Thursday, 13 January 2011

On the western front

I've been relatively tardy with updates recently. In all honesty I've been busy! What's your excuse?

In fact I've just finished writing my first Python program and I've also been working on a game using the Corona Game Engine. The latter has required me to learn Lua and patience. I hope to blog about Corona and game development in the future, so look out for that... or heckle me. Until then, I recommend it, but also caution care.

For the time being, I just want to leave you with a view of The Sartorialist, perhaps the only other life I'd love to live:

His is a world I pine for. Everything from the city he inhabits to the talent he possesses I desire. And what's more, what a talent! A talent which does not elevate him as much as it does them. You rarely see his face, yet so often you marvel at how interestingly, wonderfully or bizarrely his subjects are dressed. He is their reward for their efforts. What's more, like wildlife photographers whose pictures stun you with the beauty of the world, his pictures make people and their places look great. I'm reminded of the Pixar improv philosophy: "Make others look good".

In my daily toil, I tend to focus on making myself look good. This is not necessarily at the expense of others, and not necessarily consciously; its a habit - like a monk I bow to my routine. However, though it perhaps isn't something I am aware of, I do measure myself against one and all. If on the whole I feel I look better than those around me; I feel good, if on the whole I feel others look better than I do; I feel bad. And looking better isn't entirely a factor of fashion, but takes into account physical strength, mental dexterity, quality of character and anything else by which you care to judge yourself against your fellow man.

The Pixar improvisation philosophy, as discussed by Randy Nelson - and the very function of The Sartorialist - is one where the onus is on breaking with that unconscious desire to elevate oneself and instead to elevate others.

Think briefly: if your picture appears on The Sartorialist are you upset? No! You know you're going to look great. Unlike so many websites which might be out to take you for a fool, he's taken your picture because he thinks you stand out as something visually interesting, a delight to be shared with the world.

In Pixar improvisations, Randy tells us, you open your mouth and you know that others are going to try to make you look great. They are there to support you and you are there to support them.

Some times there is so much emphasis on self-achievement and self-discovery it seems that the approaches of both are alien; a world in which they dominate: beyond our comprehension. Wouldn't it be great if when you leave your house the next time, you knew those around you were out to support you and help you do what you do best?

I guess do unto others....