Ben Boyle

Wave Commander

me@benboyle.ca

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24 Jun 2021

I am working on two blog posts at the moment. You can see them by visiting the public repo for this site. I am not sure if I will be able to polish them to a level I am happy with for a while.

Also, I had a conversation with an AI called Steve that I will publish soon; just waiting on my X2100 laptop returning from a repair.

In the meantime, I thought I would explore some thoughts with this post.

Lately, I can’t help but fall into the trap of questioning the value of doing anything at all. I feel powerless, stupid, doomed.

Something Substantial

I think about what my impact will be in the final analysis. I worry that it won’t amount to much by any measure. Granted, in the final analysis, all will be moot, but I mean “final” in the context of human civilization. I wish to prolong my life indefinitely and choose when I’m satisfied with my contributions, but unfortunately, the odds of that happening are slim.

With my limited skills considered, I figure writing is my best option, that or raising children. Whether it be writing in English or in a programming language, writing is the most efficient way for me to impact the world.

I love cinema and music, but I don’t think I’ll be able to achieve anything of note in those areas given my current skill level and the unlikeliness that I will improve substantially. I still hope to make some fun projects here and there.

Besides coming up with something entirely on my own, I want to contribute to at least one free (as in speech) software project.

I feel a need to do something beyond pushing minor changes to enterprise software that greases the gears of our current economic system. I read Industrial Society and Its Future, and despite its flaws, I can’t shake the feeling that everything I do is in support of the inescapable System. A part of me wishes to rebel against it in some form; another part of me says, “Fuck it! Technology, full speed ahead!” whatever that may bring.

Teaching Computer Literacy

The gap in knowledge between most people and their computers is something that I want to do something about at all levels: introducing my dad to digital spreadsheets, teaching people how to write basic programs and scripts, encouraging the use of privacy-respecting operating systems.

The Rural Hack Club

I helped start a club at my high school that aims to foster interest in computing and take those interested further than what the normal curriculum offers. I introduced a number of members to competitive programming on Kattis, and some prior members are now attending university as Computer Science majors.

I felt compelled to help start a club because there were under 10 CS majors in my high school graduating class of a couple hundred. The programming courses offered at The Rural have improved dramatically since I attended, and I am very glad things are changing for the better.

General Solutions

I am in the process of building a business plan with a ‘mentor’ for lack of a better word. I envision a consulting business that is Oracle for small and medium local businesses. This area has a lot of potential as many offices are still working with pen and paper.

The major challenge is seeding the business with initial clients and building reputation on the island. Very doable in our estimation. I like to think I would make my late grandfather, the very definition of an entrepreneur, proud.

On to something more personal.

Something Warm

I’ve been searching for a person to accompany me in this life. There have been a few “would be”s, but specifics always seem to get in the way of actualizing something: no longer wants a relationship, not physically attracted, not romantically interested, no time for someone else.

Sometimes I feel like I went for a spacewalk and got detached from my spacecraft, never to interact with anyone ever again. Realistically, this isn’t and has never been true, but it’s cold comfort when loneliness stares you in the face.

At this point, I am not sure what I am looking for other than something warm.

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