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Thursday, April 19, 2007

on winning in life

Life is a game, and if you aren't in it to win, what the heck are you still doing here?

-- Linus Torvalds


Anonymous said...

As always Linus is interesting... even when he's wrong...

If life is a game, then it is a zero sum game for all players.

Because everyone dies in the end.

What he should have said is "Life is a playground. If you're not playing why are you here?"

Words of wisdom from Area66

Anonymous said...

... which wouldn't have made much sense in the context of praising competition between developpers.

However I agree that the statement by itself is wrong, or disheartning for people "who do their best in very harsh conditions" but can't pretend to "win". Furthermore it doesn't play well with the conception that one always finds stronger persons than oneself.

for 'Philosophy Charlatanism for NOOBS'

PS : your use of the expression "zero sum game" is wrong, what you mean is something like "a hopeless game".

Anonymous said...

Linus must have been smokin' something real heavy the day he said this... :)

Ariya Hidayat said...

Or we can interpret it strictly as "I'm here to win", i.e. the will and passion to win are that matter.
Whether later on you (or even others) can claim the win or not, that's a different chapter.

Anonymous said...

DEFINITION: Zero-Sum game.

If we add up the wins and losses in a game, treating losses as negatives, and we find that the sum is zero for each set of strategies chosen, then the game is a "zero-sum game."

In less formal terms, a zero-sum game is a game in which one player's winnings equal the other player's losses. Do notice that the definition requires a zero sum for every set of strategies. If there is even one strategy set for which the sum differs from zero, then the game is not zero sum.

As Linus named the game as that of "Life", and Life only has one outcome, regardless of any possible strategy, then all players eventually end up with the same score: Death.

Pretty much a good definition of the sum of all wins and losses ending with a zero total being derived from any possible strategy in that game of life.

And for all players too.

True when you notice that all players always end up zero sum at the game of life (the only possible winning outcome would be to never die), it is a hopeless game...

But it's the only game in town.