Friday, April 06, 2007

We should be making beautiful things

Every once in a while when I get really bummed out because my idealism-o-meter is continually whacking its cranium on the roof called reality. ("But... I like running around in the rain. I don't want a roof." "Nonsense. You'll get hypothermia. I'm cold; put on a sweater.") At these times, it's good to know that there are adults - brilliant adults - who are still daring enough to think idealistically. It's possible to grow up and not sell out. Good.

The following passage is from Ian Bicking:

Damn, I want beauty, and the workflow machinations of a distrustful management are the antithesis of beauty and goodness.

And I should be making beautiful things! I shouldn't be making ugly things to enable me to spend some time on beautiful things. That's a shitty compromise. I don't have to apologize for beauty, it's not like making beauty is some luxury, or that my making beauty somehow deprives someone else of something many things suck in this world because people don't have the imagination to see that they can be better, if we'd only try. I want to work on imaginative software, I don't want to write software that is just an enabler for disfunction and distrust. Moreso, it's unethical to enable that. I shouldn't lower my expectations of myself to do no direct harm.

Meaningful work. Meaningful, beautiful work that creates value through functionality and has a positive effect on people's lives. To use our talents for anything less would be a shame.

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