after that discussion about making tools and making art...

1. develop tools from the bottom up and understand everything from first principles?

2. just do the thing that brings me the fastest to where I want to be, and possibly maybe work my way(down the abstraction tree) from there?

I can see pros and cons of both, and still, I usually fall into 1. for too long and almost never get to actually using my (unfinished)tools

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@nff i think 2 is better

most of the time what you think you want from a tool is not what you actually want when you start using it, there's always room for changes, optimization or a total rewrite later

@nonmateria ohhh yeah, that's very true, and optimization/rewire is a pita if I built a computer with discrete transistors and diodes, convinced it'll be exactly the way I need it :/

@nff @nonmateria if you ever want some help making a discrete transistor computer, or even one out of TTL chips, which is the method i recommend these days—i have a lot of research.

@vidak heh that's actually the path I think I should NOT take right now... still not sure, but thanks for offering!

If I ever do it yeah, I'd go with TTL chips or an FPGA(actually also taught myself Verilog in the process looool)

@nff the general wisdom I've heard is to:

First: Make it work.

Then: Make it right.

Finally: Make it fast.

@paul pure fkn wisdom.
I'm probably being afraid to make it work, afraid to discover it's not really what I wanted/imagined, afraid once I get it working I won't know what to do with it...
That's why yeah, I probably really just need to make it work :))

@nff would you like to see a list of the failed things I built?

In my experience, there was never anything I tried to build that was a net negative. There was always some good insight (be it technical, artistic, or something else) that came from the process.

The "what now?" feeling that comes after building most of a tool is relatable to many I think, including myself. I'd say gently hold on to that feeling, warmly invite it to dinner, and generally let it simmer. But don't forget about it...

@paul uhm, that thing about getting insights is something I've been telling myself. And it's true, that's fair. But there's gotta be a balance. It can't be just learning all the time, maybe I just feel it's time to put some of what I learnt to the test in this moment of my life.

@nff yeah, must be something in the air, because I started my "toys not tools" mantra for myself in the beginning of this year.


@paul Good to know about the "what now" thing, reminds me a bit of this talk where he's basically saying that sometimes having a good hunch and lettin it "simmer" in the back of of your mind for a while might be a good use of procrastination :)

@nff this conversation actually inspired me to literally create a list of failures:

@paul hey I've been reading your failures page. Truly inspiring. Inspiring are the things you built themselves, but most of all the positive attitude you're having towards them, it does really transpire from the way you talk about them.
Thanks :)

@nff thank you! it's always nice to know there are readers out there.

more failures to come I'm sure ;)

@paul @nff there’s also the principle of failing fast. usually when you attempt to build a tool you find out it isn’t what you wanted after all. so the goal should he to find that out as fast as possible.

@zens another great point for going with 2. and refining later

@nff I'm not so convinced that this is some kind of inescapable binary. One can be reflective about tools on so many different levels without having to go all the way down to the ontological foundation. And being pragmatic can also involve using super simple tools and media, not just convenient consumer things.

@praxeology absolutely, very good point, it might very well be a matter of level, how deep down the rabbit hole one can/want to go

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