Marco Dorantes' WebLog

"Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes" -Edsger W. Dijkstra

‘The real world’ – an update

‘The real world’ – an update

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From time ago, I have wondered what does it really mean when people include the phrase “the real world” in a conversation.

Usually they convey it with such a sense of safety so that from that time on, most of the audience seems to know what the speaker is talking about (just as ‘the real world’ was something unambiguously known for all automagically). “Oh! The speaker has just referred to ‘the real world’! All she says now sounds so authoritative and reliable!” (This could be food for a Dilbert’s cartoon)

It bothers to me the feeling that I missed something whereas all other people seem to fully understand it (just as when someone tells a joke an all start laughing and I don’t because I didn’t catch the fun).

Is it that I am so weird that I don’t share the same mental context than the others?

Is it that the others are so blind that don’t see how immensely ambiguous the phrase is and its use is essentially like saying nothing at all?

Is it that I missed some class back in the school where the proper use of such rhetoric figure was fully explained?

By now, and for the sake of little peace in my mind, when I hear: ‘The real world’ I translated to ‘In my experience’ (speaker’s experience).

It is reasonable to me now.

  • “ Want me to adopt your solution? Let’s clarify first which are the new problems it brings on ” -a conscious

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