The First Post

Hopefully, mine won’t be one of those blogs where the “First Post” remains visible on Page One from now until whenever my hosting expires.

The way I see it, every hobby, field of study, technology and discipline is kept alive traditionally by several “groups” of people. A few of those people are the leading experts. These are forerunners and pathfinders who arduously pave the way for the rest. Frequently, they are well known and attain great fame, at least within the problem domain. Forgetting that “expertise” is not always universally recognized, you know some of these people. They’re in textbooks and financial news. They’re vitally important to the advancement of all industry but, at a practical level, mean very little to the tinkerer! When was the last time you asked Charles Babbage for advice?

For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to round a bit and kind of lump a huge category together. The experienced practitioners of every art serve as the manpower, the interface with reality, the maintainers, scribes and practical teachers of the discipline. Though Sun Tzu penned the Art of War some time in the 5th Century BC, US Generals in the 20th Century were not asking Sun Tzu for advice. Instead, they received the tradition, interpreted across historic and cultural space, and found that its practitioners kept it relevant. It’s true that the modern technologists, artists or otherwise skilled practitioners stand on the shoulders of giants, but, without these people, the giant is a cold, dead statue that serves no purpose other than to memorialize great achievement.

Again, skipping a few steps, we arrive at my favorite category (maybe, everyone’s favorite). Once you scroll past all the established parties, you arrive at the neophyte. This is the hopeful practitioner who has no preconceptions other than the limits of imagination! The human mind is curious and, untamed by experience, believes that all observable things are achievable. One of two things will occur:

1. The student faithfully pursues the course of whatever training is required, and becomes an experienced practitioner.

2. The daunting barrier of entry mercilessly crushes the student’s dreams.

I created this website after I realized that I have experienced this second thing many, many times. Everyone does. Everyone has at some point seen something and thought “that’s impossible for me.” Moreover, everyone’s probably been right to think that, at least once. Probably.

My hypothesis, though, is that we’re wrong about that more often than we’re right, and that the main differentiator is ambition and desire. Without elaborating too much, I can easily remember multiple times thinking “I can’t do this” only to find myself later realizing that either a. I’ve done it or b. I’m doing it now. In each case, all it took was the right information and the right attitude at the right time.

Now, though it may seem like it, I’m not out to create a lectureblog or self-help site. I’m NOT a teacher. I’m absolutely a student, and am very happy to remain an eternal neophyte to something. If anything, all I can offer is that perspective: I want to write about things that I’m learning, so that other neophytes can learn and teach. Leave comments to tell me how wrong I am, or what I’m missing, or how my method could be improved! If not for me, read and write for the sake of the next (God Willing) visitor to show up! 

I just want to share the projects and experiences that I enjoy, with the hope that osmeone else will enjoy them.

Polyteknic was my uninspired attempt at a Web 2.0 word to convey succinctly what I enjoy in life. I have more hobbies than time (software, hardware, music, motorcycles, motorsport, RC and flight… is a subset) and they’re all connected by common attributes: technology, creation and ability. Polyteknic is supposed to mean “[pertaining to / one who uses] many technologies,” or more traditionally “many arts,” and that’s what I hope you’re going to find here. Hopefully, within some meaningful categories.

Oh, and if it’s 2017 and you’re reading this off the font page, please do leave a comment mocking and ridiculing my half-assed effort.