April 07, 2010

Grokking Babies

So, imagine you're a computer science guy and that the things that happen to you are supposed to be a logical (or at least, predictable) result of the things that you do and the things that you observe others doing. This carries the most weight in the land of computer programming, where you write programs and they do what you tell them to. Of course, in real-world dividends there are good examples as well... such as the stork whom, if you pay him a certain sum of money he will, having been correctly bribed, deliver a baby roughly 9 months later. In the same fashion, computer programs, properly fashioned, will do what you have told them to do. And, unlike storks, if they don't do what you expected them to, there are error logs and outputs that explain what you actually told them to do and how they faithfully carried out your erroneous instructions.

On the other hand, you have babies. I should point out at this stage that I have no doubt that there are a great number of varied inputs into my poor little daughter's brain between me and my wife and her own internal processes of "I'm hungry", "my butt is wet", "my tummy hurts because I have to fart and nobody will smack me on the back to work it out" and "that big ugly man is nice and warm and I want him to hold me to make me warm." Oops, I almost forgot, "those mean people are taking away my warm, well-padded diaper and exposing my butt to the cold air! I hate that!"

The problem is that while the inputs are many and various, her output is somewhat binary: either she's crying or she's not. Well, that's not exactly fair... she can be crying, screaming bloody murder, crying while making sucking motions with her tongue out, sitting quietly with her eyes open or sleeping. The problem is that the outputs don't map directly to the inputs... in fact, I'm beginning to suspect that even an indirect mapping would be something more happenstance than reality.

Now, I know that some of you are going to point out that as a member of the fairer sex, I shouldn't be demanding logical correlation and causal relationships between inputs and outputs ... and you'd be right. But at least, however unreasonable, grown women can send mixed signals that don't send chills up my spine (usually) and consist of more than screaming, crying and making faces.

Others will correctly point out that given the neurological and physiological development of my daughter, I would be somewhat unreasonable to demand reason and/or cogent communication... and I suppose I have to agree. The problem, gentle reader, is that though I may agree that my daughter, while an excellent specimen of 2-week-old baby should not be required to transcend her already excellent developmental accomplishments, it still doesn't do anything for my state of mind that she can't seem to correlate inputs to outputs in a manner that I can understand.

Come on Grace, write it to a log so Daddy can analyze it. Actually... when you put it in that context, I think I'm looking at this all wrong. I blame the test tools for failing to properly analyze the baby output. This is all the fault of my co-workers for not programming proper baby output analysis.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at April 7, 2010 12:59 AM | TrackBack