Welcome to my lair.
It's been a little while again. Honestly, I need to spend more time on this place; rambling bits of inane text into the emptiness of the Net is a good way to relax.
Work has been pain, as it was before, and I've come to the conclusion that the point of a job isn't necessarily to be fulfilling as much as it is to give you a means of finding fulfillment, if that makes sense. You don't seek employment to change the world; you seek employment to fund your change. As such, I am at peace with whatever I run into in the future, so long as I get paid decently.
And I desperately need to get paid decently--I can't remember a time when I wasn't just a little sick, not hungry enough to be worth buying a feast, not tired enough to sleep, but sick, tired, and hungry all the same. Maybe once I nail this certification--second time's the charm, especially when you find updated study material--I'll be able to get a nice apartment somewhere in Hot Springs or Dallas or wherever I damn well please.
Is it weird that I like being left alone? I mean, I've been growing more and more upset with the state of politics; Hillary's campaign came and went, and Trump came and stayed, and it all feels like so much caricature of Bush v. Gore and Obama v. McCain, only this time both the candidates were actively under investigation for various crimes (which of course are false allegations against my candidate, but completely true regarding yours). Of course, Syria surprised me--with all the rumors flying, I realized that this would've been the first time in my understanding of US history that we've meddled in foreign affairs, possibly given weapons to our enemies, and then come out on top. Not the first time we would've given weapons to our enemies, though. You'd think that after Al Qaeda blew up in our faces, we would've learned.
And all of that to say, I'm more convinced than ever that I need to save up for a nice artificial island out in the Pacific. Which is concerning, since I'm already not getting enough social contact. The loner feels lonely, how ironic.
There's an awful lot of connection in the world. We have the power to read things from across the entire globe, to see things happening across the sea, to talk to our friends from miles away.
And yet we're lonely. Most of our lives revolve around being near massive numbers of people--handling the groceries, phones, or even the connections of hundreds of people a day. In an hour, we see more people than we could ever actually talk to.
Part of the problem, as various psychologists have pointed out, is that we tend to think that being distant and closed off is cool. And, ironically, connecting the world actually makes it easier to pretend that we've got everything, and that means we all pretend we're perfect to keep up with other people who pretend they're perfect.
All of this comes together to mean that we don't connect to each other. We hide behind emotional firewalls, and serve up cleverly-pieced-together Facebook feeds, and all the while we make sure port 22 is never, ever open. Nobody ever gets to see the real world behind that mask, which is why nobody ever feels like a real person.
It's been a while.
I'm staring at the first E-Ink advertisement in my local Kroger. It's a short animation, little more than a powerpoint about the benefits of buying a too-expensive health-food TV dinner. It's cheap and it catches attention and it works just like every other ad in the world.
In a sense, we enjoy hearing about the dystopian future because it lets us feel better about seeing it coming. When you hear about how amazing the world is now, it makes you wonder if you're insane for not seeing it.
In other news, I've done some gamedev (nothing too amazing, just a simple shmup, I'll link it later), and I've been doing some musical experiments, making a whole album from the comfort of my phone screen. I broke out of wageslave land, and now I'm sitting on the beach of Retail Island, watching the college ferry come to take me to Having A Life. I want the boat to move faster, but it can't, so I'll just have to keep typing away to distract myself until the boat runs aground.
Noticed a new bug in my pilit.sh, the script that builds this page out of text files in my ~/notes directory.
is nonequivalent to this:
>sed '/\~$/d' | sed '/\.swp/d'
And the former was matching weird, leaving only two posts on the front page.
That has been fixed now.
I need to put this thing on github, start showing it off.
Capitalism, like a lot of other things, mostly works on paper; it works realnwell when the numbers are clean and consistent, and nobody throws curveballs.
In practice, it isn't nearly that simple. People break the system, make mistakes, build additions to the system that miss the key points. They buy for brand loyalty instead of buying for quality, they pass laws that work in the favor of badly-run companies, they write union rules that appeal to the lowest common denominator.
Worst of all, the rules themselves have changed, because it's no longer about doing a good job; we've convinced ourselves that the road to success is paved, not with sweat, but with cut corners.
It's not really what capitalism was about. Capitalism, in its original form, was what we might call crowdsourcing today. It was a system in which the people were trusted to make decisions in their best interest, and in which that decision-making power was used to decide who was worthy of staying afloat, which in turn enabled the best workers to be most able to judge the work of others. It was ingenious, really.
But then the worst of us got jealous, and over time we have made success ever more dependant on a wide social game. Once upon a time, a CEO knew how his company worked; now, he only knows paperwork and manipulation, so that's what he does.
There's lots of things to do if you just look around.