Dusting out the box
I realized it's been awhile since I posted. This is mainly due to painting myself into a corner; I was trying way too hard to make this particular online identity the one I use for Deep or Controversial thoughts.
But I find that coming up with something worth writing about in this (imagined) context was exceedingly difficult, and I didn't want to just have a blog where I complain about day-to-day life. There's also the fact that many of these issues or questions haven't changed or been resolved especially. Change is typically incremental.
It also means that I only write when I have the time and focus reserves to spend a fair amount of time on a given post, which is also pretty rare. So adding this to the probability of having something to write about that was "good" enough (or "deep" enough or "significant" enough or whatever), and small wonder my posting schedule was as infrequent as it was.
I do still want to maintain a space where I can talk about things that I'm not comfortable sharing with people who know my offline identity. The observations I'm generally making about the world are changing somewhat as well; I'm far less interested in politics and related things (like "policy") than I was even a couple years ago, and I've struggled to find observations or ideas that don't simply come down to "be less terrible to people."
I'm also coding a lot more, but don't feel like I have the knowledge or experience to do a worthwhile dev blog (and don't want to limit myself that much anyway). I do hope to write some tutorials at some point, but I'm not sure what I can add to the existing corpus. My main idea is to target an audience that most don't, namely people who aren't necessarily interested in becoming hobbyist programmers, but those who have some other work to do and want to make that easier. That's also how I choose my own projects: how can I streamline processes that aren't traditionally "automate-able." Sometimes I just want to make existing software less terrible to use, even if it's just sprucing up the visuals.
Strangely, I'm also finding myself wanting to dig in to legal minutiae, despite not wanting to get back into any kind of traditional legal practice. If I had to guess, I think this stems from my wanting to like, *do* something that isn't just putter away in my isolated corner of the world.
This has proved elusive. I'm not really sure what it would look like, much less how I would get there. Because I feel so trapped and so powerless in my life, it's easy to preclude any thoughts that come to mind by assuming that they're unattainable. It's also coupled with a tendency to imagine how I'd feel in the situation rather than what I'd do, which muddies the waters that much more.
There is something admirable about wanting to write something that will enrich the life of others, and leave a memorable context-free record that future internet historians will glean over with avid curiosity.... but you don't need to stress yourself over it: as Pompei has shown, sometimes it's not the intricately painstakingly-crafted colorful mosaics that get pondered over, but the crude and vulgar graffiti that bonds us to our timeless humanity.
I've been so letting go of programming the last year or so that I doubt I could apply for a job involving coding without feeling immense guilt that I was attempting to pull the hash table wool over an employer's eyes.
I used to feel a strong urge to automate and/or integrate whatever I could. But lately that's felt as meaningful as, I dunno... playing craps? I know in advance the odds of such endeavor feeling rewarding as much as I know the odds of winning a don't pass line bet - including the part about the house payout being carefully designed to guarantee they win despite it being the best bet in the house.
I did create a couple "gemlogs" of late (mirrors of each other... redundancy, doncha know), and have enjoyed adding installments to them. But the joy is the sort I felt as a kid hiding paper notes in book sleeves at the library, knowing whoever found them might be intrigued, but never know who did it - as opposed to attempting to garner and write for an audience.
Once upon a time - including as recently as, say, several months ago - I thought I might have some wisdom to share, and/or that details of things happening in my life might be interesting to others. But that sense has all but evaporated. It's a lesson I should have learned from performing music out, really, where I've gone into venues all gung ho, but it's all of ten minutes before everyone's talking to each other instead of listening anyway.
(I guess I shouldn't have been surprised in my attempt to go into teaching that I basically spoke to the open air as students threw paper balls and airplanes, ran around the room, etc., having fallen close to the trees that populate most music audiences I've encountered.)
I'm quite grateful to have been invited to this pub, being one of the few places I've felt as though interaction based on others actually paying attention with intent to understand takes place.