Generic solutions to specific problems: when to write some code and when to just do it

There is a traditional story that tells of a rabbi who comes upon a guy sitting next to a fork in the road. The rabbi asks the guy which way is best to get to the city, and the guy answers: That one is a short road which is long, and the other is a long road which is short. The rabbi chooses the short road, but soon arrives at a field full of thorns which he can’t get through, and must turn back and take the other road, which actually leads him to the city.

The moral of the story, other than wondering if this guy was the first troll in history, is that sometimes trying to take a short cut will end up being longer than just doing it the long way.

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