I did a bunch of stuff today. But for some reason, I’m mostly just quietly proud of this 1-bit-per-pixel PNG of a monster energy can I made. It just looks kind of inviting - which is how I feel about pretty much all 1bpp images. I don’t know why, but dithered black and white images just make me feel welcome.
I’m thirty years old. Three decades! Thirty orbits around the Sun on this big ol’ beautiful ball of dirt, rocks, and water. And you know what? It feels great.
Imagine the following scenario: one day, you’re using your computer as you would on any other day. Then, on impulse, you happen to take a look inside the case. Instead of some neatly (or not-so-neatly) organised disk drives, there are just a bunch of photographs. Illegible colourful scrawls of pixelated dust fill every inch of them, each a kaleidoscope, magnificent as much in their beauty as in their complexity. Instinctively you watch carefully as you create a new file and save it to the desktop, pleased to discover that as you expected, the spattered colours shift and change along with the flow of new data. It is this world that I wish to bring to you today.
I love computers. There really can’t be any argument about that, if you’ve followed me for any length of time! However, I have a massive appreciation for nature and the natural world. I grew up in rural Scotland, and so there’s a huge streak of woodsiness that lives in me, which I rarely exercise most days - and a streak that I neither truly understood or appreciated when I first moved out to a city, itching to learn and meet new people and start my career. So, what do you do when you feel an uneven yearning for the wilds? You go camping! And what better time to go camping, than in late April?
So, I was musing in the bath (as one does) about things like theory of mind - that is, the concept that different people’s minds hold different information. It’s usually something that human beings develop early on in life when they’re constructing mental models of the world. And that got me thinking about how everyone’s brains do things a little differently, like how there are varying degrees of internal monologue or visualization in different people and how that drives and impacts their different modes of thought. And then, I thought about programming, and how little it seems that programmers talk about how it feels to write code and how that looks internally. So, I thought, hey. Maybe I should write a post about how it works for me? Maybe other people will also come forward with how they feel their mind works when writing code, too?
Note: apologies if I get a little abstract here. I’m trying to describe with words something that happens in my own head!