Ok, so I haven't been writing here at all. Why? Well because I have too many different "systems" out there which each get a piece of my attention. So sometimes one of those systems suffers.
I do actually have 40-50 people a day who read something within this blog. While that isn't the quarter million a month from the good old days it's still some people who might care. Or not, I don't actually know. There's no real social aspect to blogging like it seems to exist elsewhere. Well that's something I'll ponder over sometime later. I'm antisocial anyways, so it's low priority.
So seeing as there is at least "some value" in this place, I really should be thinking about it more often. So that's why I'm back and why I'm writing this.
I suppose I may as well do one of my huge essay pieces, since there is just so much background which would need to be understood for a reader to actually "get" what I'm going to try to get across.
"People like me" is a really unsettling phrase. People really aren't like one another, not really. Humans like to categorize and organize and name. Well maybe it's mostly men but regardless it does happen. I wish there were a way to use this phrase a little more lightly. Maybe it's just a limitation of English, or a limitation of my own use of it, or my own era of English, but we don't seem to me to have a way to associate-without-associating.
So having relayed that disclaimer I'll try again. People like me do a lot of "stuff". Curious and imaginative, always tinkering and rearranging, we always have a thousand different projects unfinished yet still open over the span of decades. Perhaps everyone is like this, but I get the impression that there is a non-average smaller-percentage of the population which is a little more extreme with this passion.
I've already written on rotating projects and other such stuff, so hopefully I won't be significantly duplicating any of that with this post. With a lot of stuff on the go, and no real control over inspiration or even a concept of organization life can get complex. People who are passionate and driven with just a few or even one primary goal in life have it easy. They can specialize and get really good at their focus. Distractions are easy to recognize. The goal is always in sight and in mind.
With a passion that goes anywhere and does anything, there is no single-mindedness. There is constant distraction. Some extraordinary people are able to pick one of the passions and pursue it to good effect and then pick up another one and pursue that one, each time having accomplished something valuable. For others like myself there is no "work ethic" for doing anything remotely similar to "completing" any one thing before moving on to another. The value that any one of those passion-items may be seen to have is pretty random.
I hope it's obvious that I've been thinking about this sort of thing for a long time now. As an example of it in full effect, this topic is just one of several book ideas I have.
So the hobby-aftermath of a passion like this is that there are many ideas with no overall structure. Even the notion of structuring those ideas becomes one of the grains of sand lost within the beach of ideas.
When I say "overall structure", I mean a number of things. I'm not sure how to organize these thoughts so I'll just spit out a rough list.
- How can I record all of my past ideas and projects so they can be useful in the future? How do I structure it all?
- What does it mean to have any of my passions be useful to someone else? What of value can I leave behind when I die? This also asks things such as "what do I want to have accomplished in life, or for others?"
- When I am not sure what I want to do, how do I get myself inspired?
- When I am restless and I feel like using a particular mode of thinking, how can I easily pick from a list of my projects?
When I want to work on a particular project, how can I have myself be reminded of "peripheral projects" which are related, or which use that same particular mode of thinking.
When I say "mode of thinking", I mean things like
- Using existing skills to "do drone work". Read email and flag stuff for follow-up, shuffle bookmarks around.
- Hacking, mental - Curiosity-driven research.
- Hacking, physical - Toys and more toys. Origami, building things, pulling things apart, repairing things.
There may be some other modes of thinking that I haven't personally realized. I'd love to do some reading on this or get any feedback on other ideas.
Many different ideas are all lost in that beach. When gripped by any particular passion, it becomes extremely difficult to think in terms of organization. I've built a mediocre ability for recording notes, but structuring it the way it would be most valuable has been out of reach.
So where the hell was I going with all of this? This blog. One of the annoyances I have is that there are multiple different tools to do multiple different things. While this is the Right way to do things, it subtly separates each tool so that they become.. how can I say this? They become like different genres, or they somehow become so distinct and separate that I may be gripped by a passion that would have me use one tool or set of tools and completely forget about and ignore another.
This blog is a separate tool, and just because of my nature I seem to be ignoring it unless I'm passionate about some context which happens to include it. For example, I have a dozen drafts stuck on here, any number of which could have been done since I was interested in their topic. But because I didn't really have "the blogging mindset" at the time I didn't even remember there were drafts I may be interested in.
So combining my various different systems together is something I've been trying and trying to do for some time now. It's slowly working, partly because of the need to organize my bookmarks. I don't even know how many I have, and that's after pruning out decades-old bookmarks.
So this blog is on the chopping block. I must have said that a couple of times, but now I realize what's been bugging me about it and why my combining it with my compiled website will definitely bring me peace of mind.
So there.. a fancy excuse for my absence, and another one for the upcoming death of this place. Now all I need to do is get back into programming again and whip up a blog engine. That'll take me a weekend.
I think I'll also invent some kind of micro-payment concept for what a German friend of mine called "moral support". I'll probably just leverage various wall concepts. This sort of thing will allow basic conversation with as few barriers as possible. It's amazing how far a little "hey thanks" goes on anything I've written. This is part of why I like emailing software developers.