45 years ago today, humans set foot on another world for the first time in recorded history.
The last episode of Star Trek: Enterprise was aired on May 13th, 2005 and I’ve been hungry for some new Trek ever since. There is just something about this one particular story that strikes a chord with me. Nothing else has come even close. It wasn’t just the powerful starships that bent time and space around them to move through the endless vacuum between worlds. It wasn’t just the incredible battles that took place. It wasn’t just the characters or the incredibly cheesy solutions to every complex problem. What I loved about Star Trek more than anything was the premise of something better. A hackneyed hope and optimism that no matter what the universe throws at a collection of people, regardless of their gender, species, political affiliations, or personal beliefs, good would win the day and a much larger group of people would enjoy the peace and freedom that rests at the core of the United Federation of Planets. Nine long years have passed, but an incredible story is about to be told.
Burnout is an interesting mental state. Activities that we once relished in become mundane or are abandoned altogether. Energy levels we once took for granted plummet. Interest in new ideas wane. Even accomplishing a very specific goal can leave us wondering just why we spent so much energy trying to reach the mark. We can completely disregard all of the effort, progress, and results to focus on a singular thought. A singular, corrosive thought that eats away at the idea like rust on bare metal.
Some weeks ago I was talking to a few people on and off App.net about some of the pain points they had with the system. How some elements could be improved, and how others could be created. Some interesting ideas came up during these discussions such as the ability to use Markdown in a client and have the HTML field in the API write out accordingly, or eliminating the need to have an account name in a reply text because the meta fields know who is part of the conversation, and even a means of linking contiguous conversation chains with ourself into larger posts that exceed 256 characters. All of these are really good ideas that I hope to play around with this summer as nice.social goes from being a mild amusement to a passing hobby. One request in particular has stuck with me for a long time, and after recent events, it’s something I would also like to see come to pass: Silence.
One of the many things that I find most interesting about people-watching is observing how tourists navigate the pedestrian throughways. In Canada I would often see people from countries thousands of kilometres away try to walk down a sidewalk but find themselves “in the way” as natives of the area, regardless of gender, genetic background, or intellectual acuity, tend to follow very specific patterns of travel. When I moved from Hamilton to Vancouver in the summer of 2002 this was one of the first things I noticed about people in the area; they walked funny. That said, with some general observations, we can find the right way to navigate large columns of people making their way down the narrow corridors cities have designated for pedestrian traffic.