Killing my vibe

qzhuyan responds to me tweeting Emacs on PocketCHIP.

Which is, er, very true. And wonderful.
But this haunts me continuously, as I explore the Mind Traffic Geometry of tools that support me tracking tasks and outlining ideas.
Will I one day end up simply falling into Emacs Org Mode? Isn’t that basically everything I really want?
Am I wasting my time with quixotic effort of writing my own software for this stuff when I could be writing something newer and more important?
Another thing that’s pushing me to think about this : this week I’ve been playing with Faust. A wonderful language for writing signal processing networks (ie. synthesizers, audio FX etc.) that compiles to multiple back-ends … including PureData, Supercollider, VST plugins and stand-alone programs.
It’s basically where I imagined Gates of Dawn eventually going.
But rather than a Python library, its a very nice “little-language”, with great operators for describing composition of data-flow blocks. It’s well developed and supported. I’m trying it out for writing small synths / FX units I can run on small boards like CHIP and Raspberry Pi.
I can see myself doing a lot with this. But it’s basically going to kill Gates of Dawn. Maybe there’s room for a Python library for those who don’t want to learn Faust. But for me, Faust is looking extremely viable.
So … another wasted project?
Perhaps I need to look at this positively. I’m not old. But I’m not as young as I used to be. I don’t have so many projects left ahead that I can afford to squander them. Perhaps its time to pivot. Time for a cull. A “spring-clean”. To remove some more cruft projects that occupy too much of my mind, but are actually just weak “me-too” versions of existing things that I would use perfectly happily if I made the effort to learn them. Enough with the Not Invented Here syndrome.
I’m not saying that OWL or MTC are going anywhere yet. I use them, and they work for me. And they are DIFFERENT from OrgMode, or todo.txt or any similar thing out there. They are what I want.
But I need to embrace this change. There are so many exciting NEW opportunities, there’s no point getting hung up on the old stuff.
Dawn is over. For me it’s 2PM. And there’s plenty of work to be done.

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  1. Hi Phil,
    Rup3rt here. Did you catch the Autofocus method this week? A bit like MTC but with “agency”.
    Will play with MTC2-Racket this weekend and see how it stacks.
    Happy Olympics!

    1. Yes. That’s pretty much how I’ve been writing todos temporarily into my paper notebook. Except I also cross them out once they’re transferred to MTC on my machine. MTC is definitely aimed at people who do lose interest regularly and postpone tasks.
      Only thing is, with over 1000+ todo items, I don’t “visually scan” it. What I do is casually think of something I’d like / ought to be working on and then pull anything that matches that to the front of the queue.
      Usually I tag things with the todo.txt convention of @ for contexts and + for projects, so for example, by typing

      + @email

      I immediately pull all email to the front of the queue and then try to do some of them.
      There’s one minor inconvenience which is that + is part of the regex language so to pull MTC projects to the front I have to type

      + \+MTC

      but that’s a minor issue and the pay-off is having regexes in the matching criteria. 🙂
      What I do find, though is that with this many items I’ve needed a richer vocabulary for “throwing to the back”.


      continues to throw items to the end of the list.


      throws them 10 back (ie. I’m not doing this NOW but probably want to do it … todayish)


      throws them 50 back (if they’re small items, that’s “todayish” of larger items it might be “this weekish”)
      The new


      now throws them 500 back … yeah I know, that’s kind of crazy … basically it means “still live tasks but I’m really not likely to be interested in the next couple of weeks” Or the GTD “sometime” folder.
      Not sure if I’ll ever add


      for 5000 … if it ever comes to that there might be an issue with the whole philosophy.

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