Low pass filters

We’ve gotta keep this traffic flowing and accept a little sin” - Cake

Nerd Rage: when you get mad at something that is Definitely Wrong, but not at all important. I am inspired/annoyed/awed by a guy I used to vaguely know at Google who would send you whole changelists/pull requests that were just him correcting your whitespace, irrelevant punctuation, 80-char lines, and other code style/lint issues. He was right, but I dunno, pretty annoying about the whole thing. Nerd rage comes up more often, but I don’t have as good examples of it.
Etymology of this term: I made it up.

See also related terms: BikesheddingYak shaving. (Did you know that was named after a Ren and Stimpy episode?) Bikeshedding and Yak shaving are mostly the same, minus the rage.

Well-Actually: someone says something that is technically true but irrelevant. The worst case of it is when you just want to sound smart. A more forgivable, but still bad, case is when you don’t realize that you’re adding more information that isn’t helpful here because you’re not skillful enough to realize that’s what you’re doing.

Righteous fury: (this doesn’t really need definition but I can’t break the format now.)

Low pass filter: a filter that lets low frequencies through but cuts off high frequencies.

Nerd raging usually doesn’t feel good when you’re doing it. Righteous fury, or righteous-fury-filled nerd rage, feels good when you’re doing it, but feels bad as soon as it’s over. Bikeshedding and yak shaving don’t really feel good when you look back on the time you spent doing it. Well-actuallying doesn’t feel good when you’ve developed enough social awareness to realize that you’re well-actuallying. Life’s easier with a well-tuned mental/emotional low-pass filter.

(I’m not sure if “high pass filter” would have made this work better. I’m thinking, cut out pops and hisses, right? Hmm, sorry, filter doesn’t let me care about this :P

So, there we go! Just stop worrying about small stuff, right? Like cars parking in the bike lane, or whether an online game could be 1% better! Of course, this is easier said than done. But as a general principle, I think: if Calm You thinks something is not a big deal, then anything you can do to make Angry You care less about it is probably in the right direction.

(If you want to be like Herodotus said about the ancient Persians, you could sub in “Sober You” for Calm You and “Drunk You” for Angry You.)

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