Breaking The Loop: Forcing Yourself To Be Productive

It's as simple as the law of gravity: The more you have going on at once, the less time you have to focus on any individual thing, frequently resulting in what I call "The Loop of Death."

In the coding world, this is sometimes referred to as "paralysis by analysis," a term used to describe the problem that, as one gets better and more experienced at the nuances of coding and design (and is therefore able to tackle projects of increasing levels of design and complexity), they sometimes become trapped in a loop of death wherein they are trapped (either before or after) the two most important parts of project creation: Starting or Finishing.

In programming, it's easy to understand this paralysis because the entire world of software design is basically underwritten by the Golden Rule of computational science - the brutal Zen mindfuck that, the truly great programmer or systems administrator solves each problem only once, and then makes that solution modular and re-usable such that it never needs to be solved again. In an ultimate, ideal world, after having spent the hours necessary to logically solve the problem that is being faced, in stoic meditation, the programmer suddenly springs to life and renders - in an instant of blindingly efficient, samurai-swordsman-like slashes of torrential typing - a program that not only solves this problem, but can also be integrated into a greater "eternal library" of solutions, a kind of impossibly awesome repository of tinker toys, any and or all of which can then later be assembled to solve other (larger and more infinitely complex) problems with the same blinding efficacy as the solution to each component was originally solved.

In short: the progrommatic ideal towards which we all aspire to (fundamentally impossible though it may be to reach in practical execution) is to never, ever (EVER, damnit, do you hear me?!) type the same line of code twice. You solve each problem once, abstract the codebase, and then re-use in other designs.

The wicked-pisser-brutal-as-birth-and-death practical reality of this is that, as one solves problems of ever-increasing complexity (a process that, on the micro level, we can refer to as "coding," and on the macro level as "design"), one's own understanding of the complexity behind the complexity (and the pain necessary to deal with these BPU's - "basic pain units," the raw intellectual units of synaptic cycles required to recall and reconstruct the syntaxes, frameworks, parameters, and functional flow of any given solution) can sometimes get us trapped in a neural loop, in which we never actually bring about the solution to the problem at hand, iterating instead over the meta/macro problem of making our solution perfectly integrateable into the greater, mythical "library."

The answer to this problem is as simple as this paragraph: when in doubt, start coding now.


If you find yourself spinning your wheels endlessly, without getting closer to rendering any measurable progress towards your intended goal as you whiteboard and roadmap your idealized design towards its solution, you've already falled into the trap of trying to endlessly self-optomize against an ideal, and are no longer dealing with teh practical reality at hand.

To break the cycle, jump on the first simplest thing you can and solve it. 

Solve it ugly. Solve it fugly. Jackson Pollack the motherfucker: throw the shit at the wall, with all your primitive monkey-power, and see what sticks. 

Never forget that this business of computational science (especially in the bits that are now relevant to humanity - those being the one's limited to Free and Open Source) is one of ITERATIVE UNDERSTANDING... so if you're not iterating, if you're producing nothing while trying to rely on yourself to produce something that is IDEAL, then you need to (literally) get with the program and PRODUCE SOME CODE. 

This applies to basically every discipline I have mastered in my life, and should apply to yours as well: you have to CONQUER YOUR EFAR FO TEH AiLfoR before you will ever get any closer to accomplishing your goal. This is true of music (, love, Art (, intellectual disciplines, coding (, writing (present article cited as example), the whole damn lot of everything...

Ultimately, if you don't ascribe to the maxim of "don't get it right, get it done," then you'll never be a PARTICIPANT in the advancement of - not just your own ideas, dreams and projects (cause you'll never improve at all until you flat-out embasrass yourself with public disaster, face your failujres, your fears, your peers, and your detractors) - the GREATER GOOD... of which, shockingly enough, YOU SHOULD BECOME A PART. The rest of us are waiting, and now (just as it always has been) "more so than ever," it's become easier to ACT NOW and join us.

Remember, "Don't throw the past away/You might need it some/ Rainy Day..." so start with creating TODAY. Break the cycle... write a blog post as embarassing as this. 

Your alternative?


Dem crickets. That's your alternative...

Or(!): you could close the door...

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