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in Lichtenbergianism: procrastination as a creative strategy, and indeed on the front page of this website, I make the point that I use the term "artist" to include any person who MAKES THE THING THAT IS NOT. From the Framework chapter:

That’s art: where there was not a thing, now there is. A poem, a musical work, a painting, a sketch.
A dance, an algorithm, a solution, a book, a lesson, an exhibit, an article, a movie, a manifesto.
A drumming, a journal, a cocktail, a script, a mosaic, a website, a children’s story, a documentary, a photograph.

Any part of the creative process for a painter or a composer is equally valid/applicable to a scientist or computer programmer. This is a true thing.

This means that our King of Hearts Fallacy also applies: no computer programmer sits down and writes significant code from start to finish.  Yes, you might start a rough this-first, that-next structure, but after that ABORTIVE ATTEMPT you have to loop back (see what I did there?) and start cleaning up the steps.

For example, today I started to work on a way to beef up my Twitter presence with random quotes from the book.  (I'd really love to be able to tweet random Lichtenbergian aphorisms, but my translation is copyrighted and I don't steal like that.)

At the moment, I have started a spreadsheet that looks like this:

page number, quote, #precept if it's not in the quote

page number, quote, #precept if it's not in the quote

Next, I opened my Keyboard Maestro Editor and began to put together some steps:

  1. Copy the page number to a named clipboard.
  2. Right arrow
  3. Copy the quote to a named clipboard.
  4. Right arrow
  5. Copy the precept to a named clipboard.

Now I have all my pieces stored in clipboards.  At this point all I have to do is assemble it into a tweet...

<quote> + (p. <page>) + <precept>

... which, if we use that first line, would produce...

Put down that sonnet and go get in the hot tub. (p. 16) #TaskAvoidance

All I have to do is go to the browser tab where I keep Twitter open, create a new tweet, and paste this puppy in.


What if...


... I told the macro to...

  1. Open Tweetbot.
  2. Create a new tweet.
  3. Paste.
  4. Send.


Yes, I know you can actually create a Twitterbot that does this, but this is an ABORTIVE ATTEMPT that allows me to play with the concept before plunging into the deep end in Twitter and destroying Western Civilization with my ineptitude.

UPDATE: Because I'm creating tweets, I added a cell that totals the number of characters in the three previous cells plus the eventual punctuation — and then told it to turn red if the total is >280.

FURTHER UPDATE: I have overcome Apple Numbers' lack of a Go To (cell) command (and Excel's inability to share nicely with the Copy command) by

  1. Sending the cursor, wherever it is, back to the top of the spreadsheet and then to the first cell in the row.
  2. Generating a random number less than the number of rows.
  3. Down-arrow that number of times.

Presto! Randomization!

(Next up: automatic scheduling!)