and timing is everything

The timing is perfect to write a book titled "In Defense of Junk."  If this book does not exist in one year I will be severely disappointed.


There's an entire alternative economy of people who don't work jobs, or at least who don't earn their money from their day job.  Not all of these people are are wealthy, but everyone who is wealthy is one of these people.

I'm feeling bitter because I was never taught about this economy.  I don't have any experience with it and it's difficult to know how to start, because by it's nature it is ad-hoc and specialized.  But this is where I am going to try to go.

Jobs are for suckers.  Oh sure, there's dignity to work, and it's not a bad way to pay the rent in the short term, but if you look to your job to take care of you over the span of your life and your children's lives, you will never be free; you will work until you no longer can.

That thought terrifies me.

Every time I meet one of these people, who live outside of the daily grind, I feel simultaneously ashamed and jealous and bitter and indignant.  But I try very hard not to be angry at them, because instead I need to learn from them.  

Swallowing my pride is very hard, but hopefully I can be honest with myself, at least.  I am not currently where I want to be, and I should start learning what I need to do to get there.

alternative currencies in practice


Homegrown Evolution: Time Banking
So what is money but an abstract representation of misery, time spent doing things we'd all rather not be doing? How about an alternative? How about taking all of our hard earned capital away from the Wall Street types? Get ready for time banking.

With time banking, you get together with your local community members, friends and family and exchange hours rather than currency. Time Bank USA describes the concept succinctly:

'For every hour you spend doing something for someone in your community, you earn one Time Dollar. Then you have a Time Dollar to spend on having someone do something for you.'

Time banking isn't defined as barter, so you don't have to pay taxes on services or goods exchanged. And time banking is egalitarian--everyone's hours are valued equally--an hour of digging a ditch is the same as an hour of legal services, or acupunture or whatever.
The castle project has a lot of similar ideas, but ties it together with a shared purpose and an xp system to reward long term participation in the system with greater than zero-sum rewards.

Time currency, like dollar currency, may be an important component of the castle building model, and it might make sense to just use Time Bank directly, rather than try to replicate it.

thanks jared

Don’t Play Hurt - Push cx:
"One of the most important articles I’ve read on the c2 wiki wasn’t about a programming technique. It was PlayHurt. The core debate of the page is whether software developers can produce good code even when their hearts are not in it. Because development is a creative mental activity, it’s profoundly affected by the developer’s mental state.


I felt terrible because I didn’t understand why I didn’t want to go to work in the mornings and why I had to push myself to fix every bug and complete every feature. I didn’t have the perspective or experience to recognize all the things I just listed that had gone wrong, so I felt like a failure because I couldn’t develop on command. I found some of that understanding on the wiki. I couldn’t Play Hurt anymore. I was just plain tired of being hurt. I quit that month.

If you want to write good code, you can’t play hurt. If you want to be proud of your work, you can’t play hurt. If you want to feel you’re making something of your life, you can’t play hurt. The best work is powered by passion and meaning, not obligation. Play hurt if you’re getting through the occasional frustrations that every job has, if you need to pay the bills, if you’re setting up someone you like to do motivated work. But don’t play hurt if you can avoid it. Find something you love. Create something meaningful. Encourage an environment that allows people to work at their full potential. And take risks to do it."

It sometimes takes me a while to get back to full health, so to speak, but it's always the right decision to move on when you're feeling like this.


And everything goes on hold again while the future sorts itself out. >_>

At least I'll always have you, videogames.

that was fast

I'll be flying up to San Fransisco on Monday to talk to Zynga.

Also talking to Facebook via phone on Tuesday, that was a pleasant surprise.

Relief mixed with fear, and not a little weariness, but I think it's gonna be good.

So, that's two for the Bay Area, and nothing yet for Los Angeles.  The EA thing may have fallen through.  I hope not, because I'm not sure I want to move.  I hope I get a chance to compare a couple of options, but if not I'll live.  I'm looking forward to working at a high paying job for a little while, and putting some money in the bank.

Perhaps I'll be ready to go back to something more speculative in a couple of years (Castle).

but also

I want to write this down now while it's still fresh in my mind.

I've been following this election closely for almost a year now, and I've been invested in politics since early in the 2004 cycle.  By invested I mean I've given money to candidates.  Howard Dean, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Al Franken, and a few others.  I read the blogs and followed the polls.  I followed the issues and I got as angry as I could over a parade of abuses and outrages.  I have had a sense of national pain and shame.

Now, though there have been some disappointments, my side has won a stunning victory.

I don't even know how I feel about this.  I'm relieved and happy, sure, but those feelings are somehow muted, much more than I expected them to be.  Perhaps that's because the grim reality of the national hole we've dug ourselves into is weighing me down.  In 2004 I thought things were terrible.   They kept going along that trajectory for another 4 years, and I no longer even feel outraged.  We have so much work to do, as a people, to correct our course.  I know that president Obama will disappoint a lot of his supporters, even if he really is the best person for the job, the best president we could realistically get.  There is just so much to be done, and undone.

On the other hand, I think there are so many reasons to be optimistic at this juncture.  The internet and other emerging technologies are going to drive change for the next decade.  Green energy, nanotechnology, and genetic engineering will fold themselves into the global network.  It is an exciting time to be a part of the creative class in this country.

From a personal point of view, I feel better about my own future than I ever have before*.  As I get older my goals shift.  Right now I feel like I'm going to achieve them.  I feel good about my next 20 or 30 years, in the same way that I felt good about this election.  Even though it was hard fought, even though there were disappointments, and even though we have a long hard road ahead (I'm looking at you, prop 8), things are going to get better.

I want to be able to look back and read this blog, when I'm old, and remember what I was thinking.  I want my kids to be able to read what I was thinking, when we elected Barack Obama.  I tend to keep a lot of my politics between myself and my wallet, because I feel uncomfortable sharing it publicly, but this is really important stuff.  It has more of a place in my record of myself than many of the things that I do end up talking about.

Today, Wednesday November 5th, I feel drained and dog tired, but very, very hopeful.

*even though I don't have a job!

what's up

I'm in the process of looking for a new job.  Our little company is not going to make it through, which makes me sad.  I invested a bunch of time and a bunch of sacrificed salary in order to work here, and I'm disappointed.

On the other hand, my salary will almost certainly rise by quite a bit in the next couple of months, assuing I can find a job.  I'm pretty sure I can find a job, since I have about half a dozen prospects right now.

San Fransisco:
-Three Rings

-Microsoft games

-Applied Minds/etc?

It's exciting times all around.  At least I don't have to worry about the election any more!