intensive and at the same time there’s a lot of variance because you’re almost never solving the same problem twice. And if you are encountering the same problems repeatedly, then you have a new problem to solve - how to stop those problems from repeating.

Love of variance can be a double-edged sword though. The main problem is that it gives me difficulty in trying to do things that require consistent discipline or repeated practice - developing habits like regular exercise can be a challenge. This is why even in my daily walking, I dislike taking the same route too often. It is a problem to be overcome.

Comments