Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Abandoning Culture

I find it rather endearing that recently someone told me that nobody knows why certain packages get delivered to one of the four possible locations on CMU campus (Central Receiving on Penn Ave, the UC Mail Centre, the departmental mailroom the recipient belongs to, or directly to where they're addressed to). That feeling of amused hopelessness reminds me a bit of one of the cute things my Grandma sometimes says (alas, I can't convey the tone of voice she uses), "I can't know!". Presumably there's some logic to it... unless it's just whatever delivery driver is active that day.

The centre I see for much of the sickness in American society is dominance of devotion to one's own welfare over other values. This takes many forms, as appropriate for a person's position, and feels to me like something that in healthier societies is outgrown in the teenage years. To tame this instinct is a step towards maturity, and to tame it further a step towards virtue.

I recently recieved an email regarding a project that I started, and abandoned some time ago -- MoLD. It was an attempt to make a Perl-based roguelike. I took it up to the point where there were items, people could walk around on the map, and people could move between different maps. I'm trying to decide if I should restart the project or not, and if I do, if I should do it in Perl6 (bleeding edge yay!), recruit other people (there are some things, like monster AI, that I really don't have an idea what to do), refactor the whole thing, etc etc.

I've always been better at starting projects than continuing/finishing them. Things I've worked on over the years, with status:

  • Usenet moderation - Since 1997, still doing it, although there don't seem to be legitimate postings anymore, just spam. Maybe once a month I might get some valid posts..
  • Mozilla FAQ - I did this from a bit after an open-source Netscape was announced until about a year after release. It earned me a spot in about:credits
  • Mozilla Newsletter - I don't remember exactly when I did this - MozillaZine (run by someone else) eventually replaced it
  • XFree86 documentation - I hardly remember anything about this
  • Larnesia - A fictional BLOG by someone in my Nationstates fictional country. I stopped doing this a bit after I stopped playing Nationstates (it went stale). I think this still might be on my website somewhere..
  • MoLD - As mentioned
  • Mustard - Another fictional BLOG. I'm getting ready to restart this - I have a few entries, and have been sketching some stuff. Some of you have seen my internal wiki where I've been chewing on the ideas
  • Critical analysis of the Quran/Christian Bible - I went, section-by-section, through Quran and NT/OT of a study bible I had, analysing the value system that might be extracted from each and comparing it to my own, summarising even the bits that didn't seem to have such a message. I got a good ways into this, and then decided that the summaries of non-value-system sections were slowing me down way too much. Eventually this just turned into rereading all three threads - the values and perspective contained is so alien to my own that there's little productive in comparing them, like going over every part of a car and comparing it to an orange.
  • POUND - Wiki/BLOG software I wrote. I use it, and sometimes improve it, but I'm lazy and don't do it often enough.
  • PSMail - Email software I wrote. I use it, and it pretty much does what I want, so I don't mess with it often.
  • TMBM - Usenet moderation software I wrote. It was pretty good but cumbersome, and then I mostly rewrote it to be much less cumbersome, but took out some really important features. I still need to add them to the new version, but laziness wins again.
  • There are probably countless other projects I've started and abandoned. Sigh.
As an amusing counterpart to thinking about restarting MoLD, given that I've recently been having a great time playing Kingdom of Loathing, I've been toying with the idea of making a serious clone of it. This is ironic because MoLD was always intended to be a mild parody (in parts, at least) of the roguelike genre.

I wonder if I used a file manager by default, and had a prominent "Projects" folder, I would be more prone to actually work on these things - in some ways my desktop interface (both the GUI and the Unix CLI) arn't in-your-face enough.


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