Steeph's Web Site

Menu

Entries tagged 'cat:Personal'

SOFA

Sometimes I find it helpful, calming and stress reducing to remind myself of SOFA. The principle "Start Often Fuck Achievements" is one I tend to live by and believe in. But I also often hold myself accountable to the status of unfinished projects and try to justify before myself the state of hobby projects that didn't end up looking as professional as they could have been if I had put 10 years more work and experience into them, even though that never really is the goal when I start a project. When I start to write some software, build or compile something, write a blog entry (or a series) or even just watch a movie series or read a book, I almost always do it for fun, out of interest for the subject, to pass time in a fulfilling way or to do something for somebody elese. If - or I rather should say when - I stop before something is "done" because it's not that much fun any more, I lost interest, don't have the time at that moment or the one I was trying to help is satisfied with very little or no longer in need what I was trying to do, then there is no purpose to continue these projects. When something is "done" could be seen as an arbitrary point anyway. Almost no hobby projects actually have a point were they suddenly become having been worth the effort and leaving nothing else to do. Even a jigsaw puzzle, to use a simple example, that actually does have such a sudden point of being finished (unless it's this one could be aborted at any point and still have served the purpose of passing time and training skills. But most of my projects don't even have a predefined point at which they would be considered finished. So why feel bad if I abandon a project without having reached that point?

From the SOFA 🛋 web page: You can be finished with your project whenever you decide to be done with it. And "done" can mean anything you want it to be. Whose standards of completion or perfection are you holding yourself to anyway? Forget about those! Something is done when you say it is. When it's no longer interesting. When you've gotten a sufficient amount of entertainment and experience from it. When you've learned enough from it. Whatever, whenever. Done is what you say it is.

You can find different philosophical reasonings or rational justifications for how and why applying this principle might be a good thing, or even what it means to you and which rules apply to you. I myself am actually satisfied with just stating that it's a good idea. It feels good to remember. That's enough. This web site was founded with a similar philosophy in mind even though I had never heard of SOFA. I just need to remind myself of that every now and then.

Unpublished Poetry

There was a time where my days were more influenced by poetry. A time where I ruminated more about feelings. At that time I was a regular reader of some web forums that were hardly or not specific to any topic. Do you remember those web forums? It may have been created as a place for a group of friends to interact online, but kept public, growing into a close community of so-called virtual friends. Or it may have been created to be a place to mainly discuss things around a single topic, like most web forums, but the off-topic sub-forum developed to be an important part of people's lifes, or even the main purpose to visit the web site. Or it may have been a web forum that was created for no declared reason, as a learning object for somebody who wanted to learn more about computers and web hosting. I loved those places. I still love the memories of them, and the thought that I was carelessly interacting with strangers back then, without the issues that are inherent in posting something to an unknown or wide audience of people today.

Anyway, I stumbled over short poems in 2008 that one user kept posting from time to time. Sometimes two a day, sometimes one a quarter. He was posting those for years and usually got no, seldom one, reply. I don't know what meaningful things people could have replied to them. They were just expressions of the authors feelings at the time, philosophical thoughts in a poetic dress, sometimes short stories, furious or gleeful, of events in the author's life. I didn't understand why they didn't catch more attention, expression of gratitude, attempts at answers to open questions or reader's thoughts from their own viewpoint. After all, they posted them publicly, in a friendly community, where it was expected to get all sorts of replies. Maybe the poems didn't often resonate with a lot of people. But many of them did with me. I never before thought that poetry would ever build a nest in my head. But theirs did, before I noticed. They hit a spot in my mind that I didn't know was perfect for reading and feeling poetry. I made a compilation of their posts in which I was sure to find a piece to cheer me up when needed, get the strength to make the right decision against my intuition when I knew my intuition wasn't a good guide, and all sorts of other little helpers in everyday life, as well as new thoughts I wasn't looking for. In that nest in my head there soon were my own thoughts and experiences, that, at some point, wanted to leave that nest. So I made some effort to form them into nice sentences, phrases, lines, sometimes rimes. That is, I started to write my own poetry. It felt necessary. Those thoughts had to go somewhere. I wasn't any good at it, which is why this entry is about somebody else's unpublished poetry, not mine. Mine fell to the ground as soon as they left the nest, and I didn't care for them enough to make them into something that I would have deemed worth backing up or copying to a new hard disk when necessary. I didn't even remember them when I typed the title of this entry.

But the poems of this unnamed author were good. I was back then and pretty much still am as uneducated and inexperienced in poetry as I every was. I have no clue what a good poem is. But their pieces are really good, judged by the effect they had on myself back then and the feelings that they are still able to produce in me today when I read some of them. One time I got into a conversation with the author over personal messages and mentioned the compilation that I made. They replied with a PDF of their own, a complete (up until that day) compilation. It contained many poems that they hadn't published. Some of them because they were too personal or could have the potential to identify them. Many of the published ones were very personal, too. But they didn't want them to be connected to his person in "real life". I promised that I'll never share them with anyone, no matter how much I think they ought to be enjoyed by or given the opportunity to help others. And that's the reason I'm writing this entry instead of posting the PDF. I guess it is considered wrong to tell somebody that there is a secret that you won't say anything about except the fact that it is secret. Allegedly that's no use for anybody. I don't think that's true. It has the use for me to have shared what I sometimes can't stop thinking about and, hopefully, payed a little bit of tribute to the anonymous author.

I feel like I'm wasting my life but when I ask myself what I really want in life, I want to waste it even more.

As an adolescent I always assumed I'd end up homeless and without a stable job. It was actually my goal to travel alone, interacting with society as little as necessary. I do have a need for interpersonal communication. But it's very small and I mostly wish I could be left alone more. But things turned out differently and although the boy who kind of captured me into society is long married and gone from my life, I'm still leading this life inside society that I never wanted. One thing lead to another and now I actually have a job that's not that bad (turns out I'm actually reasonably good at some things). I never tried to get a good job. But now that I already have this life, I'm wondering whether I want to keep living it.

People keep telling me being able to programme like I am is an outstanding skill and I could make double the money I'm making now if I'd get a job in IT. But I don't see it. I'm actually a pretty bad coder. I really struggle taking the time to write good code. I've never written anything worth publishing. I can write code that is working most of the time. But in professional standards, my code would not be taken seriously. As a professional skill it's more embarrassing than useful. It's just the fact that I was taught as a child that's unusual at my age. People didn't have computers at home at the time I started to use one. I've assisted at coding courses for children at a hackerspace a few times. There's never been an 8 year-old who didn't immedietly grasp what was necessary to write a useful computer programme. I wish people would stop acting as if it's so special that I know how to code anything. That alone won't give ne an automatic successful IT career.

So, now that my job stopped being fun (It really was, initially, even though I hardly remember it anymore.), what am I going to do? I still want to pack a bag and leave this society behind for a not pre-determinded period of time. That dream never completely vanished from my mind. When I ask myself what it is that I really want, that is now back at the top of my answer. So, try to get a better paying or otherwise more fun job to make this goal more viable through a genarous financial backup? Or live the dream as one should, according to famous proverbs?

I feel like I'm not using modern technology and other privileges that are available to me today to it's full potential. I think that nobody is even able to. I mean, I'm sitting here on a bench in the fields writing a blog entry and uploading it to "my" web server via SSH, listening to an independent web radio over the internet in-between browsing the web (that really is almost world-wide) for any information that interests me at that moment, with a "phone" capable of so much more than I would have thought 20 years ago even desktop computer should be able to do. But still, so much would be possible with today's technology (mainly the internet and small, battery powered devices). Humanity, what are you doing, wasting your own inventions? steeph, what are you doing wasting your time and resources on listening to some random person talking about something just because it fulfils your momentary desire for information about that topic while typing this sentence?

The Three Bad Reasons Why I Don't Use Git

1. Github or other public Git repositories: Wouldn't be complete

Haven't published everything always, don't want to publish everything, would want to include everything but couldn't. So using public Git repositories would always be accompanied by a feeling of imperfection.

2. I've never used Git for anything really.

Apart from cloning and occasionally updating others' repositories I've never used them. I'm not used to using Git and I don't struggle with not using it. So starting to do so now would require me to hurdle quite some hurdle. I never used it. Why would I start now?

3. It's too late to start now.

I've noticed that the point where it would have been a good idea and would have made a lot of sense to get accustomed to using Git has long passed. So by starting now or in the future I would admit that I didn't take the hurdle when it would have been the right thing to do - when the best time to do so was near the present. I would admit to doing some things not the right way in the past if I would start to do them right from now on. It's easier to pretend that the way it always has been is the right way - the way I'm used to doing things.

That all makes no logical sense. It would be an improvement to start using Git for some things, be it coding projects, any category of texts that I have on my computers, any collection of files, ... The costs of these improvements would be hard disk space, which isn't all that rare for me nowadays and getting used to using Git, which isn't complicated.

So why don't I even try to use it in some cases? Well, I've just honestly told you my three reasons.