Two problems

Thursday 26 April 2012

Once upon a time, Jamie Zawinski said,

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, “I know, I’ll use regular expressions.” Now they have two problems.

BTW: Jeffrey Friedl dug into the history and found that someone said it about awk before jwz said it about regular expressions!

I seem to have developed a fascination for new variants of this joke, especially where the concept being referenced is important to the structure of the joke. For example, last June I said,

Some people, when faced with a problem, think, “I know, I’ll use binary.” Now they have 10 problems.

The other day I contributed,

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, “I know, I’ll use threads,” and then two they hav erpoblesms.

It seems that Eiríkr Åsheim earlier had a similar one,

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think “I know, I’ll use multithreading”. Nothhw tpe yawrve o oblems.

Making fun of Java is easy. Chris Lonnen said,

Some people see a problem and think “I know, I’ll use Java!” Now they have a ProblemFactory.

Floating point can be surprising. Tom Scott quipped,

Some programmers, when confronted with a problem, think “I know, I’ll use floating point arithmetic.” Now they have 1.999999999997 problems.

Finally, this is not a technical joke, but is too true to leave out. Tom Dale said (and then deleted?),

Some people, wanting an escape from their full-time job, think “I know, I’ll contribute to open source.” Now they have two full-time jobs.

Brendan Berg has a list of others if you want more...

Comments

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Some people when confronted with a problem think "I know, I'll quote jwz". Now everyone has a problem.
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I’m fond of this variant:

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll solve it." But the Void is inescapable and our short lives are meaningless.
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Good stuff, thanks for sharing.
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It's easy to see a political/libertarian version too: Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, we'll just use government." Now they have a more powerful monopoly.
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Some people when confronted with a desire to use pithy quotes in their presentations think "I know, I'll use something from Star Wars". Now two problems they have.
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You've mentioned Mark Pilgrim's version before:

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll quote Jamie Zawinski." Now they have two problems.
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You forgot my favorite one, brought to my attention by a colleage:

“I know, I’ll use Python.” Now they
import solution
and have a beer.

From:

http://sodiumdreams.com/post/19639754254/more-problems
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My own (at least I haven't seen it anywhere) variant of the thread version:

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use mutexes." Now they have
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I felt inspired, here's mine:

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use anagrams." Now they have bloom twerps.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll watch Countdown." Now they have two conundrums.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use Shareware." Now they have two trials.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think: "I know, I'll use caching." Now they have one problems.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think: "I know, I'll think outside the box!" Now, they have 3.75 problems, an entirely new framework, and three dozen toll house cookies cooling in the kitchen.
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I want to register that sxua version is gold.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use node!"
Now
    they
        have
            three
                more
                    problems.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use UTF8." Now they àﻂῦῇḢﻼɆµ↓ç°§ùÔ▄¦Ñﻂ.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll ignore it." Now someone else has one more problem.
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Lincoln Russell 8:41 AM on 24 May 2012
"I'll use PHP!" Now they have ("1 apple" + "1 orange") problems.
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Well, if we're going to go there...

..."I'll use Perl!" Now they have more than one way to have more than one problem....
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David-Sarah Hopwood 9:50 AM on 24 May 2012
Some people, when confronted with a security problem, think "I know, I'll use capabilities." Now they can solve their problem but cannot convince anyone else they've solved it.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use delegations." Now their problem is a problem of their problem.
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For those of you still interested, I encourage you to add your "two problems" to the (soon to be canonical!) site: http://twoproblems.com/
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use recursion!" Now now they now they have now they have two now they have two problems.
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I think, "I Know why because I didn't use try... catch and finally they got caught ....
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Pretty accurate all around, but the floating point thing is fake! IEEE 754 (double precision) can represent all integers between 0 and 2**52-1 (or somesuch) without rounding errors. So unless you arrive at the 2 via some intricate computation, it should be 2 and not 1.999999999997...
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I have recently returned to async programming, so:

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use asynchronous programming." Now

:-)
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I have recently returned to async programming, so:

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use asynchronous programming." Now

:-)
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...either that or they post twice :-P
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Chris Withers: I assumed that was intentional :-)
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use eval". Now they have all the problems.
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Francisco Kurpiel 10:08 PM on 1 Dec 2014
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use metaprogramming". Now the problem has a problem.
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Francisco Kurpiel 10:10 PM on 1 Dec 2014
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use AI". Now the problem says they are they problem.
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Francisco Kurpiel 10:11 PM on 1 Dec 2014
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use linked lists". Now they have a problem. Now they have a problem. Now they have a problem. Now they have a problem. Now they have a problem. Now they have a problem. Now they have a problem. Now they have a problem. Now they have a problem...
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Francisco Kurpiel 10:15 PM on 1 Dec 2014
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use heuristics". Now they have approximately 2 problems.
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Francisco Kurpiel 10:16 PM on 1 Dec 2014
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use calculus". Now they have infinity problems.
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Francisco Kurpiel 10:43 PM on 1 Dec 2014
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use physics". Now they one real problem and a spherical one on vacuum.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use JavaScript." Now they have undefined problems.
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Francisco Kurpiel 2:44 PM on 19 Apr 2016
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use quantum computing". Now it is highly likely that they have two problems.
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Francisco Kurpiel 2:51 PM on 19 Apr 2016
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll linear algebra". Now they have two problems and two equations.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use recursion". Now they have a problem about themselves having a problem.
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Here's one I tweeted a few years ago:

Some people, when confronted with a data storage problem, think "I know, I'll use RAID." Now they have an array of problems.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, “I know, I’ll hire a consultant.” Now they have an unknown number of problems and a lot less money.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, say, "I know, I'll use a state machine!" Now they have a finite set of problems.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use enums!" Now they have 32 - 1 problems.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use containers!" Now they have a contained problem.
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, “I know, I’ll use cron-jobs.” Now they have a problem each morning a 5am.
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Francisco Delmar Kurpiel 12:37 PM on 20 Nov 2018
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use complex numbers". Now they have 2i problems.
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Francisco Delmar Kurpiel 12:43 PM on 20 Nov 2018
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use C". Now th
segmentation fault (core dumped).
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Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use quantum computing". Now they have a superposition of all possible answers but no way to collapse it to one.

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