Join me in this inspirational talk covering a wide array of unspectacular personal failures in the general area of hacking.
The conclusion of the talk is that you should just start on new projects even if you rarely finish current projects. The contents of the talk is a barely connected list of projects I have initiated and not quite finished, along with arguments for why that's just fine. Hopefully this is uncontroversial; indeed, I expect my general experiences to be shared by many attendees.
Without going into concrete spoilers, the failed projects include, but are not limited to:
- A potentially revolutionary compression algorithm turned into a fun and otherwise useless graphics toy
- A 20 minute short satirical film about the 2014 EU Unified Patent Court membership referendum that was never fully edited or even shown, but took a long time to film
- A budding video game franchise whose first game was not received with the grandeur it deserved; and a sequel that never got past pre-production
- A state-of-the-art Prolog compiler that demonstrated how art is not always efficient
- Spending several years running Debian on a miniature laptop without ever finding any use for it, mostly just demonstrating to friends and family that it could fit in my pocket
- Never quite proving the conjectured Turing completeness of my car-themed programming language
- A magical picture-to-sound synthesis approach that never really made sense
- A stack-based natural language whose vocabulary is still non-existent, but whose grammatical rules are very nice and totally usable, though untested
I won't cover projects that never went beyond the idea stage, as they are too numerous. I will briefly mention that I am capable of somewhat finalizing projects, and argue that the learnings from the unfinished projects probably aid me in that.
Note: This presentation is just an excuse for me to talk about random things I spent time on in the past 10 years, so don't expect any huge insights (small insights might occur)!
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