TL:DR I'm gonna do something stupid and commit to writing a blog post every day from December 1st until the 25th. It's kinda like a boring advent calendar.

The Thing!

In the shower this morning I had an idea. Often when I have an idea in the shower it usually fizzles out before I've managed to get downstairs, trip over the cat, feed the cat and boil the kettle. This one didn't though, it persisted all day.

The germ of the idea came by virtue of it being that time of year where people stop doing something for a month (stop-tober) or grow some additional facial hair (movember) and then the recent flurry of black and white pictures with no context I've seen on Facebook recently, something clicked.

I've always wanted to write my blog more but I struggle because I have so many other things to do. So why not make an annoying thing that I can subject my handful of twitter and Facebook friends to? So from the 1st until the 25th of December I will write a daily blog post, like an advent calendar.

What is this all about? Are you okay Hun?

To be honest I've always shied away from this kind of thing, never especially putting myself out there online or participated in the wild west of debate at the bottom half of the internet, but I've always envied those who do. For example, I have one friend who participates in very lively discussion about issues of gender, gender inequality, gender identity and a multitude of varied and diverse topics. Reading the comments and discussions my friend engages in over the last few months I realise I know nothing about these things.

Whenever someone asks my opinion about something I've not thought about my response would often be "I have no opinion on this". Actually this happened a few times with family when asking my opinion or how I feel about something and it wasn't until my partner pointed out to me that responding the same way comes across as quite dismissive of the "something" itself.

I think much of this manifested itself during my History A-Level. I was terrible at forming an opinion because I felt that I could see both (or more) sides of the argument. Whenever my teacher would say something like "what would be Louis XIV's options be at this point?" I would often suggest options no-one would consider as viable (mainly because I always suggested things like war or extreme options). This was not because I thought these were viable, or something that I agreed with, or that I thought it was a good idea, but because I was asked what his options were. The vast number of "options" that could be considered prevented me from making sensible arguments and think this is still the same today. However this helps me write code, because that's what you need to do, consider the odd things that could happen and try to cope with them. A simple bit of code may get you most of the way there;

if(option == "diplomacy")
   martin.opinion = "reformer";
else if(option == "war")
   martin.opinion = "warmonger";
   //no opinion, exit
   return 1;

However you can't do this when discussing an argument with people. Or maybe I could use some AI to do this?

My exposure to blogging have usually been about some system config that someone might find useful or my anger at a piece of software that has caused me some grief. I never blog about anything that matters, and maybe I've never thought too much about topics that matter, instead focusing on things I have to get done that day, week, month, year.

So with all this, I am proudly responsible for one of those annoying posts people see on Facebook! Not that anyone will follow suit because I have sensible friends who I actually know IRL, and they're not stupid.

Also, on a random personal note, I've not had an advent calendar for years, mainly because I don't like chocolate, or maybe I'm getting old.