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The Happiest Days of Our Lives

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the for-me-those-are-a-bit-more-recent dept.

Books 149

If you've ever read Wil Wheaton's blog (clevernickname to us), you know he's not afraid to put everything on the table. One of the things I've always admired about his writing is his willingness to talk about his kids. On the internet. With ... people. Despite the obvious problems that could cause, Wil has been sharing anecdotes about his adventures in parenting since the early days of WWDN. His newest book, The Happiest Days of Our Lives, talks about growing up geek and what it means to be a nerd and a father at the same time. Read on for my review.

That the bones of the book's content comes directly from Wil's website shouldn't distract you. Whether you've been a reader all along (and might recognize some of these stories) or not, they've all been expanded and clarified for inclusion in the book. That clarification is something that comes across very strongly in Happiest Days, especially if you have read any of his previous work. Wil has put a great deal of work into the craft of writing over the past few years, and it shows. Some three years have passed since his sophomore effort in Just a Geek, and even more since Dancing Barefoot.

Where once it seemed as though Wil had something to prove in his writing - that he was over showbiz, that he was over Star Trek - Happiest Days is full of simple stories. The day he bought a Lando Calrissian action figure essentially by mistake, a simple outing for ice cream with his sons; they're everyday events but artfully told. In total he has about thirteen short tales in the chapbook-sized novel, ranging from just two pages long to a few dozen.

Some of his most evocative stories (and the reason this review is here) are all about Wil's growth as a nerdling. The most evocative for me was the chapter 'a portrait of the artist as a young geek', which details Wil's introduction to tabletop roleplaying. From his first brush with the infamous 'red box' D&D set at Christmas 1983, to his experience teaching his kids how to roll up characters under the 3.0 rulesset, the story reminds me (and may remind you) of a D6-laden past.

And really, that's what Wil makes this a book about. It's about his own past, his troubles, his triumphs, but in reality this is meant to be a book that reaches out to you as a reader. If you see something of yourself in the kid who agonized in the toy aisle, if you see something of yourself in the dad who argues with his kids over the radio station (and rocks out to 80s synth-pop), then the purpose of the Happiest Days has been fulfilled. Or at least, as I see it.

And, of course, if you like Wil's discussion of Star Trek there's some elements of that there as well. The difference, again, is that instead of pining for Trek itself, Wil reminisces about the impact Trek has had upon him. Great experiences talking like adults with Jonathan Frakes, the chance to speak to Ron Moore backstage at a con, and the recording of a documentary are what makes for stories from Wil in the here and now.

Probably the book's strongest element is also its biggest drawback. Wil's vicious editing and strong prose makes for an incredibly short book. The amount of story and emotion packed into the bare 136 pages is impressive. But ... it's still just 136 pages. And for $20, that seems a bit steep. For me, though, it was worth it to support an author that's been a pleasure to watch grow over the last several years. From blogger to published writer, Wil Wheaton's journey is laid out in miniature in the pages of Happiest Days. With the sour taste of Just a Geek washed out of his mouth, my hope is that we'll see more long-form work from Wheaton in the future. In the meantime this is a worthy 'sequel' to Dancing Barefoot, and well worth a look by fans of the well-placed word.

You can purchase The Happiest Days of Our Lives from Monolith Press. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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149 comments

Really very good (3, Interesting)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21425961)

This is definitely one of my favourite books of the year, if for no other reason than the simple familiarity of the writing. Reading it is like sitting in a pub with an especially expressive friend, listening to him tell you some crazy story about his past that you suspect must be embellished, but don't mind if it is. After a crazy day dealing with puffed-up psychopaths a few weeks ago, I read four chapters, and it's like the casual tone just evaporated all my tension. Wil sucks the pretension out of the air with his writing... it's just superb.

The one thing I'm hoping for is a work of fiction next... I know it's an extra-daunting task, but I'm sure it'd kick ass.

Re:Really very good (1)

AmiNTT (539586) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426515)

I read the entire book in one sitting and have to say it is a great, quick read. I'll second the request to see some fiction from him. Well done, Wil.

Re:Really very good (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426685)

When I read the title of the article here on slashdot...I thought at first this had something to do with the Pink Floyd "The Wall" [wikipedia.org] album....

Re:Really very good (1)

piratesyarr (1117287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427413)

Wow, I thought I was the only one. And in the town it was well known when they got home at night Their fat and psychopathic wives would thrash them within inches of their lives!

Jeebus! (1)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428335)

Yes, Floyd came to mind as well. But if I hear one more story of how he slipped Ashley Judd the tongue...
there will be some thrashings from me, too.

Re:Jeebus! (2, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428397)

But if I hear one more story of how he slipped Ashley Judd the tongue...
What, he worked in a deli, too?

I hope he sliced it nice and lean.

Re:Really very good (1)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427453)

Good, I'm not the only one who sees that title and mentally segues into "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2", chanting, "We don't need no education!"

Maybe I'm not crazy after all.

Re:Really very good (4, Informative)

CleverNickName (129189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426545)

The one thing I'm hoping for is a work of fiction next... I know it's an extra-daunting task, but I'm sure it'd kick ass.

I don't know if it counts, but I did a story for the latest TOS manga from TokyoPop, and I'm currently working on a short story that I hope to release in the near future.

(And thank you so much for your kind words about my book. I'm really happy you liked it.)

Re:Really very good (3, Interesting)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427001)

On the off chance you're still hanging around here (rather than, say, fighting with PayPal), I had a question for you: now that you've done fiction and non-fiction, which do you find more difficult to wrap your mind around? You seem to be very much at ease with writing about your real life, but I wonder if that's just a general skill that you're applying in a specific way.

For me, I can't write about my life without collapsing into a puddle of trembling self-doubt, but I can make stuff up about invented people without breaking a sweat. I wonder if your talent in that area stems from being an actor, and being more comfortable "putting yourself out there".

Very much looking forward to your short story! Good luck with the 300!

Re:Really very good (4, Interesting)

CleverNickName (129189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427279)

For me, I can't write about my life without collapsing into a puddle of trembling self-doubt, but I can make stuff up about invented people without breaking a sweat. I wonder if your talent in that area stems from being an actor, and being more comfortable "putting yourself out there".

It's the exact opposite for me, or at least it has been to this point. When I write narrative non-fiction, I know the whole story arc and all the characters, because I've experienced it all firsthand already. All I do is try my best to recreate as vividly and simply as possible what's already happened. To be honest, though, I'm starting to get bored telling stories about my own life, and if I'm getting bored with it, the audience can't be far behind (if they haven't gotten there ahead of me.) So now it's time to focus on writing fiction, which is sort of like moving from the outfield to third base for me.

Until recently, when I've sat down to write fiction, I've gotten tremendous performance anxiety about creating something almost entirely out of whole cloth. I've felt like, "Hey, look at me! I. Am. A. Writer. I. Am. Writing. Now." (That works if you say each word out loud and make exaggerated typing motions with your hands, and use a dumb guy voice.) I'm still not entirely over that self-consciousness, but it's getting easier with each attempt. I think the key for me (at least right now -- I'm still at that point where it's easy to level up quickly) is coming up with a beginning and an ending, and using a couple of characters I care about to tie them together. The real trick is not being afraid to suck, because it's easier to fix something that sucks than it is to fill a blank page.

Re:Really very good (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21427619)

I've felt like, "Hey, look at me! I. Am. A. Writer. I. Am. Writing. Now."


In my head I just hear it as William Shatner saying it, and I know exactly what you mean.

Re:Really very good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21427747)

why don't you just shut your yap, bitch? you may have tons of fans and the money rolling in but the fact is that you suck and your fans all suck. a bunch of geek fags who rally around their dumbfuck king. big fucking deal. you're just another misfit in a long line of asshats who don't really give anything worthwhile to society. your contributions degrade society infact. now we have a bunch of smelly, fat, anti-social trek fags sitting around beating off to your bitch book. jesus fuck!

Re:Really very good (4, Informative)

myth_of_sisyphus (818378) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427795)

WIl, I really enjoy your writing about being a father and a geek but I especially like the reviews of STTNG episodes on TV Squad.

http://www.tvsquad.com/bloggers/wil-wheaton/ [tvsquad.com]

The insider references are great, but the writing itself is hilarious. Rarely have I laughed more than when reading your one-liners and non-sequiturs. When are you going to do more of those?

Re:Really very good (2, Funny)

beav007 (746004) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429231)

So now it's time to focus on writing fiction, which is sort of like moving from the outfield to third base for me.
Nobody on Slashdot has ever moved to third base before. Maybe you should write about it...

Re:Really very good (1)

matt21811 (830841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429283)

Wil,
does it annoy you that you that Zonk posted a review of your book right when it cant be purchased?
  I mean 80,000 visitors who are exactly the kind of people who would enjoy your book are getting wasted by poor timing.

Re:Really very good (1)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429411)

This guy has a subtle wisdom, insight, and modesty, that makes me expect great things from him before long, probably along the lines of fiction writing. Another post summed it up pretty well, with the "don't hate the player, hate the game" aspect of Wesley Crusher. Wil played the character very well; the character just happened to be annoying to many (myself included).

And I was guilty of associating the actor with the character; reading his stuff (primarly through /. links) makes me realize there's far more to the guy, and we should expect to see more cool things from him.

Re:Really very good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21427027)

Your the man, I really enjoyed it myself as well. Kicked by with a few cigars and enjoyed it..

Cheers

Re:Really very good (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426607)

Wil sucks the pretension out of the air with his writing... it's just superb.

Agreed, and the main reason I read him. Granted, the Trek/Linux topics he's interested help forge a connection for us /. geeks, but a decent writer is a decent writer.

What I'm really waiting for is when he really decides to stretch his wings and starts writing outside his comfort zone. Any novels waiting to burst out, Will?

Re:Really very good (1)

angiek (1191927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426735)

I'll third the request for some fiction.

What I have always liked about his stories is how they hit home with me, even ones that I can't completely identify with yet. (I have no kids so I can't say I know what it's like to rock out to 80s synth while they disparage my choice in music... but I will someday and will probably tell them to get off my proverbial lawn.) It's to the point where I almost tell the stories to other people like they're mine. "One time, in the late 70s, I was in KMart, and I bought a Lando action figure instead of saving money for a Millennium Falcon... No, wait, it was KMart in 1993 and I bought a ST:DS9 figure when I should have bought Data from TNG..."

Wil's good people. It's a short book but worth it. And after reading his other stories about his family I love knowing who gave him his first D&D set. It's awesome.

Can't buy it today (3, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21425991)

But the site says ordering will be back up by the 26th.
 
Wil just sold through 300 signed hard cover copies and I guess the paperbacks will be available again in the next week or so.

Re:Can't buy it today (2, Informative)

Jess (geek-chick) (896411) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426581)

He was having issues with PayPal and had to suspend the softcover sales to get the process to work with the hardbacks. He has posted that once he gets the hardbacks shipped he will start up paperback sales again.

I'm happy I am one of the 300!

Re:Can't buy it today (1)

flewp (458359) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429073)

I'm happy I am one of the 300!
Liar. We all know none of the 300 survived the final arrow volleys.

Why do people like Wheaton? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21426033)

I still want to kick him in the nuts repeatedly.

Re:Why do people like Wheaton? (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426485)

I still want to kick him in the nuts repeatedly.

I did too, until I read some of his stuff. And then I learned that I just wanted to kick Wesley Crusher in the nuts repeatedly, and bore no ill will whatsoever to his doppleganger Wil Wheaton.

Its not really Wil's fault he played the most annoying kid in Star Trek (and most other franchises for that matter). And if he hadn't done it someone else would have played the part, and we would have hated it just as much.

In other words: blame Roddenberry and his writers for inflicting us with Wesley Crusher, not Wil Wheaton.

Re:Why do people like Wheaton? (2, Informative)

sairen42 (904233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427379)

Heh ... When I was a kid, I watched ST:TNG faithfully and had a massive crush on Wesley Crusher. Nerd girls...what can I say? We're our own breed. It's good to know Wheaton's doing well as an adult.

Re:Why do people like Wheaton? (3, Insightful)

jafac (1449) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429309)

When I was a kid, I watched ST:TNG faithfully and had a massive crush on Wesley Crusher. Nerd girls...what can I say?

. . . I suspect this is the root of the ire coming from nerd guys. . . .

Re:Why do people like Wheaton? (1)

vimh42 (981236) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427471)

In other words: blame Roddenberry and his writers for inflicting us with Wesley Crusher, not Wil Wheaton.

Ahh, but STNG would not be what is was without the sum of its parts. For better or for worse, Wesley Crusher was a core element of the series even if he was only a minor character (no pun intended). Poor writers = Kobayashi Maru.

Re:Why do people like Wheaton? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21428385)

In other words: blame Roddenberry and his writers for inflicting us with Wesley Crusher, not Wil Wheaton.

You couldn't possibly be blaming Eugene Wesley Roddenberry for completely ruining the series through some sort of bizarre egotistical wish-fulfillment, could you?

Blog viewers (0, Offtopic)

cheapestbloghost (1190703) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426075)

Dear All,

Three hundred people read my 'blog' yesterday! You have no idea how proud I am, the best anyone has managed to get to the Womens Institute for a talk is thirty three. June Dawkins only managed nineteen, she was green when I told her about my three hundred new friends who read my diary! Of course my readers are much younger too, Simon told me that most people on the internet are teenagers while everyone at the WI is ancient like me.

I have seen that some of you who talk to the internet have little counters that say how many people are reading. I am much more impressed with how advanced my system is; I ring up Simon and ask him. I really should mention Simon, he is the nice man who connected me to the information motorway. Anyway when I want to know how many of you are listening to me I call him up and ask.

Much better than a silly little counter. I rang him yesterday and he said "oh, at least three hundred people, whatever" which is how young people talk these days. I asked him how many people would be reading today and he said five hundred! I am very impressed with his service indeed . And hello to the two hundred new people who will listen to me today!

Yours,

Mildred

This Internet 2.1 blog for user Mildred [sys-eng.co.uk] is powered by The Cheapest Blog Host On The Internet! [sys-eng.co.uk] , the revolutionary web 2.0 metalayer. Get yours now!

blog navigation [sys-eng.co.uk] | previous post [slashdot.org] | first post [slashdot.org]

a link to the next post will be in a comment to this post

what we really want to know ... (1)

joeyspqr (629639) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426151)

is what Trek he thinks is best! c'mon, throw us a frickin' bone here!
(full disclosure - i've voted about a dozen times for TOS - not that it's helped)

Not buying it. (4, Funny)

CptPicard (680154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426251)

Clearly, it is not possible to be a nerd and a father at the same time... the former should make the latter impossible.

Re:Not buying it. (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426429)

You are almost right but wrong. Being a nerd and a father are easy to do at the same time. The problem lies in being a nerd and fathering a child at the same time.

Re:Not buying it. (1)

Krinsath (1048838) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426469)

Which he sidestepped, since they're his stepkids.

However, just from reading his site and listening to him talk, he's their father all the same. Sounds like a pretty decent one too.

Of course, if you listened to me I'm the most diligent worker ever and Slashdot is entirely work-related, but still...

Re:Not buying it. (1)

CptPicard (680154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426499)

Yeah, the girl usually starts to get freaked out when you're trying to father a child and just HAVE TO do some kernel hacking on the side... :\

Re:Not buying it. (1)

markana (152984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426675)

Do you have any idea how *long* it takes to do a full kernel build on some low-end boxes? There's more than enough time for other activities... :-)

Re:Not buying it. (4, Funny)

CptPicard (680154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426721)

Yeah, but you still want to watch all the cool gcc output scrolling by as it makes you feel l33t, instead of staring into your girl's eyes, and the she is jealous that you're drooling your kernel build and getting all hard off your compiler optimization flags instead instead of her...

Re:Not buying it. (1)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426863)

Clearly, it is not possible to be a nerd and a father at the same time... the former should make the latter impossible.

He must have used some kind of phasing.

Re:Not buying it. (0, Flamebait)

CptPicard (680154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426953)

Hmm... so you are in some sort of a superposition of nerd and father until pregnancy test result is observed?

Can't work that way either, would have to somehow get to the point of having a possibly positive result, no?

Re:Not buying it. (1)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427099)

Clearly, it is not possible to be a nerd and a father at the same time...

Quite possible: sperm bank + database hacking + a bit of stalking.

No Thanks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21426295)

I'd rather watch paint dry.

you played the annoying kid on Star Trek... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21426301)

...that heralded the end of anything worthwhile about that series. Since then, you're an hero to lazy outcasts who think they're born with some sort of destiny. Everything you write epitomises what's wrong with America today. Protestant work ethic - a firm belief that one should use his talents to build himself so he can lift up society around him - replaced with a sense of entitlement and a big government to preserve this privileged elite.

At least our countrymen are getting exactly what they deserve: the number of people coming out on top is ever diminshing; eventually the remaining citizens will revolt. It's happened in every other empire, and there have been empires far more powerful, relatively speaking, than the American. I look forward to the end of aristocracy, whether borne of physical strength, mental prowess, or wealthy family.

Re:you played the annoying kid on Star Trek QWZX (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21426571)

At least our countrymen are getting exactly what they deserve: the number of people coming out on top is ever diminshing; eventually the remaining citizens will revolt. It's happened in every other empire, and there have been empires far more powerful, relatively speaking, than the American. I look forward to the end of aristocracy, whether borne of physical strength, mental prowess, or wealthy family.

Tell it, brother!

Very soon we will rise up and overthrow the power that The Man holds, and take our rightful place! No longer will The Man make us work and slave for him, we'll feast upon their ill-gotten tables. Then we can retire to their lives of leisure, all the working men and women finally able to rest. It's our turn, baby!

Just like when Rome fell! No more did the Romans force their roads, buildings and civilization on the world, all built from the labor of their slaves! Sure, there was the 1,000 years of the dark ages after that, but this time the professional athlete will embrace the trash man, both slaves to the power structure, and a new enlightened society will rise from the ashes of the aristocracy, and all will cry out, "FREE AT LAST! FREE AT LEAST! THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, WE ARE FREE AT LAST!"

Re:you played the annoying kid on Star Trek QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21426995)

No more did the Romans force their roads, buildings and civilization on the world
Ah, an American public school education. If you want to give a genuine example of progressive western civilisation that included slavery, look to Ancient Greece for advances in mathematics, science, astronomy, etc. Or, moving East a little and for the cultural inspiration for Greek mathematical advance, to Egypt or Babylon.

Rome, on the other hand, was about conquering and exploitation, and if it looked civilised, it was because it had the organisational skill to implement old, well-known technology. Sure, we have Boethius and the like to thank for preserving Greek work, but this was the age of the commentator.

1,000 years of the dark ages
Let me guess, your high school history lesson went: cavemen, Romans, Dark Ages thanks to Evil Christianity and that warmonger Mohammed, glorious Western Renaissance.... Your post reveals such a shallow dip in the Perian spring it embarrasses me to share a mother tongue with you.

(Nice trollish use of QWZX to save the trouble of searching, though. :-)

Re:you played the annoying kid on Star Trek QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21427449)

look to Ancient Greece for advances in mathematics, science, astronomy, etc. Or, moving East a little and for the cultural inspiration for Greek mathematical advance, to Egypt or Babylon.

Typical anti-Roman babblings. Sure, the greeks get credit for some math and science (though, the Middle East is far overrated on those things), but the Romans took a bunch egghead ramblings and turned it into civil engineering. I don't think it can be argued that the Romans did more than anyone in history to bring civilization to the savage outlying countries.

In fact, Rome was *this* close to creating modern society. They were very close to having working steam engines, which would have done the same thing as it did in the mid 1800s, and make slavery uneconomical.

Dark Ages thanks to Evil Christianity and that warmonger Mohammed, glorious Western Renaissance

Er, that's pretty much accurate. Nothing destroyed civilization like the rise of religion. It's pretty much held us back 1,000 or 2,000 years, depending on how you want to count it. Christianity had a big hand in causing Rome to fall, leading to a thousand years of chaos and misery. If Rome had been kept strong, eventually it would have led to modern society far sooner, and probably without the millstone of religion that still holds us back today.

Re:you played the annoying kid on Star Trek QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21428429)

Sure, the greeks get credit for some math and science
Some? Some? OK, let's look at mathematics. Begin with the legendary Thales of Miletus and Pythagoras; then, off the top of my head, in C5-4 BC we have Hippocrates of Chios, Menaechmus, Antiphon, Bryson, Epicharmus, Eudoxus; after that we have a formal study of knowledge and logic from S, P and A (for study of which we can look back to Parmenides and Zeno) - P founding the Academy, then A involved in the Museum and the Lyceum. By the Hellenistic period we are well in to practical applications, mathematicians and scientists having shaken off classical Platonism, giving us Archimedes, Eratosthenes, Diocles, Apollonius et al. Fast-forwarding, let's not forget the out-of-place Diophantus, whose work probably suggests a whole wad of non-extant knowledge around C3 AD (perhaps the Neopythagorean Nichomachus gives us a sense of continuity?). Our still-useful reference today, of course, is Euclid, but he was done by c. 300BC, and certainly not the first Elements (consider Proclus recounts summarising Eudemus' History).

the Romans took a bunch egghead ramblings and turned it into civil engineering
Yes, that's right, my little fasces-wieling lictor. The basis of Western philosophy, evolution of proof from diknume through exhaustion, the first axiomatic reference, the first historical studies - all "egghead ramblings". As for civil engineering, almost all the above occurred after the construction of the Parthenon, and well after the Egyptian Pyramids. In the early second millennium BC we have scribes discussing their function - as numerate administrators of city states: architects, engineers, military and economic planners. Sure, in the luxury of the Nile and protected by the desert, Egyptians didn't have much motivation to behave as exploitative, expansive Romans, but they sure as hell knew how to apply simple mathematics to engineering projects a good couple of millennia before Rome.

Rome was *this* close to creating modern society. They were very close to having working steam engines
Steam, eh.. shame Heron was born into the recently conquered Alexandria, wouldn't you say?

Christianity had a big hand in causing Rome to fall, leading to a thousand years of chaos and misery.
Oh please, not the schoolboy "and thanks to Christianity, Rome fell" line. Please state what you're actually trying to say - is it Christian philosophy that causes empires to fall? (In which case, do you "blame" Muslim philosophy for causing the rise of the Islamic empire?) Are you attributing Rome's fall to the rise of people united by Christian faith? Are you saying that if people kept to a religious devotion to their Emperor, rather than to a deity, your version of civilisation would have remained?

If Rome had been kept strong, eventually it would have led to modern society far sooner, and probably without the millstone of religion that still holds us back today.
Again, Rome was fascist. It followed many of the principles of organised religion, but treating a man rather than other-worldly as god. If you want, I can give you some C20 examples of what happens when you have an advanced society created in this image.

Rapid technological advance (which really wasn't happening anyway) instead of the fall of Rome, without a corresponding social advance - the Renaissance was mostly about looking back to Greece, thank fuck, not Rome - would have been horrible. A fascist technocracy is exactly where we're heading now, because we've shaken off Neohumanist principles; and very few will benefit from it. (Though quite a few readers to this site will - and, TBH, I could easily benefit from it also. But I'd rather die than make slaves of my fellow men.)

Re:you played the annoying kid on Star Trek QWZX (0, Offtopic)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428765)

Sure, in the luxury of the Nile and protected by the desert, Egyptians didn't have much motivation to behave as exploitative, expansive Romans, but they sure as hell knew how to apply simple mathematics to engineering projects a good couple of millennia before Rome.

Of course people threw together some structures before Rome, but so what? The point is that Rome didn't just sit on all these advances, they brought them to the savages in the outlying areas. They spread civilization around the world, similar to what England did during their Empire years. You're talking about a few insulated societies who managed to naval-gaze for awhile, I'm talking about civilizing the world.

Please state what you're actually trying to say - is it Christian philosophy that causes empires to fall?

Where do you think the power went to once the Roman empire fell? Straight to the Roman Catholic church is where. They grabbed the power for themselves and undermined the Empire. The Church enslaved far more people than the Romans ever dreamed up -- they just did it in a more subtle way. "Put your faith in God, and honor him by building this church! And by giving us a tithe! And by the way, you better put your faith in God or we'll slaughter you." It's just slavery by a different method.

Again, Rome was fascist.

Of course they were! But they were on the path toward modern society. Technology would have brought about the evolution of that society away from a slave-based empire to a capitalistic one, just like the English kings eventually gave power to its business citizens -- because it made more money that way. It was still brutal, but it was moving in the direction of greater freedom.

Instead, the anti-science Church plunged everybody back into darkness and superstition that lasted over a thousand years, and even then Galileo was put in jail for being a scientist. If Galileo had the same ideas in the Roman empire, he would not have been persecuted.

It's undeniable that the fall of Rome was a travesty of history.

Re:you played the annoying kid on Star Trek QWZX (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429575)

Where do you think the power went to once the Roman empire fell?


Largely, to the various peoples that broke free of the Roman state as it fell.

Of course they were! But they were on the path toward modern society. Technology would have brought about the evolution of that society away from a slave-based empire to a capitalistic one, just like the English kings eventually gave power to its business citizens -- because it made more money that way. It was still brutal, but it was moving in the direction of greater freedom.


Er, no. The Roman state was pretty consistently moving toward less freedom (particularly substantive political freedom) for its citizens from a point well before the fall of the Republic through the fall of the western Empire. Its true that toward the end of the western Empire, it was moving toward more inclusive citizenship as more and more of the "barbarians" were granted citizenship in exchange for military service because the Empire was unable to hold itself together, but that was an integral parts of the fall of the Empire, not a trend toward greater liberty that could have been sustained with the Empire standing.

Technology would have brought about the evolution of that society away from a slave-based empire to a capitalistic one


"Slave-based" and "capitalistic" aren't opposites, or even excluded. The American South prior to the Civil War had an economy both slave-based and capitalistic.

Instead, the anti-science Church plunged everybody back into darkness and superstition that lasted over a thousand years


No, the collapse of central authority and organized society and general war of all against all that accompanied it did that, inasmuch as it happened at all (and, actually, its not like the period from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance wasn't full of advances, including several agricultural and industrial revolutions which made the Renaissance possible; there is nothing like a period of over a thousand years of relative "darkness and superstition" except in popular mythology.)

and even then Galileo was put in jail for being a scientist. If Galileo had the same ideas in the Roman empire, he would not have been persecuted.


No, Galileo was put in jail for doing what was perceived as a direct and personal insult to the sitting Pope, his principal patron, in his writing. It wasn't his ideas (which he'd made public long before he got in trouble), it was putting the views associated with the current Pope, who supported him despite their disagreement, into the mouth of a figure portrayed as a buffoon that got him into trouble.

Betraying a powerful political patron without securing another willing to protect you first was also not a wise move in the Roman Empire.

Re:you played the annoying kid on Star Trek QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429841)

Of course people threw together some structures before Rome, but so what?
Christ, man, pick up a translation of the Rhind papyrus or something, to see the scale at which people were planning engineering and resource allocation, and the numerical skill they possessed to handle such problems, even in ancient Egypt. This was not "throwing together". You're going to have to go e.g. megalithic Britain if you want a debate on whether structures were simply thrown together - consider the implications of Chace's arguments on understanding of geometry and use of a standard unit to organisation of society.

The point is that Rome didn't just sit on all these advances, they brought them to the savages in the outlying areas.
Where do I begin?
  1. Your use of "savages" seems to reflect your general inability to write in terms more advanced than an early C19 anthropology text.
  2. Applying advances mostly within your own country - philosophical, mathematical, scientific, and engineering - is not "sitting" on them.
  3. Taking over another country, treating its inhabitants as subordinates, and building your technology to that country, is not "bringing" the technology to them. It's using your technology on their land, and possibly making them operate it to your advantage. Even the British Empire, an order of magnitude more enlightened than Rome, often failed at "bringing" what it had to offer to natives - which is why the natives were either the same or worse off when Britain left than when Britain arrived.

In your favour, at least:
  1. You pop in the "outlying areas" clause to remind us that Alexandria etc. were civilised and advanced in mathematics and science before Rome came trolling in. So even if you consider e.g. invasion of England as one step forward, in the places having seen real philosophical advancement it was two steps back.
  2. You're not sidestepping the point that Rome's skill wasn't in advancing technology. Rome's strength was excellent hierarchical organisation - if I were a middle manager, a Dilbert PHB, I'd look to Rome for my inspiration.

To look at the correct way to bring technology to "savages" for their benefit we turn to the Renaissance. Consider the Neohumanist Robert Recorde, whose vernacular, easy-to-digest volumes indicated quite clearly their purposes in the Prefaces - to provide tools for the tradesman and the navigator; to enable laws to be more fairly applied; to replace appeal to authority with appeal to logic. He brought technology to the burgeoning merchant class not by conquering a country but by simply writing compendia of knowledge in his native language and making the knowledge available in books at a reasonable price!

The Church enslaved far more people than the Romans ever dreamed up -- they just did it in a more subtle way. "Put your faith in God, and honor him by building this church! And by giving us a tithe! And by the way, you better put your faith in God or we'll slaughter you." It's just slavery by a different method.
The American Government enslaves far more people than the C10 Catholic Church ever deramed up -- they just did it in a more subtle way. "Put your faith in GWB, and honour him by making this Pledge of Allegiance! And pay your taxes! And by the way, you better cough up and not speak too harshly against us or we'll lock you up and take away your property." [yes, at least we've moved beyond instant death for dissenters :-)] It's just slavery by a different method.

The Great Leader/King/President/whatever will always be a vicious megalomaniac and will always make you pay tithes at knife/gunpoint. He hasn't wrestled more control from you because he can't, not because he thinks it's more profitable to give you freedom. He requires sufficient popular support or he will be overthrown. And, as Recorde recognised, the best way to keep the population sufficiently suspicious of its rulers is to keep them educated - this driving force must come from outside the highest echelons of power.

To summarise this dalliance: Romans were organised but they did not advance technology much - they imposed existing technology and organisation on less developed nations, while denying much of the benefit to those nations. Another century of Rome would just have been another century of tightly controlled, stagnant, crappy-for-most, military dictatorship. Fascism precluded Renaissance Recordes, Dees, Commandinos, and Maurolicos; the destruction of Roman control was a prerequisite to mathematical, scientific and technological progress.

Galileo was put in jail for being a scientist. If Galileo had the same ideas in the Roman empire, he would not have been persecuted.
Galileo was not put in jail for "being a scientist". Wealthy Italian patrons had been sponsoring mathematicians and scientists for some time- I've already mentioned C16 writers Commandino and Maurolico. Since these patrons were the ones with the massive collections of ancient manuscripts, and privilegium (authorisation to print) pretty much required such patronage, there'd have been no development at all if the Church hadn't been in favour of it. What the Establishment didn't like was actions which contradicted its interests - comments on heliocentricity, in Galileo's case (though withdrawn), combined with outright mockery as DragonWriter has discussed.
Science around C16-17 was, as Kepler put it, and in line with Neoplatonic ideas that had existed since ancient Greek times, a way of understanding the "finger of God"; it was an exercise in theological enlightenment. It's only much more recently that science and religion have been considered mutual enemies.

Re:you played the annoying kid on Star Trek... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21426695)

it might be OT for a book review, but as far as underlining the problem with America's current philosophy - Thatcher/Reagan's "it's all about me!" - it's pretty much spot on. Wesley Crusher was pretty much the idealised '80s hero:
  1. It's about natural talent, not hard work - the elite can rest on their laurels;
  2. Use that talent to advance only yourself, as if you had a natural right to rise above the rest.

Those living in America and under the age of 35 - and this is where it gets really depressing - haven't even experienced an alternative philosophy. No-one starves, almost everyone can buy something resembling a '70s supercomputer and put it in their back pocket, but spiritually, we're dead. We live for bits of metal and plastic; this is what technocracy has become. The greatest scientists were once almost always driven by Neoplatonism; read Newton, read Kepler, read Leibniz - this last undoubtedly the father of automation.

Today, being mentally proficient means getting a cushy consultancy job for private industry or government (but not for the people) and raking in the $. This board is full of those very people, so of course I'm going to meet resistance - while the majority of the country suffers.

Re:you played the annoying kid on Star Trek... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21427383)

At least our countrymen are getting exactly what they deserve: the number of people coming out on top is ever diminshing; eventually the remaining citizens will revolt.

Yeah, some people worked hard, built themselves up to the top, and now they're going to get overthrown, exactly what they deserved.

It's a shame nobody ever invented a "Protestant employment ethic" whereby the people who work hard actually do get to rise to the top, but a corporation's only got one CEO and you can't have a pyramid without there being less space at the top than at the bottom.

What "obvious problems"? (4, Insightful)

sseaman (931799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426393)

One of the things I've always admired about his writing is his willingness to talk about his kids. On the internet. With ... people. Despite the obvious problems that could cause, ...
Am I missing something? What's so problematic about discussing your children on the internet? Everyone with kids does it.

Re:What "obvious problems"? (2, Insightful)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426835)

I was wondering exactly the same thing - I'm not sure why you got modded as flamebait for asking...

Re:What "obvious problems"? (1, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426933)

One of the things I've always admired about his writing is his willingness to talk about his kids. On the internet. With ... people. Despite the obvious problems that could cause, ...
Am I missing something? What's so problematic about discussing your children on the internet? Everyone with kids does it.


Because the kids may not like that, either now or in the future. Although I do have a feeling that most parents would not want there children discussing them on the Internet. The idea that you can do something bad just because everybody else does it is a common belief, but that does not make it correct. I would rather have parents discussing how they can protect their children's privacy, rather than have them violate that privacy. Gossip is something that I have always frowned upon, especially when it is done by family members.

Re:What "obvious problems"? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427737)

talking about does not equal Gossip.

Parents have always talked about there kids, this just happens to be a new medium.
DO you thinking people raise kids in a bubble? do you think parent know everything about raising kids? How do you think parent get advice from more experienced parents?

Re:What "obvious problems"? (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428177)

talking about does not equal Gossip.
Gossip (from WordWeb):

1 . Light informal conversation for social occasions
2. A report (often malicious) about the behaviour of other people "the divorce caused much gossip"
3. A person given to gossiping and divulging personal information about others

Parents have always talked about there kids, this just happens to be a new medium.
As I've said, popular behaviour does not make it right. (And yes BTW, I expected to be modded down for this rather unpopular statement). But sometimes things need to be said despite the popular consensus.

DO you thinking people raise kids in a bubble? do you think parent know everything about raising kids? How do you think parent get advice from more experienced parents?
Getting advice from people and gossiping are too different things. Getting advice from other parents is rather dubious unless they have a degree in Child Psychology or Early Childhood Education or something similar. If you are getting advice from somebody who believes it's OK to smack children around, for example, then you are probably getting advice from the wrong people.

As for Wil's book, I shall not comment on it since I have not read it. So do not necessarily take this as a slight to the book. I was merely replying to the original statement.

Re:What "obvious problems"? (0)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427815)

Because the kids may not like that, either now or in the future.

So what? You must not be a parent.

Re:What "obvious problems"? (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428269)

Because the kids may not like that, either now or in the future.
So what? You must not be a parent.


It is irrelevant whether I am a parent or not. One thing that should be obvious though is that I was a child, and I never liked it when my parents gossiped about me. I presume that you are making this statement because you are a parent who likes to gossip about their kids, or perhaps just hear gossip from other parents. It's normal for people who engage in bad behaviour to be defensive about their own actions.

Re:What "obvious problems"? (2, Informative)

gambino21 (809810) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427589)

Probably many people are concerned about the privacy issues. Public information about your family could be used against you or your family by classmates, angry neighbors, etc. But I agree with you, and I'm not sure why you were modded down. I blog about my family, mostly for the enjoyment of my friends and relatives. I do think about what information I should or shouldn't share with the public, but in general I think if someone is out to get me for some reason, they probably aren't going to be helped that much by a blog. In fact it may even be a deterrent if they get to know me or my kids.

Re:What "obvious problems"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429923)

in fact, typically people with kids won't shut the hell up about them, online or otherwise...

How original (-1, Flamebait)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426455)

How original the whiny little star trek boy is! Who'd ever have thought: a book about a half-geek half-father! I'm sure that no /.ers meet that description.

Comparative economics? (3, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426523)

But ... it's still just 136 pages. And for $20, that seems a bit steep.
I agree. But it's vaguely on-topic to point out that Wizards of the Coast regularly pawns off D&D sourcebooks shorter than 136 pages for more than $20 each.

Re:Comparative economics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21426769)

Very vaguely and probably misleading. The costs and markets are entirely different.

Re:Comparative economics? (2, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427067)

The D&D books are reference guides. Their value can not be figured out using the same methods as normal reading material.

Put it this way: if you buy Wil's book how many hours will you read and reread it for? On the other hand how many hours will you spend playing D&D off a set of books?

It's like a Tangram set I bought at Barnes and Nobles a couple years ago... it was just a couple tiles of plastic and a 120 page book that I forked the money over for, it was the hours and hours of activity that I was paying for.

Honestly (-1, Troll)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21426615)

I don't want to sound like a troll, but please can we all stop jacking off Wil Wheaton? Yes, he was on Star Trek; yes, he's a great guy; yes, he does VA work. But I don't understand why he needs to many Slashdot posts.

Re:Honestly (1)

raitchison (734047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427047)

I can't recall seeing anything in the past few months. In any case I think that with WW you have a combination of someone with a lot of recognition that many many of us used to hate but then found out that he was very much like us. If you have wronged someone it's nice to be extra nice to them later.

I suspect that if he had played a more mudane, more likable minor ST character (say Odo on DS9 or O'brien on TNG) he wouldn't be held in such high regard today.

That said, I really like his work and can't think of any other ST actor I'd more like to hang out with.

Re:Honestly (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427331)

That said, I really like his work and can't think of any other ST actor I'd more like to hang out with.

I don't know about that, Patrick Stewart really is an amazing actor. Of course Wil does have that whole geek thing going for him, so maybe he'd be more entertaining long run, but it would still be pretty cool to have a chance to chat with Patrick Stewart.

Re:Honestly (1)

raitchison (734047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427511)

Yeah it would be great to spend an hour or an evening with Patrick Stewart or Brent Spiner or Michael Dorn but after you've heard the interesting stories I think that would dry up rather quickly. Wil is a Dad (Step-Dads count), a geek, a gamer, he's close to my age (he's a tad younger), I have WAY more in common with him as I suspect is the case with a whole lotta /.ers.

Re:Honestly (1)

BlueMerle (1161489) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427049)

Umm.... this is a thread reviewing a book He Wrote!

Perhaps you'd care to have your book reviewed here also?

Re:Honestly (3, Insightful)

juuri (7678) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427081)

I don't know, because he is one of us?

How many of the true slashdot long term readers, posters and contributors have had his experiences? While he may never have such artful tales to tell like the one time where Bill Joy asked me what my favourite text editor was (without me knowing who he was, thank goodness for knowing emacs was shit even back then) he has many tales that involve that whole scary black box of hollywood and the sycophants involved. More importantly he can spin a good tale about being a modern day grown up geek in America with kids. Where's the harm in enjoying that?

Slashdot is as much about being a place for geeks as it is about rehashing the geeky news on a daily basis. Here's to you Goatboy (from Y irc circa 92? 93?) for continuing to be who you are even with far too many people watching and caring.

Re:Honestly (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427327)

You obviously haven't gotten a grasp on the whole supply and demand concept here. People like reading about him, therefore people post articles about him. This is news about nerds, what part of it wouldn't fit in the Slashdot topography?

The best is yet to come (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427031)

Having kids is great.

Having kids who've grown up to be people you like as well as love -- that utterly rocks.

All things considered, the fifties so far have been the best times I can remember. I'm willing to wait for grandchildren, but only in the "do not open before Xmas" sense.

Interesting (3, Insightful)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427045)

I find it kind of sad to think of Wil reading through the comments on here. I'm sure as a regular to slashdot he's probably used to the trolling that goes on, but it's still got to be hard on him at some level to read some of this stuff. I for one hadn't heard about this book before now, but I think I'll go pickup a copy. It's always interesting to see a fellow geeks perspective on life, and Wil usually does a pretty good job of expressing that perspective.

Re:Interesting (1)

Jackdaw Rookery (696327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427133)

I was wondering the same thing. On some level it has to have an effect but at the same time he's been around here a long while. He knows the /. crowd and I'm betting does a pretty good job at filtering it out from his reality. Well done on book 3 Wil. Was it harder or easier than the dreaded book 2 ...

I doubt he minds them (1)

lmnfrs (829146) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427547)

I think anybody who's a regular on the Internet knows how silly and meaningless trolls are. As a regular slashdotter, I think he knows that the praise is much higher than the trolling is low. Most everything anti-Wil I've seen consists of pointless, poorly thought out sentences. But the complements are just as consistent: thoughtful appreciation of the warm, emotional relationships that are unique to his writing, yet instantly familiar to us.

Dude, he played Wesley Crusher!!! (5, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427787)

You think a few lame-o trolls on Slashdot are going to affect him? At one point in time he had almost all of nerddom hating him. Usenet groups dedicated to his destruction. People at cons screaming at him. In Klingon. You name it.

Wil probably has thicker skin than a rhino at this point.

That being said - I'm a fan. Of both Wil and Wesley. Suck it, haters.

Re:Dude, he played Wesley Crusher!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21428833)

we can't help it that wil is a fucking cunt and a bitch. who gives a fuck anyway. he's going to be forgotten by all in a couple of years and people won't even both to use this book to wipe their asses with. fuck him, he's a shitball that should be ignored.

Re:Dude, he played Wesley Crusher!!! (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428911)

Suck it, haters.
You, sir, have a black belt in irony. I love that line. Can I steal it?

--
Toro

Re:Dude, he played Wesley Crusher!!! (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429625)

I hadn't really looked at it that way, but I suppose you're right. It is a little recursive, isn't it?

Sure, what the hell. It's yours.

Re:Interesting (1)

sukotto (122876) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427839)

We could amuse him with /.isms

I, for one, welcome our new "Just an Overload"

Picture Wil Wheaton with Natalie Portman and hot grits down his pants.

etc.

Re:Interesting (4, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428175)

I find it kind of sad to think of Wil reading through the comments on here. I'm sure as a regular to slashdot he's probably used to the trolling that goes on, but it's still got to be hard on him at some level to read some of this stuff.
I like to think that the guy who picked up a "Shut up, Welsey" button at a vendor booth and wore it for the duration of a Star Trek convention has figured out how to handle the bleating of Slashdot trolls. After all, not only is Wil something of a Slashdot regular - he is also responsible for one of the best meta geek posts [slashdot.org] in slashdot history. Who else would use Slashdot, and a rare public interview opportunity with a nerd culture icon, to have a pseudo-private conversation?

oblig The Wall reference (1)

Fissure_FS2 (220895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21427073)

After finishing the book, Wheaton reported that his children began singing about not needing "no education" and asking him to "leave them kids alone"

A Great Geek Read (2, Interesting)

Fricka (583769) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428089)

I got my copy in the mail a few weeks ago, right before I left on a trip. When I got back I picked it up and then didn't put it down until I was done. It's a real thrill ride of a "whodunit". Ok, it's not but it IS very compelling reading.

I enjoyed it immensely. Perhaps this was partly because I grew up in the town neighboring his so those stories had extra meaning to me. However, I think any geek will enjoy it, as someone else said in the comments, he's "one of us".

My formal review is on my blog: http://www.offlinetshirts.com/blog/index.php/2007/11/20/book-review-happiest-days-of-our-lives/ [offlinetshirts.com]

As a disclaimer, I must admit to having met Wil in person and to getting my copy for free (which was a very cool surprise).

Pink Floyd - The Happiest Days of Our Lives lyrics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21428173)

The Happiest Days of Our Lives - Pink Floyd

When we grew up and went to school
There were certain teachers who would
Hurt the children any way they could
By pouring their derision
Upon anything we did
And exposing every weakness
However carefully hidden by the kids
But in the town it was well known
When they got home at night, their fat and
Psycopathic wives would thrash them
Within inches of their lives

wil wheaton? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21428301)

nothing but a bitch

Wil's ST:TNG Reviews (1)

prakslash (681585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428451)

If you were/are a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, go and read Wil's own TNG episode reviews at TV Squad [tvsquad.com] .

I guarantee you - you will almost die laughing.

"parenting" is a horrible word (-1, Offtopic)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428547)

Wil has been sharing anecdotes about his adventures in parenting
"Parent" is not a verb. Stupid Americans.

"Parent" comes, via the French language, from the Latin "parens". Itself coming from the verb "parere".

I am not enough of an Latin etymologist to tell if it comes from

*parere/pareo : to be obedient to, obey
*parere/paro : prepare, raise, furnish/supply/provide or
*parere/pario : bear, give birth to, beget
(each makes sense)

But clearly, it comes from the verb "parere", which would be something like "to pare" if it had propagated to Modern English.

Putting a -ens generally is a way to make up a substantive from a verb which will specifically refer to the performer of the action.

Examples:
ferere (to bear) --> ferens (bearer). Ex. Christopher = Christos Ferens = the one who bears Christ
exponere --> exponens

Anyway, it is plain ridiculous to take a verb, make a substantive out of it, and make another verb out of it that means the same thing as the original verb. Someone who fishes fishes is called a fisherman or a fisher, yet his job is not called "fishermanning" nor "fishering". Someone who farms is a farmer yet you don't call his job farmering. Someone who insures people is an insurer, yet he is not in the "insurering" business.

The only way "to parent" would be an acceptable verb is if it was not about raising children (performing the action) but about making one a parent (making the object a performer of the action).

Fuck you, language rapists. What's next ? are should we call people, who perform the action of "parenting", "parenters" ?

Re:"parenting" is a horrible word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429017)

Is the US the only country inflicted with the evils of pop-psycho-babble?

BTW, I'd say cut Wheaton some slack. The guy's paid his dues, pop-culturally-speaking.

All this talk of pop makes me thirsty...

Re:"parenting" is a horrible word (0, Offtopic)

C. Alan (623148) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429295)

Man, this is Grammer Nazi'ing at a new level.

Ha, I made Nazi a verb! I guess this will lead to another pointless post by yet another Grammer Nazi.

Re:"parenting" is a horrible word (1)

ZG-Rules (661531) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429821)

erm, I care not to correct your verbification of nouns, but I will tell you this:

It's grammAr dammit, grammAAAAAAAAAr!

(no, it's not Talk Like A Pirate day again, but it is the Queen's English and she spells it with an A, so you will too.)

Love and Hugs,

Spelling Nazi

Bow down! (-1, Flamebait)

afabbro (33948) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429953)

One of the things I've always admired about his writing is his willingness to talk about his kids. On the internet. With ... people.

It is so cool that celebrities take the time to come down from Olympus and talk with us little people, who otherwise have no meaning in our lives.

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