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Elite
04-03-2014
myke
Ploe

On the edge of Heaven, just behind the waking world sits a Gnome called Exhaustion. This gnarled critter sits on the very precipice of reality and chews everything up, subverting it all in his own pitiless image. The Gnome is aware of his powers, if you can call inspiring apathy a power. After all apathy is what comes naturally. Us that are left, we’re too fearful, the creature comforts of simply allowing this network of living cells to continue its interface with reality. The grimness of it all, the desolate empty yearning to transcend the pitiful wont of dubious doubt-laden sensory collage. We see ourselves as angels whispering bliss in to the ears of the masses, inspiring the human instrument to echo our piss perfect advice upon their vibrating dynamic forms.

The Gnome analogy sucks, but who am I to argue with what has been committed to the ages? I truly could commit such subpar literary defecate by sticking it online. Sure! I’ve lost the finest most refined ideas to a reformat or two. Entropy be much more fast moving than we give her credit for. There is no such thing as stillness. Our very ineptitude, the fabric by which we’re mobile, evolved, striving upwards is the very thing that will tear all realities down. The bottom will fall out and then all our shoes will be covered in shit. We keep reaching for the heavens. For what? To justify finite to our marked selves. Our agency impressed upon the cultural tapestry of eternity and to what end? To provide fleeting solace in that eternal pain when the best cure is sensory joy. Sunlight. Ale. Tobacco smoke. We invent masochistic games to keep score. To ordain ourselves richer, better, sexier, elitier. Drawing, coding, music, diets, religion… They’re games, imagined systems of assertion against reality. To propagate a sense of self in the infinitely chaotic bastard that be forever. Once we’ve breached the parameters of reality… Then what? What space is next? There is only one reality, but there are endless configurations of being wrong. However you need the initial offset to define what is right and what is wrong.

We’re beasts of perceptual relativity. All what exists in analogous, not definite. But the definite must exist. Or is it an oversimplification of reality? Both notions exist in this mind, but they’re asserted blindly, created by guts and nerve. Not by observation and method. Perhaps in being wrong about both I have helped whittle the definition of reality to a more essential core. The constant ache of this turmoil is wearing me down. The truths I take for granted are implicit, that’s why I can take them for granted. Any conjecture whatsoever in this existence I suppose can be deemed wrong. Faux. A falsity. As a form of dark matter that props whatever the fuck this life thing is, being wrong only serves to prove what is right.

How can I build when the open-endedness of everything means I can go in any direction, all directions at once? I start writing a story about a Gnome and wind up imparting the true nature of my woe. Tis existential.

As God incarnate, like all of us, I insist that the depression is the discovery of our latent megalomania. When we realise our flawed hands and minds were chewing the wrong details all understanding topples to the entropy of human will. You feel lost within your own field. Everything you built is alien. Intolerable. But like some hungry bastard or fettered crackhead you want to evoke the joy of flow. The creativity is something you crave. From your own pressure, my own pressure, the joy is lost to that feel of insurmountability. How do I get there again? It felt so natural at the time. Tis what I desire. What avenue must this one take?

So now I’ve shat on to the page and Exhaustion is working its way back behind my skull. I got my brief glimpse of paradise, I felt at one with all unloaded my solipsistic jizz all over the allegorical page. I have nothing to peddle, but I’m so eloquent about it.


May old acquaintance be...
30-12-2013
myke
Ploe

Plosive phonemes explode from his slack gob. Tempering hindered notions ordained by his own righteousness. Flawed, and finite. In the throes of vitality, impulsive, compelled like the seed (baby gravy) for an egg. The kid in his mania, possessed by zinc-y lightning of his own invention. To quell? Not such a concept, not tonight, in its eternal brevity. All manner of hindrance, twas self contained. A called bluff, a moment throttling one sorry bastard on the floor. Mislaid sight and a’ forgotten boot to me bonce. Happy New Year…

The day after you brought me milk and a meme was born. Cashews came later.

Now another annual increment looms. Tomorrow’s tomorrow and I’ll leave him, you, in this year forever. Loss. Without. What for?

You’re loved. You’re hated. By me… Forever.


It's time
21-12-2013
myke
Ploe

I'm scared these days. Why? Because I can't help but feel that certain individuals want to supress my creativity to palliate their own prudish reflexes. What brings this on you ask? The latest news that the public internet in the UK is filtered by default. This is draconian. A heavy handed response to an overstated problem. A problem that doesn't even exist.

The first issue I have with these broad strokes is that useful information has actually been censored. Web sites with content concerning sexual health have been stripped by over zealous filters. For what? Because the technology and the know-how simply isn't there for ISPs to implement something as complex as this. Digital parsers simply don't get context. I believe that my filthy mouth i.e. my coarse way of writing will have already got this page stripped from our internet. Why? All I'm blathering about is pop culture and programming and I'm not hurting a soul. I'm not subverting anybody or instigating something. I'm just a dirty old bastard venting his spleen on the world wide web.

My second issue with this problem is the age old "What about the children? Won't somebody think of the children?" News flash guys, I'm part of a generation that grew up with the Internet. Meaning it has pretty much been ubiquitous for as long as I can remember. It's what I spent all of my teenage years doing and all my adult life has been about. I met my girlfriend of eight years through it. It's what my day job is. I have grown up with access to the seediest, weirdest and most depressing imagery imaginable and some stuff I'd have never bothered to imagine but will haunt me to this day. You know what? Seeing some of these things that I don't get has helped me create context. By having obscure sexual acts thrust under my nose I have had to deal with my prudishness and I've settled on a live and let live kind-of-mantra. So long as someone isn't imposing their will on somebody else, violently, then what is the harm? These people are expressing themselves, with their own bodies, and as if it hasn't hard enough to do that already we have alienated weirdoes locked in their own addled fantasy dictating who can see what other people do. The logic is skewed, impressively! Also as someone abstaining from procreation, I don't want children - ever, I don't understand why I have to bare the brunt of other people's parenting. I am a responsible adult, with agency, someone who acts deliberately and intentionally. If I want insight on something provocative why must I have to jump through hurdles for somebody else's problem? Eh?

Related to the previous issue my third is one that gets mixed up with it when it totally shouldn't be. Somehow in this debate we go from children looking at pornography by accident and make the vicious leap to child pornography (there goes this page in BT's smut parser - then again we are called arsethat.co.uk) in the same breath. This argument is truly insidious as it plays on the fact that most people do not like seeing children hurt or exploited. It's something that turns our stomachs and truly scares the shit out of us. But children having access to pornogrpahic materials is not the same as child porn. How mixed up do you have to be? I'm pretty sure that the slavers responsible for that class of vile material already have other means of distribution that aren't the bog standard web. There's Tor where folk can hide internet services behind encrypted relays for instance. It's an awesome, free tool and I'm convinced the bad guys will be using something like that - or better. As the old adage goes "bad guys aren't afraid to break the law" - and it's true. Botnets and the like are out there. Your machine could be tethered to one now. I doubt the bastards are on the public web with those atrocities.

My final issue is that to enable the smut of the web you must opt-in. This too is scary as it enables a group of powerful individuals access to a so-called whitelist of people that might be in to objectionable materials. This opens us up to the possibility of thought-crime and renders my tastes a public concern. Which they aren't. Unless I make them so.

It's scary that a so-called free country has done this. It is so removed from the things I believe in. When Scotland banned rape porn I thought it was over the top. You can't dictate taste. It's just not cool. Why can't adults watch what other consenting adults do with one another? It's their bodies and their minds. Why has this attack on liberty taken place? We're people with notions and ideas ourselves. Just because you think that some people are not grown-up enough to deal with life doesn't mean you should mandate rules to protect them from themselves. If somebody fucks themselves up because they have access to something dangerous they are a victim. Not a criminal... But we should never impede anybody's ability to soar. Otherwise we all suffer... Was it Henry Ford who was supposed to have said: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."

Freedom begats innovation. Innovation begats imagination. Imagination begats liberation. Liberation begats freedom.

Conservatism yields only what has been.


Little Leggies
18-12-2013
miffy
Miffy

I have a long torso. I also have short little legs. Put together I think I'm normal height. Ploe calls me tiny.

CLOTHES wise I'm an anomally. Normal clothes are just too long. Wearing a maxi dress makes me look like a little girl in her mother's clothing, traipsing and trailling across the floor while dreaming about the future womanhood that awaits. There is a special 'petite' size. This is for little short arses like myself. HOWEVER they also believe, for whatever bizarre reason, that people are in proportion all over their bodies. My body is not like that. Not at all. That would be too sensible.

So if I put on petite clothing the waist line comes to somewhere about my eyeballs. The hemline.... Well, there's a draft anyhow. Many a garment has left my boobs squished or my shoulders hunched because the straps are trying to decrease my height by about ten feet.

C'est la vie! I'm a giant and a midget all rolled into one titchy package.


Wot? Languages.
29-11-2013
myke
Ploe

So, I've been screwing around behind a computer for aaages now. Since my mid-teens (at the time of writing this I'm twenty six) and in doing so I've acquired a taste for different programming languages and that. I find the languages folk are attracted to and can problem solve in is indicative of the character of a person. As is the way they write in it. Soooo... My top three languages. I'm going to carp on about how they gel aesthetically, rather than breakdown their features or history:

3. Lua

Lua is what the game making sorts use to script their games. It is a lightweight scripting language, which means it doesn't add much meat to the filesize of your apps, and it's pretty lean but featureful. You can slot it easily in to C/C++ apps at it has a straightforward stack based API so you can pass between your static and dynamic code, this means you can extend that lean little language for your own devious ends, and THEN it has some sexy syntax. It allows for precise, almost dictated, expression. Things exist or they don't and you can push them in there, you can throw functionality about and everything is very soft. Thinking in Lua isn't a discipline, it's straightforward and right and even the crazy functional stuff like closures just fits - y'know? I'd recommend it as a first language over anything else, but to be fair it sucks at doing anything straight out of the box. For it to get better you've got to tie it in to stuff that you've written in another language.

2. Perl

The first time I used Perl my thought was "Why would anybody want to use this?" After having to use it at my job though I've settled with it pretty well. It's kinda the antithesis of Unix in that it's a language that does all the junk the core utils do, thereby it overlooks that modular philosophy, but this is why it slots in to my tool belt so readily. To me it represents a kind of cohesion, I guess that's why it gets called a glue language or even the duct tape that holds the web together. Perl is a parser on steroids, good ones, that make atheletes one hundred percent beef! With it you can rip chunks of data apart, dynamically load stuctures into each other, on-the-fly. It's for unpacking streams, and filtering data and truly is the swiss army chainsaw. Its most complex features are syntactically symbolic or small keywords, not nested inside classes so they truly feel like a part of the parlance rather than bolted on functionality, and in this way it's easier to remember. In my mind it's somewhere between Lua and C, which probably explains where it is on this list. I don't write shell scripts in Bash, I write them in Perl because it gives me that arm's length and those data chewing tools so I don't have to think about the utilities I just use them. Perl is a kind of introspective focus, sort of the digital equivalent of a finger pointing at the line you're reading.

1. C

Terse, perfection. C never fails to excite me. Writing in C is liberating since everything really is an int even if you've defined it as another datatype. Everything is a number, that function name - you can pass that about and it's only an reference to a chunk of memory - so if you're sly you can use it as an identifier for a class, slosh it about son. C, once you get its vibe is scripting on top of the machine, you don't need any of the fancy pants abstraction that occurs these days - all that muddies the problem. You can overlay a struct, stick some static values in a module and it's all self contained, insulated and expressed in a handful of lines. There is no hierarchy typically, just what you see. You, the machine and the problem. It's a little rough when it comes to dynamically allocating memory, definitely as there are no built-in mechanisms for it, but I can forgive it as it is truly divine. Allocating with malloc taught me a thing or two about objects, initialisation and what it's all about. C reared me, and imparted concepts like polymorphism and encapsulation by not having it native. It gave me the insight to comprehend from the inside. It sucks at text though, but that's why you've got Perl. To me C asserts a straightforward approach to programming, there is genuine genius in its spartan syntax. As it greys and becomes more ancient, it's still in used. It's the Daddy of the scripting languages. It's what the kernel is written in. It's sense made. K&R C was even better at this, and to me it seems that ANSI C just diluted this flavour. It is the same straightforward, no-nonsense approach that colours Unix, but it's something so easy to overlook because our ideas are BIG and excitement or ego simply doesn't permit them to be small.

Other notable mentions?

Ruby

Ruby sucks. It's like Lua and Perl had a lovechild, but since they're cousins she turned out a little weird for being inbred. She has her moments, and is definitely what I'd call a two bagger or a butterface. Her body is hot, but the face is full of buckteeth, but the lass knows how to turn a trick. She's been around and picked a few things up, and she's definitely good company. Whereby I mean the language is awful, mostly, but a lot of people are using it and are using it for interesting things which means if you're wanting to write software you might want to do something crazy/unanticipated with later on its a great choice to pick up. And at least it isn't Python.

Bash

I use Bash everyday. It's implicitly a good chunk of my computing. As a programming language it sucks. As a shell it slides in to the background. With its plain syntax that just makes sense it gets the job done. I want to like Bash more, but anything serious I'd use it for I use Perl for instead. It's almost as ubiquitous as the shell anyway, each distro I've installed comes loaded with it, my Macbook Pro came with it (and Ruby, and sigh... Python) - so yeah. Bash is Bash. It does the trick. I want to love it but I don't.


Testing out the new site.
27-11-2013
miffy
Miffy

Well, here we go! Ploe asked me to ge excited and join in a blog project, and now here we are! A shiny, ace blog. Stop reading this as I type. Yes, you. Yes.


It's my party and I'll subvert if I want to...
24-09-2013
myke
Ploe

So, it seems Hannah "Miley Cyrus" Montana is upsetting folk by getting her young twenty-something body out to ship records and of course to express herself. There are a degree of folk, it can't be everybody because her choons are doing really fucking well in the charts, who have taken to attacking Cyrus for her body, how it looks - one instrument of her medium she has only a finite amount of control over. Some prudes are going apeshit because the former Disney Pop Princess has taken her canon in another tangent and they can't assimilate the fact that, yes, she used to be Hannah Montana and now she's a sexual, post-Gaga, andro pop artist straying from her existing image to evoke that she is now saying something different. The people who are taking umbridge are all like "We don't want to see that." - but they have no opinion on her art, the thing she's actually out there doing and crafting. It's coarse, gleefully offensive and definitely OTT. She's relishing in it and the irony is of course that those people that moan about are the ones creating the necessarry emotive drive to make it sexier, seedier and sillier. You think twerking dwarves is more of a statement than "LOL I TROLL U!" - ?

Cyrus is using her God given talents and her imagination to impart her sense of self on the human experience. She is using her cracking voice to make salable, inoffensive pop music. She is cutting her hair and knocking her tongue out all over the shop, why? A common criticism I've heard is that "She's trying so hard to come across all grown up but it isn't working." But it's that opinion that it's supposed to evoke. She is pushing your buttons, not to seem more grown-up, don't be such a child. She is using your perception of her to generate controversy and in that controversy she is able to imbue herself a Woman. I keep saying it, she's an artist and she's using all the tools she has been endowed with to create provocative pop music and she is succeeding immensely. She clearly knows what she's doing. All of the elitists who have been hopping on the Miley-Hate-Bandwagon really need to get a couple of singles in the top ten to prove that what they're saying is correct (not likely, most of us haven't had the help she has, or put the amount of work in) or they need to grow a proper-fucking-opinion. One that isn't "Former 'tween girl having a body is gross..."

One of the articles I read about this (it was on a content aggregator website so the URL eludes me now) was about how Billy Ray "Achy Breaky Heart" Cyrus was proud of what she, his daughter, is doing and wouldn't try to intervene. The tone of the piece suggested that he should, that he should step on his daughter's first amendment right to free speech because what that floozy is doing is destructive and offensive. The writing genuinely upset me and made me feel ill. As a Brit I really look up to American culture - one that allows a complete freedom of the imagination, one that allows you to express what you need to express and allows you to believe what you need to believe. It's hard to think that anyone from such a liberating cultural backdrop could suggest the inhibition of those rights whilst exercising theirs. Bizarre - completely possible within the system, but still bizarre.

I was going to use this post to explain the dichotomic method that is Programming, but I don't feel inclined to find a segway. The notion I really want to finish on right now is this: As people we create, we're constantly engaged in it, a byproduct of life is not just shite and carbon dioxide but expression in all ways and across oodles of mediums. In the vast hive-mind-ocean of white noise we all are we must use each flawed tool nature has equipped us with. Our subpar bodies, our limited senses, our boundless imaginations, paints, hair, numbers, canvas, science, horses, potatoes, colour - whatever to create. To justify this blip of silly existence to ourselves, if I have to spend an eternity dead and know what I've done I'd rather have polarised by getting my arse out on TV than to be inoffensive, unevocative, professional and pointless. I don't want to be that guy who did that one thing - I've said it before and I'll say it again: I want to be Myke Atkinson.


Oooooh yeah!
23-09-2013
miffy
Miffy

YOU ARE SO DAMNED SEXY. PHWOAGH!


Yup, sexism again...
20-09-2013
miffy
Miffy

Yep, I know it's annoying. It's pissing me off! All this talk of sexism and blah blah fuking blah SHUT UP WOMAN AND GO MAKE ME A SAMMICH DAMNIT.

People would probably die if they had me do that... I am not a good cook. I tried to put hummus in a crusty roll today. I sawed the roll in half completely and then dropped it hummus side down on the counter. Then I burnt my popcorn in the microwave, but that was intentional so it's okay. I like burnt food now. I think that says a lot about me.

Anyway...

This website (http://fatuglyorslutty.com/) has made me genuinely sad. To see these guys and know it's not just a "joke" but that's the first thing they see. Not a competitor, not a gamer, not someone having fun... A vagina with arms and a controller. Excellent.

I used to get that a lot on Skype. Strange men constantly trying to cyber me out of the blue. I pretended to be a big hairy builder called Brian a few times, which was funny, but it was just sad and annoying and derogatory so I switched it to apporved friends only.

Now, this talk comes from a gal who, when Myke built up his little birthday LEGO dump truck, grabbed the female figure and declared her Bitch Tits. "Put yo hat on Bitch Tits! You in a man's job. DAMN."

I know why I did it. It was funny. It made me feel silly and laugh. But also, there was a flash even in my own damned head when I turned that little figure over and saw it had lipstick and eyelashes and thought, "this bin man is wearing make-up..." Even in my own damn head. That little flash completely gave my own prejudices away. That's a man's job, apparently! So I rolled with it. "Get out a man's job, Bitch Tits! Put yo hat on! Pick up the damned fish!" (There was a fish).

I would normally say there is no such thing as a man's job and a woman's job. No limitations. If people can do the job, and want to, why the hell not? I stick to that but I think maybe my natural repsonses still have to catch up a little. Still, at least in that split second I realised what I'd thought and why it was stupid. The guys messaging those girls never had that realisation, and they likely never will. That's something that needs to be sorted.

FOR BOTH SEXES.

Don't think I don't know it happens to guys too! There's a lot of sexism going on there and that pisses me right off. Do you get the sexual violene posters in your public toilets?? Do you get government funded helplines? Are you ever assumed the victims? ARE YOU HELL. All men are paedo bastard rapists. Or so the between-the-lines would seem to suggest.

There was a picture on the wall of my doctor's. It was about sexual harassment and featured the (I can't spell this so I'll sound it) sill-oh-whet of a man. Yup, it must be a bloody man. Only men sexually harass.

Gentials are ace. Most of the time. But there's a time and place for everything. Bringing them in to situations like this is just... silly! It matters not one jot. To say it does means we are slaves to our own genitals, placing huge values on them and what they "mean". I'm going to stop now as it's nearly 4am, I'm shattered and I'm talking about genitals.

Good night!


Sexism in Games
10-08-2013
myke
Ploe

In response to the previous entry about sexism in games, I feel that I need to bring up other points. A point that is important as I'm at the end of my tether with it. With all the butthurt feminism flying around, it's hard to say something objective or pragmatic without the risk of sounding like radical misogynist bent on the keeping of womankind down when apparently they deserve respect. Women do not deserve respect innately, nor do they require 'equal oppourtunities' as what oppourtunity is equal? An oppourtunity is an oppourtunity by virtue of the fact that it isn't a regularity. It's a lapse in usuality. Respect should be earned not from what may or may not be dangling between your legs and tucked in to your guts but what you as a human being do with your God given time. If you're a skilled painter, writer or hacker I'm going to call you that before I call you a man, woman, child, chink, black, disability etc. Words are cheap, moaning about the way things are is just white noise, by extension I suppose so is this, but at least I have the decency to admit it. Actions speak louder than words. Discourse is as much doing as it is saying and this is where my point finally comes in...

Games are an artform. They are, I don't care what dead film critics say. They are a product of craft shaped by imagination and vice versa. That's all art is. Art is shit when we say "That's not art." It is art, we're just being hyperbolic. It doesn't resonate. Good art is art. We just simplified the abstraction a little, that's all. Games are an artform. When we see something in games that incite passion, something that is overly sexualised which may titalate or disgust our reaction is usually coloured not just by our response to it but the perceived intention of the artists behind it. As we aim to weigh up meaning in a piece something that doesn't sit in the context of it can render it obscene, say fan service for shits and giggles. Some people are excited by these notions as they recognise that they're being pandered to and others are appalled as the pandering is in the place of actual content.

The artists intentions are assimilated by the art. Their biases, the foibles, their implicit behaviours that construct the kernel code of their mind. When they unintentionally depict a woman as sexual what are they saying? That they hate women and wish to perpetuate a stereotype through ignorance? Or that somewhere in their character they like women a certain way. This is called taste. An artist's taste is by definition subjective, ignorant. An artist unpacks their heart and their little pieces across their method to shape a chunk of the universe. They're playing with the ideas to open up discourse. YES! You can shout at them that they're wrong, that they're fucking stupid, what they're doing is closed minded and dumb but if your intention is to end the conversation then you're only consuming art for comfort, for escapism rather than to enrich your own imagination. Art is for bolstering your own expressive lexicon - to sway your life in offsets that plain old reality wouldn't even begin to serve. Its the the thing that keeps the human narrative ticking and that creates simplicity out of neverending complexity. It is analogy we can call upon, use and subvert. It is our beauty, all of it, and to try and stamp the flames out absolutely is to give up the very burning impulse that we are.

I've always said that nightmares are awesome, as they stir something that drives the fear. They're rewarding, like all bad experiences because you can learn from them. But what is the point of learning if you're not going to do anything with it? What is the point of doing anything with it? To reciprocate and to feed other imaginations. To polarise, to troll, to create drama and wonder. The universe is the canvas, the human being the medium and artist the imagination. We live in a marketplace of ideas and the entire point of the turmoil is to spoil each other's broth. It asserts to us who we are, I suppose.

But wait does this moot my point? Can't we just say the so-called white noise is opening up the conversation and keeping it all ticking over, and reminding me who I am and what my values are. Yes it does... I guess I just want to add to the turmoil. ;)


Sexism
05-08-2013
miffy
Miffy

There's been a lot of talk about sexism in video games recently. Women throwing up a huge fuss over how women are portrayed in games. Holy crap, these fantasy games show fantastical females with big boobs, bare skin and bad-arsed fighting skills! DAMN ALL THE MEN.

Who are portrayed as bulky, ignorant brutes... Erm, yeah. Sure. That's what all men are like. It's not as if, you know, people are just making exagerated characters or anything.

If you honestly had a choice to play as a super-sexy exagerated female with big boobs, boots and a wicked smile or a less-abled, slightly-podgey-after-that-last-packet-of-crisps and a bit unsure character, which would you pick? I play the normal person in real life! Games are not real life. Even in the Sims I make crazy people and then set them on fire for fun. Games are NOT real life. That's what makes them super fun! A bit of escapism, a bit of fantasy.

If you complain about that, you're going to be completely floored when you see women's magazines. No, not men's magazines like Zoo and Nuts and Playboy. Women's, like Cosmo and Vogue. They're AWFUL sexist pieces of shit. MAKEUP MAKEUP ADVERT PERFUME SEXY MEN YOU'RE TOO FAT MAKEUP. Instant complex.

You want an example of real sexism? My downstairs neighbour told me to give up my job as it's time to have babies. In all honestly, he said this. Several times over several weeks. Because I am just a walking womb and my only point in life is vaginal output. Well, thank you very much. Glad to know you're taking me seriously. Seriously enough to listen to me say that I'm not maternally inclined, humm and haw and then tell me of all the women you know who said that and now changed their mind and it was too late. Bob Christ...


SSH in lime?
30-06-2013
myke
Ploe

To be independent is supposed to free you of the processes that bind professionals. A lot of time independence is begat by the sheer will to emulate your peers, but can also be that the idea you have simply isn't saleable. It's engaging, but nobody has seen it before and you have to knock it out, having something to show for your ideas before it can be taken seriously. This kind of creativity can be freeing but it is also the down fall of a lot of projects. Projects fail all the time. People never get anything off the ground and a lot of stuff never leaves the ideas phase. The guy that came up with the concept of hypertext, Ted Nelson, was/is trying to devise a system (Xanadu) to overcome this kind of chaos. What he inadvertently helped create was the world wide web - you can gauge his success by that fact.

I too wish to devise a method of filtering this chaotic energy, and I feel it is redeemed by the fact that I pretentiously call myself an indie. In the future, I'd like to create a system for developing interactive media in a collaborative, live environment. Not Unix - which is what Unix is perfect for but built ontop of it, maybe one of its free derivatives. Here's looking at you Linux. This kind of environment wouldn't be what is used in industry, it would not be an industrial tool. Monolithic. Structured. It would be hackable, intimate, clumsy. But that's fine because we're indies - we can get away with it. In my mind it can scale in places we won't even imagine yet.

I want to build her on top of SSH, so that users in the LAN can patch in to my local machine and then we have the means to build worlds. My choice of SSH is because that'd make the beast pretty hackable. Some dare say dangerous, I know I would. A network protocol with shell access. Something in me is appealed to by this flexibility. It'd be slow as hell though, I doubt it's the kind of thing that I could use for worldwide development. Hell but maybe we don't need it. My co-collaborator sits in the same room as me at the moment. To build worlds together, though. That'd be exciting.

I see a bash session opened up on one monitor, and a game window open on the other. The stuff I'm typing in to the bash session is populating the game. I look at the other monitors and it's happening on there too. Someone changes a resource in an image file. The client registers this and we dump the sucker out. RAWR - live collaboration, a bunch of tinkers, a fleet of cooks spoiling each other's broth. Laughing it up. At the push of a joypad button their changes are committed and stuck up on a public repo for the world to lap up. I see it as gameplay and development at the same time... I don't suppose my idea will ever get off the ground, but it's something I'd like to do - since I'm technically indie.

I have to draw another parallel with Xanadu vs the explosive growth of the web, since I think it might have taught me a lesson. Growth is wild, and unpredictable. If you order a tree to grow somewhere it'll grow anywhere it damn well pleases. You can suggest its direction but ultimately what must grow becomes what it is out of necessity. However, out of this chaos that has spun out of control you can devise systems of order. You can trim the tree, all bonsai-like, or even chop it down completely. You can photograph certain bits of it, look at them side by side. Remove parts of it and change them. This analogy sucks but my point is order is in the eye of the beholder. Cohesion is a state we force - no, overlay on the chaos. We scale the erratic, anarchy - to get a handle on the untameable. We. The people looking, amidst the chaos. Those observations can be pretty watertight, and from there we can observe more. If they're soft observations, we can decouple them completely, turn them inside-out and create something new. The less order we impose, the more chaos we can scale. Modular chunks of anything, pocketed in soups of logic, rounded together in userspace by new inclinations instead of assumed insights. It's like we're building with bricks that barely exist.

This is why I prefer GNU/Linux over BSD in a spiritual sense (even though I prefer the BSD licence and love the fact that BSD is historically Unix) - a distribution is a Frankenstein (or Frankenstein's Monster to pedants) of ideas off the shelf, packaged together with enough tightness to make sense. BSD is more about the whole. I think both are ace, but it's this little foible that colours Linux a more messianic light. That and its userbase.


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The opinions expressed in this blog are of their respective author and are not representative of other organisations or parties that they may be affiliated with. It's conjecture. Take it with a pinch of salt. ;)