Most recent update: 10th November 2020 - 03:08:44 - 3094 characters

Writing is all an experiment. An experiment in language, an experiment in knowledge, and an experiment in scaled productive collaboration. Even reading this you're part of that experiment - so thanks :)

State of the Smerity began life as a process journal and over time has expanded like a tech tree in a computer game. Most of the entries are fragmented. I'm not ashamed of that however. Isn't fragmentation the default state of ideas that come fresh out of our minds? The fight to bring clarity and connection to what may have started life as random linguistic sparks?

This process journal was intended both to reflect and improve on myself as a human but also serve as an underlying dataset for a language model of my own design. That language modeling has taken a backseat to my writing likely implies I have as much work to do on the former as the latter!

State of the Smerity and my most recent wandering journey have been a few years in the making at this stage. I left a lucrative job and rather than rushing into an equivalent opportunity or raising large sums of money I took time to really explore where I intended to go. Being lost in the metaphorical woods can be surprisingly advantageous once you get over the fear of the dark. When you no longer have external goals to drive you it triggers a state of introspection on what your internal goals are. It's no easy, and I'm lucky to have the time, space, and support to even have this as an option, but due to so few having such an opportunity I felt it was all the more important.

As I explored my history and sketched toward the future I swung back and forth over various ideas, dreams, and fears. Like a satellite orbiting distant planetary bodies I found myself returning to the familiar situations and being pulled closer and closer to a gravitational center.

The best attempt at summarizing this is in the form of three aims:

  • Positive sum
  • Minimize entropy (confusion)
  • Maximize entropy (diversity)

And a set phrase:

Language is humanity's longest running program

Each expands to hundreds of pages of writing with the prose being a coin flip between insightful and rambling.

The fear of making your writing public is real with imperfection providing the most forgiving and fertile playground for creation. At this stage the best path forward is collaboration with an audience. This, as much as I fear, means speaking to you via a painfully constrained vocabulary of ASCII characters assembled into long and only semi-coherent sequences displayed as boring pixels atop an ill defined and wildly problematic polyglot language. It's the best shot we've got though as I'm even less coherent in person.

This entry marks the end of my internal phase and the beginnings of an attempt to externalize a distilled version of my thoughts, explorations, and tools to a broader audience.