coming to

I had been focussing, but it occurs to me that the critical problem is essentially solved: there is a website supporting users doing tasks. Now it is a matter of waiting for users to do the tasks, and hope it doesn't crash.

..and I feel the world creeping up on me again. I'm becoming aware again of stuff to do. My e-mail has over 100 unread items, 32 unread "priority" items.

pima, my personal organizer, shows todo items for today. I'm supposed to either do them, or push them back. If I don't do them, they go into the "backlog". There are over 100 items in the backlog.

my life is so fractured, and my brain hates it. given the choice, I think I would chose 72 hours programming against a deadline than 1 hour of going through e-mail and todos. I think I made that choice this week.

well, that's an exaggeration. if I hadn't chosen to spend 72 hours hacking, I would have had to spend 72 hours going through e-mail and todos.

is hacking just an escape, like reading a scifi novel? for me, yes, completely the same, but people are willing to pay money for it. and I enjoy it more.. it's more like playing a video game.

I worked at a game company in a previous life. I loved it, but I finally left because.. well, the company went out of business.. but I didn't join another company because I felt that the rate of learning had decreased — I already knew how to do the things I was expected to do.

did I learn anything while hacking this week? yes. I learned heroku and mongodb, and I tried out a number of javascript hacks for making things simpler in various ways..

..would I have enjoyed it if I didn't learn anything? I'm guessing no. Because I recall that time in my previous life where I was faced with that scenario.

I also think it mattered a lot that there wasn't any paperwork. no writeup of specifications. no documentation of the result. I just asked people what they wanted in a freeform way, wrote code, and gave them a url to go to.

I actually don't mind talking to people about what they want, and I don't mind talking to people about what I did. I guess I just hate writing it.

talking is transitory. talking doesn't need to stand the test of time. if there are errors in a conversation, they can be corrected in real-time. it's clear while talking if some information is useless, and I can stop talking about it. while writing, I might go on and on about it, wasting time..

where does research play into this? looking back, my research projects are hacks. prototypes. they test an idea, and when they're running, and I feel like I have the information I was looking for, I move on.. I don't crystalize them into well-documented self-contained tools.

I love well-documented self-contained tools, but I don't think I like building them. the documentation and maintenance kill me.

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