Oops – We Digress Again

Quiet Quitting

Recently I came across the term “quiet quitting” when googling/facebooking on my mobile phone. Wikipedia defines it as doing exactly what the job requires, not more or less. It is also known as “work to rule”. QQ is related to the concept of lying flat or Tang ping, not to be confused with planking.

If you’re unfamiliar with quiet quitting, your first thought could be “rot13(jul gur shpx) is it called quiet quitting?!?!?”. That was my first thought as well. I was even on the verge of asking this question on Facebook, but my gut told me not to bother since several others must have done the same by now.

After searching various sources, I concluded quiet quitting was a term invented by some rot13(ceb-ohfvarff nffubyr) trying to push a narrative that employees are lazier and more entitled than what they really are. Although to be fair, “work to rule” does have a whiff of rot13(junggurshpxrel) as well.

Quiet Quitting and Spider Solitaire

For our purposes, the important question is “what does quiet quitting look like in Spider Solitaire?” We have already seen the results of quiet quitting when you’re proof-reading your Ph. D. prior to submission, but that was a “one-off digression within a digression” for lack of better phrase.

I would define QQ as playing on auto-pilot. This could manifest itself in various ways:

  • If you find a good move (or plan) don’t bother looking for a better one
  • Don’t bother looking for a chance to remove a complete suit.
  • Consulting a random number generator when faced with a difficult decision

A general theme is QQ tends to affect decision-making skills, rather than knowledge of the fundamentals. For instance, if you have some experience in the Royal Game you probably know that with two empty columns a run of four cards like 8-7-6-5 can be shifted onto a Nine, even if they were all different suits – and this is not something you are likely to forget, even if you were in quiet quitting mode.

I believe the average player is more likely to quiet quit if a game is going extremely well or extremely badly (since small errors are less likely to result in the loss of a game that should be won). Yes, there are other “human factors” such as tiredness, or something else bothering the player that is not Spider Solitaire related. Of course, that raises the question of why a player chose to play the game in the first place. Then again, somebody could be “born to quiet quit” and never reach their full potential despite playing for an extended period of time. I know of one such Scrabble player at work who is very low-rated despite playing the game for umpteen thousand umpteen hundred and umpty ump years. She was probably there for the “social aspect” of the game, rather than the love of  problem-solving or the thrill of finding a power-play with lousy-looking tiles.

QQ in a nutshell

In a nutshell, if I were pressed to come up with a reasonable definition of QQ in the context of SS, then QQ means playing without thinking. Regardless of your playing strength, this should imply a lesser win rate than expected. How much of a loss would be anybody’s guess, and I don’t see anyone writing their Ph. D. on this topic any time soon.

I do not see myself playing Spider Solitaire unless I put in my absolute best effort. That’s just my nature. I need a compelling reason to not go above and beyond. If I am tired or bothered by something unrelated to the Royal Game, I wouldn’t be playing in the first place.

Okay I agree that QQ is a garbage term and I only used it here in order to “score” a third digression before Steve’s game draws to a close. It really should be something as bland as “playing on autopilot” but then there would be no reason for me to blog about it in the first place 😉

What are your thoughts on quiet quitting (with or without a Spider Solitaire context)?

One thought on “Oops – We Digress Again

  1. It is perhaps my single favorite program of the internet age: https://books.google.com/ngrams. The n-gram viewer. It’s something of an art form (?) or at least interesting challenge to come up with interesting ones. A trivial one I did recently: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=jig%2Cjug%2Cjog%2Cjag%2C+jeg&year_start=1800&year_end=2019&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cjig%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cjug%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cjog%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cjag%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cjeg%3B%2Cc0#t1%3B%2Cjig%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cjug%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cjog%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cjag%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cjeg%3B%2Cc0. Neither of my daughters knows what “jeg” is either.

    Anyway, “quiet quitting” is so recent it hasn’t made it into the ngram viewer, I guess!

    I am of course just one person who promised nothing, but it does seem like since the bug has been away, I am the only one who comments on your posts, and usually quite promptly. I did not reply promptly to the latest pre-digression one. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do the task or not. It would involve getting out the cards again and setting it up, and then thinking a lot. You also indicated that precise move sequences weren’t what you were looking for — this time or last time. I could have responded right away and said, ‘Hmmm, let me think about this. Not sure if I want to do this job or not.’ My failure to do so might be called Quiet Quitting, by a stretch. A related concept from years ago was the “Inbox-Outbox Mentality”. At least that’s how I remember the phrasing. You do your narrowly construed job without thinking more broadly about the whole organization and its bigger goals.

    I used to be very focused and achievement-oriented. At my first programming job, in 1985, in my first week, the power went out and a bunch of other programmers asked if I wanted to go out with them to a coffee shop. I said that since the power was out and it was still the work day, I would shift to working with pen and paper until the power came back on. This was considered a crazy level of devotion, and I soon learned to fit into the culture. Personal work-stations with editing capability were no sure thing in the early 1980s, so working with pen and paper was not crazily out of date in 1985.

    I suppose it tends to happen more with age, though there is no necessarily relationship. Now, in my late 60s, I am more likely to be thinking, “What is fun and worthwhile just now?” I recall saying once that I liked finishing up a Spider game even when it was absolutely certainly won, because it was fun getting those cards into order and seeing them zip away — an activity not directly related to the mental work of Spider Solitaire, but naturally flowing from it if you like that sort of thing. I believe that GM indicated he would stop immediately as he found no fun as the Game as Intellectual Endeavor was over. I know very smart people (women every one, as it turns out) who enjoy spending hours doing needlepoint or knitting. There’s no challenge in that, but it’s something they like to do. I enjoy playing some cooperative games online — Hanabi and “Die Crew” on Board Game Arena are ones I play with my daughters. Sometimes we say, “Hey, we’re not having fun any more, let’s quit this hand”. But the software is vigilant, wanting to detect quitters and label them so others will know not to play with them — surely it is annoying, in a competitive game, to have an opponent quit when they get a bit behind. But it was not geared at all to ALL the players in a game agreeing to quit, with no bad marks deserved by anyone.

    Anyway, I do try to keep my commitments to others, but the Royal Game is solitaire, and I figure I can quit quietly, or quit noisily, or go back and forth, entirely at my whim of the moment. You also can look at similar games, if you’re using real cards. Some years ago I tried a game with 12 columns instead of 10. I didn’t do it enough to decide how much easier it was, but surely I could have. We are stuck with 1-suit, 2-suit, and 4-suit variants and “avec ou sans undo” because that’s the way they built the software. No one ever said the game had to be played with 10 columns. There are an indefinite number of rules defining games very much like the Royal Game. Of course another benefit of staying with what the software allows is that you can compare notes with other people.

    I can see I’m rambling on here. Maybe I’ll reply again to continue this line of thought, or maybe I won’t. It’s time for my nightly Wordle, Quordle, Octordle, and Waffle games and then to bed.


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