Doing the work of Sisyphus

  By Shamus   Jun 9, 2006   8 comments

Steven informs us:

Instead of writing for here, I’ve gotten pulled into writing on a political thread at Metafilter. My apologies.

That can’t be good for you.

Here is a random list of tasks, sorted according to how rewarding and productive they are:

  1. Persuade Steve Jobs to get himself an HP Pavillion.
  2. Find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll tootsie pop, then get Discover magazine to publish your findings.
  3. Get Tom Cruise to admit that Scientology is just a buncha mumbo-jumbo.
  4. Buy a Tivo for Ted Kaczynski. Teach him to use it.
  5. Beat Michael Jackson at Dance Dance Revolution.
  6. Convince Pat Robertson to subscribe to Hustler.
  7. Team up with Uwe Boll to make a successful and thought-provoking movie adaptation of Pac-Man. Win an Academy Award.
  8. Explain the plot of Final Fantasy XIII to Brittany Spears. Make sure she understands it.
  9. Coax Arnold Schwarzenegger into pronouncing California in such a way that there is no long ‘e’ sound.
  10. Take part in a political discussion on FARK, Slashdot, or Metafilter, and get someone – anyone – to change their opinion based on your arguments.
8Eight comments? Nobody's THAT hungry.


  1. I guess it really is about like that, but it was like quicksand. I just posted a one line quip, and before I knew it I was waste deep and being pulled down.

  2. Pixy Misa says:

    The problem is, they don’t live in the same Universe as you and I. They have built their worldview on false assumptions. To make any headway at all, you have to tackle those assumptions – and 999 times out of 1000, they will not listen to you.

    Occasionally, something comes along that is such a slap in the face that some of them will actually take stock of their assumptions and realise that they might be wrong. The blogosphere is big enough that we see examples of this every week. But trying to argue your way there just don’t work.

    It’s the same as arguing with, say, homeopaths, which I have spent some time doing as well. It can be useful for people standing on the sidelines, but you’re not going to convince the homeopath. He’s got too much at stake to change his mind.

  3. bkw says:

    waste deep

    Heh heh heh. I see what you did there.

  4. Pete Zaitcev says:

    What makes you think that Michael Jackson is good at DDR? Not to say that I’d beat him, because before the knee injury I was only doing 5-footers. But from what I saw, you’d need more than moonwalk.

  5. Shamus says:

    I’ve never played DDR myself, so I’m not sure how it works. I know that MJ is famous for being a good dancer (A matter I taste, I guess) and so I thought it would sort of be a good combination.

    But I think it would have been funnier if I had chosen someone else. Fred Astaire would have been better if he were still alive. The juxtaposition of the 50’s era dancer with a modern videogame would be even more absurd. Plus, I don’t care how the game works – if it involves moving your feet then I expect he would kick anyone’s ass.

  6. ubu roi says:

    When it comes to getting into arguments on the big lists, the old saying about teaching a pig to sing is the most appropriate. While I generally don’t like trolls, if you’re going to say anything sensible on the big lists, the best way to do it is troll-like: toss in your observation like a hand-grenade and run before it detonates.

    The one that got me was the one who called Steven’s viewpoint “sanctimonious bullshit.” Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, pot, kettle, black. My fingers were halfway to the keyboard before I came to my senses.

  7. AndrewNZachsDad says:

    Ubu: Ha! Took me about 10 times before I got control of my fingers.

    Pixy: “Occasionally, something comes along that is such a slap in the face…” In my experience, this requires something along the lines of the Big Bang.

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