Friday, January 25, 2008


I was chatting with a colleague at work about a problem in our code. When I mentioned it, his immediate reaction was,

"So, what's the workaround?"

It surprised me because I was expecting more like, "So how do we solve this?"

I guess it is indicative of the times we live in. We are the generation that always wants "workarounds" instead of figuring out why something is happening. This seems to be especially true with health concerns. An acquaintance of mine has severe stomach ulcers. During a phone conversation, I asked him why he'd ended up like this. He just chuckled and said:

"Who cares why? I just want to know how to deal with it!"

Sometimes, I wish God had just made our body transparent; you know, like glass, so you can see through to the internal systems. That way, we'd be more aware of how smoking chokes our lungs in soot; Or how that pizza we're wolfing down is lining our arteries with fat; Or how that sweet donut we reach for every morning is just tiring out our pancreas; Or how our refusal to exercise is just over-working our heart.

I succumb to some unhealthy temptations too (my sweet tooth is one such) but I try to keep it balanced by working out and eating right most of the time. The human body is just an amazing piece of engineering and aesthetics. It is time some of us realized to give it some respect and admiration instead of working around it.

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Gopinath Sundharam said...

At least in software programming, I believe (and been using it) it is good to know the workaround before analyzing/finding the fix, as most of the time, a fix is lot costlier than a simple (!) workaround.

But the same is not true, as you mention, when it comes to our body and mind! Hmm.. looks like I'm measuring my body and programming in the same order.

Time to change! :)

Red Phoenix said...

If humans were transparent, then everyone can look into your head. That in my case is pure prospective growth coz, the roots of my smartness lies beneath the pile of mud inside my head :D

Transparent health issues - am in for it. But reading one's mind. Objection your honor

stockdabbler said...
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stockdabbler said...
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prabukarthik said...

There is a special place for both work arounds as well as actually solving the problem in its root.

60 yr old man, has major blocks in coronery artery. suffers heart attack nu vechupom..

we may know the root cause - lifestyle, hereditary etc..

what is the likely next step? if the block is severe, the doc orders bypass - in a way its just a workaround, is it not?
And like all workarounds it works only for some time...
But analysing the root cause in such a sitn may not be helpful.
You can neither fix the person's hereditary nor his faulty lifestyle of 6o years overnight.

The Doodler said...


There's a time for workarounds and there's a time for "real" fixes. But sometimes, even though a fix is more expensive, if it is remotely viable, I'd vote for a real fix. Workarounds have a tendency of spawning more and more, until the code is just spaghetti code..yuck! :)

The Doodler said...

Since when did having a transparent skull mean reading thoughts? :)

The Doodler said...


Right. I am talking about 20 somethings or 30 somethings who have the time to set things right. Not 60 year old men/women. Personally, even if I can't fix something, I'd like to just know the cause..for future reference..:) That's just me.