oak trees and acorns
one thing i like about computers is being able to create aliases for scripts, scripts being short bits of computer instruction, line by line with branching and conditional elements. good flowing software is fun to write, to tunnel through and uncover.
but thinking about these aliases—being able to write
when i mean 'rsync and copy over all files on the dev server to my local so i can work on that one body of work without messing up any other threads...', but i type rs1 i'm using a pattern. i like that.
memes have become a zillion times more popular in the last 36 months; i used to revere that word (as modestly as one can revere words) b/c meme meant so much; it meant the premise of trying to pack as much information into as little space as possible. for a busy boy, i like that.
[in geek, i might celebrate that 'rs1' does all this: rsync -rvpte ssh /path/to/files firstname.lastname@example.org:/this/computer/samefiles. nice.]
the point is, you get thinking of a body of work as lines of code, instructions, step by step guidance from one moment to the next. one could say that about self-awareness.
what i'm excited enough to write this is that it can be very useful to think in terms of patterns; put related things into the same region of the brain, let them share a similar neural wiring, like choosing 110 over 220 and living with it.
we are blessed
Christopher Alexander half invented the whole pattern language thing. Check a Pattern Language, and check a book a few years later from software-land, Design Patterns.
With life, with software, with thinking, we use patterns. When we think of getting the kids to bed it's not just one thing, it's cajoling them into dental hygiene activities, it's seeing if you can get them to pick up even a third of their stuff, it's letting them know that somehow sleep is important (plus there are dishes in the sink, so it's bedtime!) and bedtime is an alias for a whole lot of stuff.
Nothing huge in this essay; i'm glad for a more mundane bit of words, but notice the patterns in your own life, for one very good reason: some of them may be deleterious to your well-being. samskaras exist—habitual patterns we get into w/o think, habits that serve us poorly.
i likened it once to being at the top of a sledding hill. now, if you live somewhere flat and warm, this analogy will lack heft, but bear with me. So you're at the top of this sledding ill, and obviously there's snow, and you haven't pushed off yet, so in terms of 11th grade chemistry, all the potential energy remains.
Potential energy is beautiful, being at the top of the hill, primed, knowing all that lay ahead was a rad swooshing through snowscapes littered w/ just the right amount of trees, rocks and bumps, well groomed for my 12 y/o tastes. Bless.
we reside for a moment, and pause and bless that moment—and breathe—at the top of our sledding hill. Notice, a path lays well flattened ahead, off to one side perhaps, and winding. this path has been sled many times before, and can be navigated w the smallest effort.
but, is that the best we can do, is it enough, are we good???
super important question that, comes back to this: what now?
top of the hill, i've found i am better served being way scrupulous about that track already sled. it may serve me know, that habit, that samskara... so i breathe in and consider—because i can: discernment—and i choose from there.
i choose whether to once again slide down the well smoothed path, or i embark into fresh snow—perhaps for its own sake and perhaps simply b/c i have an inkling, a feeling an intuition that going this new way is better than the old way ever could be... and i push off.
do that as often as possible, that pause, that reflection and breath of discernment.
so this started out as having something to do w/ communicating w/ robots, and it does. to communicate w/ robots one must be crazy precise—did you ever see the Calvin and Hobbes where he created, through transmogrification, a score of Calvins? They turned on the original, of course, demanded the same freedom he ever would have wished for. That's what this is about, about you, me, each of us being the boss of our own worlds, of speaking out truth so clearly that even robots—and our own stubbornness—could understand.
when we communicate w/ robots, and it's coming, we have to be precise. to practice, i'm trying to be precise w/ myself. steps, one line at a time... bless,
and Love, m