I just finished a new piece - peacock - laser etched on birch wood:
The peacock is India’s national bird, features in marketing copy for a couple of Florida counties and is the de-facto ruler of a county in the LA area.
As a bird, the peacock is rather unremarkable - it has a voice that inspires no positive feelings, it can’t reach great heights when it takes flight and it can’t cover long distances. It has widespread popular appeal merely due to its looks.
The superior appeal of the visual permeates all aspects of life - architecture, music videos, election campaigns, software, tools, apps - you name it.
Man will put up with anything if it just looks good.
I was recently wading through a very horrible codebase and my morale had dropped to an all-time low. It was also paper-acceptance season and I began suffering from the grass-is-greener syndrome.
In such situations it helps to read Philip Guo’s excellent post on the subject: Unicorn Jobs.
I sometimes use this mental trick. I ask myself why I am putting myself through this. Shitty codebases come in two main flavors:
- Shitty packaging and quality but high barrier to duplication - research prototypes tend to fall in this category. Mastery of this codebase translates to an economic advantage.
- Shitty packaging, shitty quality and low barrier to duplication - this is a candidate ripe for disruption. Rewrite it well and you will have done the world a massive favor.