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Journal.Kim —A Metasystem Experiment

It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it every day, that’s the hard part. But it does get easier.
—Bojack Horseman

Twenty-Three: Identity Risk

 | #twenty-third-week

August 3rd

Week Twenty-three! I know I said this entry would be late, but I couldn’t help myself. I’m currently in a rather comfortable hotel room that I managed to book last minute as I make my way back to the city and back to work.

I tried my best to prepare Beeminder accordingly, but I’m afraid that it seems like I found out about my impromptu trip a little too late, and had a handful of derailments occur when I was out in the woods and couldn’t do much about them. I feel like that might have to do with me being forgetful about auto-ratcheting overriding breaks, I think? Regardless, I need to plan better.

Really, I’m not at all used to actually planning time off. I either work really hard, or I’m resolved to absolute laziness. Structuring my relaxation in general is entirely new to me. But I think it’s really great, as I am really biting to get back into the swing of things unlike when I procrastinate or otherwise neglect work for a handful of days (or longer).

It’s probably a problem that a lack of progress is so bothersome to me. In full transparency, looking at the flat lines that now encompass all of my beeminders begrudges me. I don’t think it’s the work itself, but rather the consistency of the work. Perhaps I am moreso wary of my own behaviour of letting the dying off of momentum beget less and less momentum.

Anyways, enough about the minutiae!

I wanted to thank you for your insights, Adam. I’m glad I take a week to respond and meditate on such helpful advice instead of replying quickly and having it thrown into the ether with the insurmountable amount of other information that I find myself surrounded with.

It allows me to take the time to look into your work, and I simply have great admiration for what you do. I’m very grateful to get advice from somebody so experienced and I’d like to respond to your thoughts in detail.

If you are interested in FOSS stuff, I would recommend a few things, most of which are applicable to all of life, not just FOSS:

  • Be careful about what you tie your identity to. If you define yourself as a developer and then isn’t right for you or the world or it turns bad or just isn’t purposeful anymore, you can spend a lot of valuable time towards something unhelpful.
  • Be careful about others, especially about security. Just because tech and programming can make the world a better place doesn’t mean that it always does, and there are folks out there who aren’t like the programmers at all who will use software in ways the programmers don’t intend. Try to look out for them and stop them from blowing their fingers off.

First and foremost, identity: This is something I have had a reckoning with my whole long life. There are many labels that I associate myself with–be it out of voluntary want, or the realization that there’s an inability to escape them.

Specifically, I originally went to college to be a software developer four years ago. Three years before that is when I first began tinkering with makeshift themes on Tumblr, and installed Crunchbang! and began to fall in love with ability to create and destroy just by typing things.

I have realized at this point, whether I like it or not, I am a developer. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ It’s just too much fun to make websites and write out documentation and learn new technologies. Of course I don’t think I’m a good developer, but I develop.

Second, and I’m sure this can be attributed to my lack of experience and naïve attitude, but I frankly am not worried about being careful. I understand (or at least think I do) the consequences of the openness in open-source, and the weight of dependencies others inevitably cause. Even with worst-case scenarios, time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

I sincerely recognize where you’re coming from, but these are things that I’m steadfast in, whether that’s a good or bad thing.

(PS. Related to Beeminder this time, my girlfriend suggested I refer to my entire group of Beeminder systems as a Beehive. I’m really not sure if that’s too clever or too cheesy.)