About the intricacies of seeing the world

2019 05 08

Author: Mindaugas Barysas

About the intricacies of seeing the world

Once upon a time Master Bodhisattva was visited by crooked man in rags. His hair was greasy and tangled; there was a hint of fever to his wandering gaze.

– Master Bodhisattva, listen to me, – he said – I am seeking virtue and I started telling only the truth while exercising samma-vaca . Once I started doing this my companions beat me and I was banished from the open space . Why did this happen? What did I do wrong?

– Show me your code – said master Bodhisattva – and perchance I will be able to help you. While I am reading, please, be the guest of this ashram.

The man retrieved a disk and gave it to the Master. All night long, he read and contemplated the code inside it. In the morning, the Master invited the wanderer to come.

– What is this? – asked the Master pointing to a pot.
– A pot. – the wanderer answered.
– Take a look what is inside.
– Honey. – stated the wanderer after taking off the lid.
– What is this? – the Master asked once more, pointing to the pot, and, without waiting for an answer continued, – if you were to answer that this is a pot, you will be seemingly right, but if you really exercised samma-vaca , you would answer „a pot of honey“. For the man who looks at the pot the most important thing is what’s inside the pot, even when he needs only the pot itself: then he values the void inside it. So, do not call your array “array”, buffer – “buffer”, and “data” is not a good way to call your data. It is not vipassana, but a mistake: you think you know the real nature of things, but for a tiger and a cat, for a butterfly and a caterpillar you use the same name. Go and correct your code, let it say: “productIdArray”, “adressLineBuffer” and “customerContactData”.

And the wanderer left in disgrace.

One of the monks of the Master heard this conversation. He asked:

– Master, why is this so important? My code cares not for the names: it works perfectly no matter how I name my classes, variables and functions.
– You are right,- answered master Bodhisattva,- but you are forgetting that the nature of the code is binary: it is a medium between a human and a computer; it is read by both, but do not forget that as yin counterbalances yang , a human offsets the computer and vice versa. Java works slower than an assembler, but a human reads assembler code slower than Java. Yin and yang are but two sides of the same mountain: one basks in sunshine and another lies in shadow; but do you see the mountain itself?

With these words, the monk attained enlightenment and soon left the ashram – to spread the endless compassion for everything that is alive.