A Beta Test Of Everything

Life is not a rehearsal kids!

Posted in Ideas on Tuesday, July 19th 2011.

Reading a few articles about the recent launch of Google+, a few things hit home. Google tends to launch a product that works and not always one that is perfect or finished (like, say, Apple). Sometimes it takes them several iterations to get right. They love the beta tag. In fact, I think it was Google (or possibly Flickr) that made me aware of the concept of beta software.

Along these line I thought about this blog and its one year anniversary1. I take a similar approach here to posts on this blog, specifically in pushing out new categories now and then. I have done this in the hope that adding a new subject or thread will lead to me writing more posts. Currently I am averaging ten posts a month, which is not too bad2.

Sometimes this approach was successful: in twelve months I have written eleven understated classics posts (the eleventh is coming in the next few days) and I have managed to post six consecutive album digests. With other ideas, I have had less success: there are only two programming posts so far and none of those feature any working code and the maths posts are still a bit thin on the ground. I hope to keep up the good work and use that to give me the confidence to start working on the less successful areas.

There will be new topics too. I have friends who are foodies while I am a complete novice/ignoramus on the subject. I would really like to try to write about expanding my culinary horizons, be it cooking new recipes or visiting restaurants that I would not normally try. On other matters, I received my copy of “Generative Art” by Matt Pearson today3 and I am very excited about playing around with Processing. It is a Java based programming language for generating generative graphics like those seen in the hero image above. Some of the images in the book appear to be very natural and I want to produce some biologically inspired images to put on top of my upcoming mathematical biology posts. I should also say that I am enjoying the book a lot and I will try to write a review of it in future.

Meanwhile, returning to my theme I think that this same approach applies to life in general. If you can do it you probably should, stealing stuff and making people cry notwithstanding. I shudder to think of how many times I have sat back and let things flow around me. I think in the past year (and probably for longer) I have learned to be more proactive and engaged. You can never really be ready to live, you just have to do it.

Hero images credit: unsplash-logoBambi Corro

  1. The first post dates back to August 2010 but the about page is (was) dated July 17th 2010. If it wasn’t created automatically when I installed WordPress, I am sure I must have set up that page on the day of the install.

  2. Admittedly, not all the posts are particularly long and full of content but I try to produce decent long form content when I can.

  3. I linked to one of Matt’s blogs before when I wrote about Betty Blue. Small world, eh?