Strange phenomenon being experienced over the past few days. My life at the moment seems to be academic reading in the mornings, then a massive chunk of hours alternating between reading A Game of Thrones and watching StarCraft II videos, mainly from Day{9}, and then I’m studiously not doing all the other bits and pieces I have set myself to do for the rest of the day, instead smashing people on the SC2 practice league (and occasionally getting smashed back). I’m watching all these videos and not remembering much, but just immersing myself in what surrounds this game in order to see where I can be going in the future once I’ve got my 4gate down, yes, I’m learning24gate and owning scrubs. The funny thing is how all this Day9 is getting into my Emacs outlook. When I start firing off a key sequence, actually not just in Emacs with something like C-c a a n n n n n B s + but also in my window manager, opening up my music player and searching something up like say C-i TAB C-i s-F7 3 n n n n ... RET n n n n SPC 2 RET and bam I have some music playing; as I do this I have Day9’s voice going “okay gotta get my rax down on eleven, nice and clean, then BAM there goes the chrono boost” and I can hear the sound of his keyboard tapping through his microphone, and as I get it right and what I want to happen happens, I can almost hear the sound you get when a Protoss building begins warping in and I get a shadow of the same surge of excitement when you get the stage of your build you always get wrong right for once… clearly, my “immersion into SC2” thing I mentioned earlier is succeeding. Similarly when I mis-type the command I want to run or run into a lisp error—most of which I am sort of expecting as I’ve been using this setup so long I know where the breakages are—I get the same feeling I get when I build a gateway instead of my cybernetics core, like “oh great I know I’ve wrecked this now, better power on through and see if I can still make something of the game” and don’t forget all I’m doing here is opening my music player. Yeah.

Oh and just now I tried to open my browser to find a link to an old blog post for below, and started typing the URL into Emacs by mistake because it was taking longer than usual to load because I haven’t loaded it yet this session, and I was like “argh I’m supply blocked, gotta wait for that pylon”. I am not making this up!

The other thing getting itself stuck into my head is touch-typing. I’m still not fast enough and too error-prone to use it, but it’s getting a little harder to switch back to my old style now: I’ll have just run a command with my fingers in the proper places automatically, great, but then I need to do some typing so I have to force myself over into what I have always done, and that takes a little effort. Not sure how to improve from here as seem to have ceilinged at around 60wpm on a good day, 50 on a slightly worse one. The other thing is that I keep mentally spelling out words on the keyboard. Say I’m walking down the street thinking about something and a quotation from a book or video game character or friends floats into my head, relevant to what I am thinking about, well before I know it I’m typing that quote, seeing what fingers I have to put where to make it happen. It’s such a waste of energy but I keep doing it before I realise and stop myself.

I’m reading rather a lot at the moment, with my new ereader, and it’s become my default activity rather than sitting at the computer reading through things but continually swapping to Emacs for some reason. This is not a situation where you want to be flipping back to your base (Emacs) to make sure you are still producing units (Org-mode?), ahahahahahahahaa, so it’s great to just be sitting and reading rather than messing about. The main thing is that I only have my e-mail client open twice a day, some time around midday and some time around 6pm, and then reading gets deferred to when I’m not at my desk so I get more out of it because I’m not being distracted. A friend with an ereader would always say to me that one thing he likes is the lack of distractions; I was disparaging, saying that I am capable of managing distractions. Apparently he was right.

Ack I’m still doing it; just sent an e-mail in the way I might hop back to base and build units and probes while ‘microing’ this blog entry? Wth? This is so weird.

Getting frustrated with bugs in my computing setup. As I say my setup is there functionality-wise and I no longer have very much desire to tweak it, which is great but now I have too little motivation to fix the annoying problems with it. Should try to do them gradually I guess.

Oh yes, a few other notes—I’ve dropped my “learn lisp” summer project because I don’t seem to be interested enough; maybe another time. Also I’ve got a few new things to do every day, such as Write, Read, Pursue Petty TODOs and I’ve renamed my projects one to Pursue Substantive TODOs. Writing because I have so many things on my “blog posts to write list” so I’ll try to get some more written.

So things are good.


I think you mayyybe need to back off on the Starcraft a bit. You know, before you start hallucinating Zerglings. :P

Comment by jgh Tue 23 Aug 2011 14:29:13 UTC
’when I build a gateway instead of my cybernetics core’ - wat
Comment by ben Tue 30 Aug 2011 19:17:16 UTC

Oh Jonathan, you can’t hallucinate zerglings. Protoss units can be hallucinated but it’s quite expensive so you need to make sure that you’re sentries have charged up enough.

Comment by ben Tue 30 Aug 2011 19:18:47 UTC
I think you meant “your”.
Comment by jg Thu 01 Sep 2011 14:03:52 UTC