• "Show up for the work. For me, this means sitting at my loom every day and weaving for at least a few hours no matter what else might be pulling at me in business or in life. I was given this advice early on, in both my studio art education and in writing workshops I attended over the years. This commitment is the gateway to developing a habit, and in turn, a creative practice. The simple repetition of throwing the shuttle across the loom for even an hour has never failed to open up my thinking, ground my anxiety and, ultimately, move the work forward. Even if my thoughts don't dramatically shift, I can walk away from the work and see tangible evidence of a woven yard or two. Affirmation." As if I didn't need reminding. (I bookmarked this primarily, though, for the beautiful photos and workplace.)
  • "Once everyone got on-board with "anyone can make video games", then the weird leap in logic was, "who wouldn't want to make video games," and worse, "who wouldn't want to solely live off their video games?"" This is all lovely from Robert – especially noting that making art is not incompatible with, separately, working, and that creative endeavours do not have to be our sole life's work. (And: that doing things not full-time does not devalue them in the slightest!)
  • "At a coffee shop near his office, Kazemi says he feels about his bots the way he imagines parents must feel about their children. “I’ve created these things, and they’re kind of separate from me now, and so I do feel kind of proud of them,” he says. “Every morning I wake up and I look at the last two hours of TwoHeadlines, and it just gets me every time.”" Yup. That.
  • "Under the [Do What You Love] credo, labor that is done out of motives or needs other than love (which is, in fact, most labor) is not only demeaned but erased. As in Jobs’ Stanford speech, unlovable but socially necessary work is banished from the spectrum of consciousness altogether." This is astute and good, on what happens when work is divided into either "things you love anyway" or "labor that we will banish from view" – and the enabling forces that let someone Do What They Love.
  • "…we though it would be it would be interesting to ask the students to deconstruct a logic prevalent in the games industry (F2P) and to then apply that logic to a real-world system (in this case, a London transport) service." I loved this when Kars first told me about the brief, and I love seeing it again now.

Quiet around here

05 January 2014

I write here a bit less these days. Mainly, I’m writing weeknotes and doing work over at my professional site.

Work has gone well, this past year. I covered that in yearnotes at the other place. Lots of things to be proud of: art, engineering, design, and even some time off.

We launched Contributoria, the community-backed journalism site I’ve been working on.

I continue to tinker and work away: some hardware for work, making connected objects; some hardware at home, building noisy effects pedals; various bits of software I still haven’t written up, including endless episodes of Friends and a version of me that lives in New York.

No, things are no less strange than normal.

But otherwise, I keep beavering away, writing when there’s a chance, tinkering for a living, and getting on. As such, it’s more links-than-prose here, but that’s OK, I think: trust me when I say it’s for the good reason. I’m hoping to exercise my games-brain again in 2014, and to make some more music, and all manner of things shall be very well.

I thought it was worth checking in, though, because lots of stuff is happening, and it’s all good. Just not always stuff I write about here. Onwards!

  • "What did The Hustle™ accomplish? I gained weight. I wasn’t spending enough time with my (now) wife. I felt like shit. I began to resent my work, and the work I was producing clearly wasn’t my best. I started cutting corners. I went from a mindset of shipping with quality and integrity to “when is this going to be over?”" I've almost never worked like this – but every time I have, it's always been as terrible as I've suggested it will be beforehand. Mainly on the software end of things, but not always. And the hustle is short-term thinking: the long-term damage is usually so much worse, including, but not limited to: technical debt, RSI, ill health, weight gains, emotional exhaustion, damage to relationships, friendships, and family. I am not only convinced that nothing is worth that; I know it.
  • Really excellent technical article on the development of Novation's Launchpad S. It's not that remarkable a product in many ways, but this is a super-detailed post about some of the thought and improvements that have gone into what looks, on the surface, like a most incremental upgrade – but is in fact surprisingly comprehensive and affects many things at low levels. Really clear, well explained – as is the rest of Focusrite's engineering blog.