6 Aug 2002
(updated 6 Aug 2002 at 16:16 UTC) »
I suspect you're bored of me whining about Clearcase, so I'll defer that at least for a couple of days. I do however have something potentially interesting to say on the topic of "a poor workman blames his tools."
joelspolsky recently linked to an entertaining transcript of bruce schneier talking about open source. A few comments:
* slashdot's group mind would get enormously fixated on joel being a fag. oh wow. nothing like slashdot to reacquaint your with the bottom end of the bell curve.
* something about this reminds me of watching performers drinking on stage. there's something about it that reminds me of that arrogant, charming, dissociative, creative frame of mind that a few drinks bring on to a bright person.
* quoting out of context a few paragraphs from a drunk (or conference-speaking) person is in slightly bad taste. it reminds me of watching the Whitlams and worrying that Tim would spill his fifth glass of shiraz on the keyboard. (first child, too responsible, i know.)
* a good conference dinner speech ought to contain roughly equal amounts of flattery, humour, teasing, truth, exageration, rowdiness, ... logic is not particularly needed because you hope your audience will be as deep in their cups as the speaker. i am reminded of the poor bunny at Privacy By Design 2000 who was upstaged by (literally) the Miss Canada contestants filing through the room.
* certainly, in the end free software is futile, lame, derivative, whatever. everything is futile, at least from a certain point of view. everything you think in your life has been thought before (and more clearly, expressed more beautifully); everything you achieve has been done better. the exceptions, if they ever occur, are tainted by the compromises necessary to achieve them. the woman who burns your soul is nothing is nothing compared to Helen of Troy. in the end, that point of view, though objectively true, does not get you anywhere, and there is no point dwelling on it.
* flattering open source people by creating neat Philip Jose Farmer-esque images will get you everywhere
* that certainly applies to you too, Sterling: Gabriel said most of this, and better, before, in his essay on the "slightly bitter quality" of open source. and Gabriel was a pale imitation of Alexander.
* "terrorspace": I hesistated to tie my shoe while walking through SFO customs, and attracted the attention of the security system. i have never before felt more at risk of being shot.
And to bjf: relax, and enjoy it. As an unidentified sex therapist said, "if it doesn't feel good, you're not doing it right.". If you think hacking on some free project will help you rediscover why you thought computers were a good idea in the first place then go and do that as a matter of urgency. If going and riding a bike or reading a book or something completely nondigital seems like a good idea then leave strictly at five and do that instead.
One thing I've certainly noticed in my career to date is that the correct answer varies enormously from week to week. Sometimes I just want to hack until 3am. Sometimes I can't stand seeing a computer.
As Richie said, just try to be lucky and everything will work out fine.