I torched my old blog again. Over the last two years, my writing has been precisely as confusing as my thoughts, go figure. I kept trying to understand why I wanted to use Common Lisp even though it was a pain in the ass. I kept trying to justify why quitting music and selling my equipment was what I wanted to do. There was a lot of push/pull that just made no sense. It makes sense now. Hopefully I’ll have more to write about now that I have sorted them out.

Common Lisp

Common Lisp is appealing to me because smart individuals use it. I want to be smart, so I figure it will make me smart if I use it. Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works. The smart people that use Common Lisp were already sharp. They picked tooling that worked for them. Lisps aren’t good for me, though.

Lisps accommodate my worst impulses. They let me plow into trying to solve problems before I have thought much about them. They almost encourage me to skip testing. They facilitate the creation of terse impenetrable solutions by hiding the iterations that got me to them. The worst part, though, is that I am alone the whole time. There is no guidance. There are few best practices. There is no community building powerful tooling or incredible libraries. It’s an ecosystem of lone wolves building exactly what they need and not much else. There are a few exceptions. I prefer being part of a band of people doing what no single person can. The people and the problems solved by those people matter more than the technology. Common Lisp became a lot less interesting when I found this perspective. Technologies are neat, but people are better.

Quitting Music

Quitting music and selling my equipment was a brilliant idea if the goal of music was fame and fortune. It wasn’t, though. I let myself get talked into bailing on it because I needed to see myself as a software developer, not a musician who did software development. There was something to that idea, but it wasn’t fully fleshed out. The missing parts nearly ruined me mentally. I was able to put my finger on why music matters to me spiritually though, so I’ve got that going for me now, which is nice.

To be happy, I need a way to shut off a part of my brain that is almost always on. It is the inner dialog. It is the voice I hear when I think, read, and dream. The only time that voice shuts the fuck up is when I play music. I can sit down for 10 minutes with a guitar and some headphones, look up, and realize that 3 hours have passed. My brain is singularly focused on nothing that I can put into words during that entire time. For me, that is profoundly important. I get off-balance and start making erratic decisions when I don’t have that mentally quiet time. It’s also a bellweather that I am out of balance. If I am not taking the time to sit down and do something creative with no defined end goal, something is wrong.

Moving Forward

Anyway, once I got those sorted out, it became easier to focus on family, work, writing, rust, furniture making, guitar, and other mess of things I like to do.

I did preserve one post from exactly a year ago. It is a nearly unreadable 100% technical post about a part of Common Lisp that is hard to google. Some lone wolf out there will find it useful. Everything else is gone. I am not even sure I’ll write much about tech. The tech seems to be in a 1.5x career loop of some kind that is mildly annoying. I can find a link to any thought I have about it where someone has said it better than I can. I think I will try to focus more on people this time.