I hadn’t been aware that the excellent BBS Documentary source page had a link to this blog, but it does. Having now discovered, I have put up a little page for those of you following that link. Not much there, but that’s an accurate representation of things when I think about it.
That’s a great MMO you wrote there. I’m sure your mother is very proud.
But look at this.
It’s the size and shape of a grand piano. It was launched at over six times the speed of a bullet at a pea being orbited by a BB over three billion miles away. And when it got there, it put down the phone and snapped tons of pictures while skimming past the pea and the BB at 30,000 MPH. All on its own. And then, it located Earth and let us know it was okay.
Your lovely Web App bears about as much resemblance to “computer science” as “Chopsticks” does to Wagner’s Rings saga when compared to what these programming Titans did.
Giants walk amongst us, and it is during weeks such as these that we are forcefully reminded of our place in the programming universe. I don’t care how sweet your Android app is. It is fit for little else but a sacrifice to the Programming Gods that gave us this.
We all have internal defense mechanisms. We usually don’t develop them on purpose. They just happen.
Mine came from, for starters, the absurdity of British science fiction and comedy. It started with Monty Python. Then I met Arthur Dent and the crew of the Heart of Gold. Such wonderful fodder for the imagination opened doors to other absurdist corridors.
For whatever reason, I found that my personal issues became far less threatening if I could wrap them up in absurd concepts, and reading such ridiculous stories provided me with more ammunition with which to fight that which bugged me.
Science Fiction and Fantasy provided the most magnificent vistas of such absurdity, though often it was couched in context that didn’t really fit in my modern landscape. But it often contained contextual handles that let me wire bits of it into my reality.
A lot of authors have absurdist chops without being known as absurdist authors. But they’ve found ways to hang absurdist concepts out there in the middle of serious-ish stories. Have a look at early Heinlein, or Niven’s Ringworld-era stories. Heck, Niven even took an absurdist fan protest against The Ringworld’s concepts (“The Ringworld is unstable!”) and made it a plot element of a sequel.
Point being of all this, don’t let anyone tell you this stuff isn’t worth spending your time on. What’s the point of Hamlet if you can’t relate? Shakespeare or Nietzsche might be Srs Bsns, but they’re also pretty much useless in helping you develop mental defenses against, well, pretty much anything.
I mean, unless happiness is something you need defense against.