I don't know what I want. I've been drifting through life for a long time, longer than anyone might realise. Quite possibly all of it.
I'm a software engineer. I make iPhone apps. I can't really say I care about them. The apps are too ephemeral to change the world, even when they've been in the top 10. A book will last until it rots or is destroyed, but even the oldest consumer software is younger than me.
I used to make video games. They're fun to make, but each game is about as valuable as a blog post.
I got into making iPhone apps and video games… because I did a software engineering degree? I did a software engineering degree because… I wanted to simulate spacecraft engineering… because I wanted to fly… to explore… to emulate the sci-fi shows of my childhood? Solving puzzles is fun, and once upon a time I thought programming was a heap of puzzles to work through. Now, I feel disenchanted by poorly communicated and pointless requests; "make it wider, no not horizontally, wider vertically".
At one point, briefly, I thought I wanted to start a family. Not had such a desire for years.
I put effort into saving for a home of my own, doing it with a non-mortgage loan precisely because everyone thought that was impossible and "impossible" has been an ever-tempting challenge. Even that personal loan I payed off faster than the lender, my parents, had thought possible. But now that's finished, what do I do? The flat feels small, but I feel worried about upgrading to a bigger one.
Why worry about upgrading when I have money? I don't know if I'm staying in the area or the country, thanks to the Investigatory Powers Bill. I don't know how much to fear it, so I choose to defend against it by treating it as the more dangerous of the available options. A friend has commented that Apple needs to tell the government "We cannot comply with this law without giving the same access to the Chinese government" I've just realised while writing this that I don't think that's a powerful enough statement, because I think the Chinese government already knows everything that every member of the British government does outside a SCIF-equivalent location, iPhone or not, and the British government knows that the Chinese government knows that. And the Chinese government knows the British government knows the Chinese government knows that, etc. etc.
I'm trying to travel, to explore the world. But I don't enjoy travel. I don't want to spend an hour on the bus to spend an hour on the train to be at the airport three hours before a one hour flight to a country where I will spend 48 waking hours, 4 or more on public transport to and from the hotel, before spending another 6 hours coming home.
That's not to say I've never enjoyed travel: Eurofurence 14 was amongst the best trips of my life. It was on top of a mountain, I met three or four people in person that I had previously only known online. Eurofurence 19 was decent enough, but… I think I see where part of my problem is now, writing about this. EF19 was starting to give me the feeling that things were being arranged digitally, and I wasn't part of those groups, that I wasn't involved anymore. EF20 was the first time I went with a partner. It was both overwhelming and bland — technically great (except for the really long wait for the PawPets show), yet without a soul. A 5 star hotel room the size of my entire flat, yet disconnected from those I wanted to hang out with. The next year they banned dogs, which was the kick I needed to stop going. It wasn't really about the dogs, just like it wasn't the redesign of the Facebook news feed that made me delete my Facebook account years ago, but both were the straws that pushed me away.
What's pushing me away from everything?
I want to be enthusiastic again.
Am I socially disconnected? Is it because of the person I have become, the person I have always been, or the technology? I really don't want to have to join Facebook just to be social again, it would feel like losing somehow... but when I do connect socially these days, it's arranged digitally: IRC is the most common, then Twitter, then email.
Facebook without the news feed? Seems to be a popular idea: https://github.com/maxfriedrich/quiet-facebook… I suppose I might be able to use technology to limit my obsessive need to read all the updates. On the other hand, perhaps I spend too much time reading Twitter, which has certainly consumed more of my attention recently than I would have liked it to.
I like reading, but I'm starting to feel that perhaps I like it the way I like sugar — it gives a rush of pleasure that is at some level critical to survival, yet which has been refined by businesses to become a dangerously affective high?
I don't know what I want, but enthusiasm is a good start. Oh, and dogs. I like dogs.
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