I've been devouring Geek Sublime by Vikram Chandra, which I was given as a Christmas present. The book ties together foundations of computer science, Sanskrit, and the writer's own life experiences. It does not stay up in the clouds creating clever equivalences and brain porn moments but also examines the relationship between the powerful and the powerless, the remembered and the forgotten.
And so Sanskrit is a beautiful language with a rich legacy, but it's also a tedious rote subject inflicted on countless students in the name of shoring up social ideas of purity and hierarchy. Code is amazing, but much of it is promulgated by strutting jerks who see themselves as the new masters of the universe.
One thing the book mentions that I particularly like is the Indian aesthetic theory of rasas. Originally formulated in the context of theatre about two millennia ago, the idea is applicable to all forms of art and literature.
Why do I like it so much? Because it describes a precise mechanism by which art and literature actually work.
If you've been following me for a long time, you know that before Airships, I was working on another project called Space Exploration: Serpens Sector. It was a space RPG that started out as a clone of the original Strange Adventures in Infinite Space, and ended up being something like Sunless Sea in space with less florid writing and a bigger focus on crew management.
I've done plenty of gamedev-related retrospectives recently, summing up the first two years of Airships development, doing a presentation on distribution and marketing to local Zurich game devs. So for this quick retrospective, here's all the non-work stuff that happened.
tw: physical abuse
I recently had the chance to catch up with an old friend, the sister of my best friend back in primary school. Late in the evening we started talking about our shared experiences with some of the awful teachers we'd both had. One of them was especially prominent: when I was in fourth grade, he had this tendency to lift me up bodily by my hair as a punishment. Other kids he hit in the head or dangled by their feet out of a second-story window - over hard concrete.
I also remembered that, years later, I saw a newspaper article that he'd been fired from his job. I decided to see if I could dig up the details.