Martha Stewart And Cookie Monster

I had a surreal experience late the other night (as of WikiNow) while disregarding my resolution to give up television:

MarthaStewart had CookieMonster on her show as a guest. She was trying to make cookies, but since CookieMonster goes completely nuts whenever he hears the word "cookie", she was trying to do it without saying that word.

She had to go through so many linguistic gymnastics I almost felt sorry for her. At one point, CookieMonster was thoroughly confused about what they were doing, and she tried to explain it to him without using the forbidden word: "Well, we're mixing butter, flour, and sugar.... Do you know anything that has those in them?"

"Cake?" replied the somewhat-culinarily-challenged monster.

She slipped up near the end and said "cookies" instead of "Project X"; he went bananas and knocked some half-finished project-xes to the floor. It turned out all right in the end, though: the finished product even looked like him.


Sometimes, when I'm writing on Wiki about the (pretty XP) way I do things, I try to avoid using the ExtremeProgramming terms--especially when it's not a page about XP or an XP practice per se.

This is because those terms cause some people to flip out, a la CookieMonster, and drag in a lot of real or imagined but generally irrelevant other things about XP.

Can you promote XP values without using the XP terms, or having them slapped on you? Can you make cookies without saying "cookie"? It's an open question, but it's worth a try. -- GeorgePaci

If you believe that ExtremeProgramming represents a KuhnParadigmShift, as I do, then theoretically no. There are those who hang on to the old paradigm, and those who embrace it. The ones who are hanging on are the ones who go nuts over 'cookie'. So, if you're talking to an audience who goes nuts over 'cookie', then you are talking to the wrong audience, the stubborn ones. The ones you want to talk to are the ones who are going to embrace the new paradigm, the ones who want to hear about your cookies. Then again, people aren't so cut and dried. Some aren't sure which paradigm they like. Some might change their minds. If you can choose your audience, then use the cookie words to attract the audience that will listen. If you can't (the vast majority of the time), then it is often prudent to keep out the big cookie words, like PairProgramming. Is that wishy-washy enough for you? Anyway, whatever you do, DontCallItExtreme.

It's been a while since I read TheStructureOfScientificRevolutions, and I'm so used to cringing when marketroids claim their software/service/product/floor-wax is a "paradigm shift", that my first reaction was: No, XP isn't a paradigm shift.

On the other hand, I've seen enough people to think that maybe you're right. How else does XP fit the KuhnParadigmShift model? -- GeorgePaci

See ExtremeParadigmShift.

XP is also potentially a DisruptiveTechnology.

EditText of this page (last edited October 3, 2006) or FindPage with title or text search