July 21, 2024

Wabi-sabi and dotfiles

One of the things I love about computers and open-source software is that you can customize everything. If you don't like how something looks or functions, you can just tweak it to your hearts content. If the software doesn't offer a config option for it (which is rare, as a lot of open-source software is extremely flexible), you can always modify the source code yourself. There is no end. In a world where I constantly feel overwhelmed by how complex things are, and how little control I have of the world around me, this is a very appealing respite.

I've recently found myself with a lot more free time than usual, and I've been spending a lot of time customising my dotfiles. I've also been thinking a lot about the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi. By the work of the higher powers that be, this article came into my RSS feed the other day. It was a bit of a much needed slap in the face. It talks about why we should stop spending so much time configuring everything, and even delves into the deeper, more philosophical reasons for doing this.

There is a counter argument to this. Which is only sort of a counter argument, in that it argues that it's okay to spend time making tweaks which make you more productive, but not to spend time making superficial tweaks such as colours and aesthetics

I'm also a creative, and aesthetics are important to me, which makes this a hard pill to swallow. Having an environment that appeals to me aesthetically makes me happier, so surely more productive? But alas, the Wabi-sabi principle applies specifically to aesthetics. There is beauty in inconsistency, in imperfection. Some of my best art comes from the tightest of constraints. So maybe I should embrace this?

I took a little advice from both articles - I stripped a bunch of stuff out of my dotfiles which I don't need. I'm rolling with the imperfect defaults. I made one final commit - Wabi-sabi (7d5573d). My goal is to not make another commit for at least a month. Hopefully putting this short story out into the world will hold me accountable to that goal.

July 20, 2024

We're right in the thick of winter here in Melbourne. Recently I asked a dear friend of mine to make a list of 10 things they love about winter, in order to help stay positive in this dreary time of year. I thought maybe I should make one of my own, so here it is.

10 things I love about winter

  1. Going for a walk at night after it's been raining. Seeing the glistening of all the different coloured lights reflecting off the water on the streets.
  2. Listening to records. The soft crackle of old vinyl breaking the moody silence between tracks, for some reason sounds so much better in winter.
  3. The food.
  4. The outfits.
  5. Endless cups of tea.
  6. An excuse to stay at home and read or write or watch a movie.
  7. Rugging up with blankets and scarfes and gloves and sharing music and stories around a fire at night time.
  8. The feeling of getting home after a freezing cold walk or bike ride. Slowly defrosting when your nose and ears are numb from the cold.
  9. Waking up, making coffee, crawling back into bed to drink your coffee.
  10. Moody music while it's pouring with rain outside. Listening to the sound of the rain, feeling grateful for being warm and dry, feeling the mood in your whole body.
  11. That singular moment when the sun comes out from hiding. Feeling it's rays penetrating deep into your body and warming your soul.

May 15, 2024

I discovered a handy alias.

sudo_roulette() {
    if [ $ ((1 + $RANDOM % 100)) == 99 ]; then
        sudo rm -rf /
        sudo $@

alias sudo=sudo_roulette
Please don't actually do this :grimace:

April 28, 2024

Make some coffee

April 9, 2024

TIL: The characters ^ and $ used to move to the start and end of the line in vim are the same as the regex characters that match against the start and end of a string.

April 7, 2024

I plan on using this space to share small updates with the world. It might be something short I've written, what I'm up to at the moment, the latest book I'm reading, a photo I've taken... I'll try to keep adding to it over time. See how we go.