Koolaid (was Re: Optional Static Typing)

Peter Hansen peter at engcorp.com
Thu Dec 23 23:17:30 CET 2004

John Roth wrote:
> "Rocco Moretti" <roccomoretti at hotpop.com> wrote:
>> The question is, should Guido state "TDD is the one true way to 
>> program in Python.", or should concessions be made in the language 
>> design for those who don't "drink the TDD Kool-aide".
> Neither one. I hope you didn't mean  that people
> who advocate TDD are suicidal fanatics, because
> that's exactly what "drink the  kool-aid" means.

I always thought the connotation was more that those who
"drank the Kool-Aid" were unthinking drones, following what
others told them to do.

Reading Wikipedia's account of Jonestown, it seems
that the truth is a mix of both the blind loyalty thing
and the suicidal fanatic thing.

I've heard this applied most often in recent years
to XML, and while I can imagine some people who apply
the phrase to those overusing XML might think they
are effectively committing suicide, I'm pretty sure
most times it is just used to mean "you are blindly
doing what everybody else does without thinking about
whether it's the right thing to do".


P.S.: The ironic thing about all this is that it was
actually something called "Flavor Aid", made by a
company called Jel Sert (http://www.jelsert.com),
and not Kool-Aid at all.  What would be even funnier
is if the expression doesn't derive from the Jonestown
suicides and I've always just assumed it did...

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