The creative process

Check out these two absolute, must read articles on creativity: The Creativity Crisis and Forget Brainstorming


True creativity

An excellent article on the creative process, and how much of it really needs to come from one person. It's interesting to think that so many years of brainstorming may not have been the most effective way to approach things. I do think brainstorming has its benefits, but it usually isn't for that initial creative, really 'out of the box' idea, I think.

Also, for the absolutely nerdiest of the nerdy (seriously, you have to be a mega-nerd engineer, I think) - there's a hilarious tutorial on Mercurial and an equally funny comparison of Git vs Mercurial, since distributed version control systems are all the rage now. Seriously, don't click on those links unless you need a saturation of programmer nerdiness.



I always love coming across indie that seem to stand out - personally, I loved the music and presentation in this most recent flash game. Check it out.


Indie Games Go!

Lots of awesome indie style arty games on the horizon. Check out these potential XBLA gems:


And from That Game Company:


Awesome! Can't wait! Vive le gaming revolution!



What is it that keeps you in your current day to day routine? Or the city you live in? Or the friends you keep?

I would hope the answer to that is "the fact that I absolutely love what I'm doing / where I am / the people I'm with". If not, are you working towards breaking those routines? If not, why not?

I'm not sure if it's seeing a new place, or being in a new work environment or just visiting with family, but every once in a while something pulls me back from my current situation to really reevaluate.

Actually, even stepping back a bit, I think it's when I really find something that I want. My default reaction is almost always, "Do I really need this? Can I live without it?" and 90% of the time the answer is that it's unnecessary and I do without it. (Now trust me, I have my share of impulsive / emotional / just-because-I-want-it decisions as well).

The problem comes up when I come across those things that I really do want, or those things where I say, "Why wouldn't I go after this?" It's those kinds of things that tend to rock the boat a little more.

This, of course, is all in reference to a recent trip out to Cali (one that's still going on, as I sit here on the San Francisco Pier), an area that is absolutely gorgeous day to day. On top of that, I had a chance to spend time with cousin and his daughters, another reminder of things I want someday.

A week passes before I get back to finishing this.

Nothing particularly introspective and wonderful here, just a little musing. I've found myself more and more existential as time passes. Even with this most recent weekend in Brownsville with friends, I find more situations that are desires - places, things, situations I want to find myself in. Really, with the amount of spectacular things in the world that you could be spending effort / attention on, it's amazing that anyone with a variety of ambition finds focus.

Most interesting is how you respond to those desires. Of course the purely logical approach (I'm an engineer, remember?) is to spend every waking moment working towards those goals, right? Even that can be / is destructive it its own right, because we need moments of calm, moments away from progression. Biologically, we are creatives that need sleep between our hours of moving forward. The question is the balance? I haven't quite found it yet, but it's something that always seems to be on my mind.

Posted at a later time, after I found an internet connection ;)


If you don't create change, change will create you

OldFriend: I look back on all of the positive influences I've encountered in my life, and in management, and I try ti emulate them. Rob, Paul, Bill, Tony, you. Not everyone did everything perfectly, but all of you did some things really well.
Vijay: well thanks man, I'm honored to be on that list
OldFriend: Vijay : Enthusiasm!
Vijay: and yea, it's pretty amazing to look back at all those people and really try and figure out how to take the best of everyone to do better
Vijay: lol
Vijay: :)
Vijay: constant drive to improve
Vijay: <3 it
OldFriend: from day one, at Sony, that's what you did. Lots of energy in your work.
OldFriend: that's why you deserved to lead the programming team after Ensemble broke down.
Vijay: thanks man :)

It's always fascinating to reflect on how you got to where you are today. There were a million different versions of self that adapted, broke, changed and rebuilt each day we grow older. Those moments almost always come up for me when someone I knew in the past reminds of who I am in their eyes. In so many ways, the band of characters I've met over the course of my twenty eight years each hold a snapshot of who I am, so much so that they collectively hold the most endearing photo album of my character. It's a little morose, but there are times when the shadow of my self that exists in their mind is so difficult to remember that it feels more like remembering a character in a book than reliving memories. Why morose? Because more often than not, I envy and am proud of that shadow more than I am the current version of me. That's not progress.

And at the same time I have amazing opportunity after opportunity, am blessed with the grace of wonderful people in my life constantly. Have had virtually nothing but good things happen to me especially in comparison to other people in the world, or even other people in my life. In so many facets of my life, I'm moving forward. I have a job tons of people would envy, good friends I see often, a home, a cat, hobbies, new desires and challenges overcome everyday. Yet I still feel like I'm barely maintaining a grip on the cliff of life instead of climbing up it. I still look back and admire the former self that tackled every problem with passion and headfirst. And I know that self still exists, I just haven't figured out how to get him out again.

Vijay : Enthusiasm!

Who said programming can't be beautiful?

Came across this really awesome open source project today. It's called codeswarm, and it's a visualizer for the changes on a project's codebase. What exactly does that mean? Well, it essentially looks at all the changes to a project a team has made (via their source control repository) and makes a video representing it. People show up as names, and the files that are changed are glowing dots that fly from person to person. Taken from his site:

I've been studying software projects for a while now. Not the programming, but the people -- the way they interact with each other through collaboration and communication. My investigations have always been visual: I've built applications that create pictures of what is happening within software projects. But they have always had a rigid structure to them. Organic information visualization, coined by Ben Fry, is a different approach to information visualization. It eschews traditional data confinement in space and lets the elements play together in freeform and unpredictable ways.

For an example of it in action, check out this video representing the Twitter codebase:

Twitter Code Swarm from Ben Sandofsky on Vimeo.

Totally awesome :)


On love.

Just a few awesome videos, spurred by a spectacular and inspiring Google ad that aired during the Super Bowl:

And an amazing and creative video (I've posted it before), but inspiring both in artistic technique and subject matter:

A SHORT LOVE STORY IN STOP MOTION from Carlos Lascano on Vimeo.

Finally, an absolutely gorgeous short film that embodies one of my largest inspirations in life: finding a way to create and express beauty and memories to the people you care about:

World Builder from BranitVFX on Vimeo.