Hugi Magazine 32: Say It With Flowers

hugi 32 header graphic

Do what (ever) you CAN... (Written By Fable Fox)

(DISCLAIMER: Parts of this article are sarcasm. DO NOT take them seriously. But please understand the underlying messages.)

HUGI is Jarig!

I don't know what Jarig means (although there is a GBA demo that mentioned jarig which is quite cool!) but I'm sure it's something like birthday or anniversary. (Editor: Yes, "is jarig" is Dutch for "has birthday". This phrase is spread in the demo scene due to the infamous "rob is jarig" performances by Dutch sceners at international demo parties. //Adok) So, HUGI, Happy 10th anniversary! Woohoo!


As I'm writing this article, it's Sunday 30th July, 12.46 am. Like some articles I sent a while ago (which also appeared in this HUGI), I'm in deep thinking and suddenly have the urge to write articles for HUGI. I used to follow the 'Do what you like and the money will come' school of thought. Then I realized that life is NOT a fairy tale, or a motivational book either. If there is a time where I have to agree with people who say that positive thinking is over-commercialized - it's when the book makes things like it's too easy.

Microsoft Can't Beat Google in Search Engine (Yet)

As I write this, Google is the search engine. Funny, because some time ago Yahoo was the in thing. And despite Google is a new start up company which goes big as they won the fight over Yahoo (from what I hear), Microsoft is still struggling here. Since XBOX 360 has been released, and there's this talk on Zune, something iPod like and music related thingy, it's like Microsoft is going against Sony, Nintendo and Apple IPod. But as far as the search engine goes, Google is king.

Moral of the story? Do what you can do best, not what you want to do. What you want is not necessarily what you can do.

Lunch Talk

I was talking with the CEO / founder of a book publishing company over lunch when I talked about some of my background. I have been programming since I was 12 (GWBasic). My first 3d software was Domark 3D Consturction Set (or something called like that). It was awesome what could be done in CGA back then. Then I moved on to software like Turbo Pascal, Turbo C++. 3D Studio Release 4 DOS (these are the time where light tutorial is not three point lightning, but 3 coloured light (RGB) where the combined light is white). Inverse kinematic is the rage. Space scene is the in thing (funny that is must be avoided in a demoreel these days).

Things happen. Like real life and school. Then I went to the university.

This is where I moved on to MSVC++, DX/OGL.

But things happen. I went to college part time and studied animation (3DS MAX now).

Then other things happen. Like real life, real FACT of life.

I'm struggling. I went on doing a lot of odd jobs (working in a workshop, build houses, car wash - I took carwash after building houses took its toll on my backbone). All those thing that I studied fade away from my memory. Technology is changing.

But I never got the job I really wanted. Actually, I never got a good job. I have to take any job that put food on the table.

This is when that particular CEO mentioned.

"Don't do what you like. Do what you can do best."

Then she mentioned the story of a good hockey player, or was it goal keeper? He was being paid good salary. But he suffered in an accident, and broke his leg. Unable to play sport again, he used some of his celebrity status he achieved as a sportman and became an entertainer. Guess what, he was even more succesful and paid even much more money. The amount he would never achieve even if he was the best in the sport industry. It was like he can entertain better than he can play (or it can generate more income, so to speak).

But in this world, there's only one him. I'm not him. You're not him.

This is where I'm sick and tired of motivational books that take one true story (which probably only happens 1 in a million) and pretend that it can happen to anyone, should they fully follow the book.

I once read a book that teaches you how to be a millionaire. It's a good book, some of its points are useful. But that is a big if, IF you have a high paying job like, uh, commercial airline pilot? Reading that book while working at a carwash (then) made me feel like throwing it away. It IS a good book, just not applicable to me. Or a lot of other odd jobbers who can't get the job they really want for 1001 reasons. That particular author even mentioned that you have to be paid a certain amount of salary in order to be rich if you want to follow the book. <ΓΌ> I borrowed a lot of books on motivation, self help, positive thinking, self esteem improvement, etc. Heck, I even read books from start to finish at Borders for free on these topic (when I was working at carwash, that is - didn't make enough money to buy books). Most of them are truly good books, but only applicable to the country where the book was written, e.g. US.

So I tried reading books that were written locally. And they sounded like (these are my opinions of course):

1. The writer is lying. 2. The writer is telling only one side of the coin. 3. The writer is taking a small sample (like one single success story) and applies it to all people. Like, uh, if one person won USD 100 million lottery, they would suggest the whole country to go out and spent their hard earned money on lottery ticket.

But I cannot fully blame the writer. Not when telling the truth will give you a free lesson on swimming with the fishes.

The problem is, it was way, way overcommercialized. As I browse the library today, there is even a Who Moved My Cheese look-alike (improved and differented of course for copyright and legal reason). You know, like hundreds of software books by hundreds of company that sound like the software manual rewrite.

In other word, if you bought one book on positive thinking, you bought them all... (kind of).

But, seriously, it's not easy to achieve success or to do what you want (and get paid for it).

I still remember one prominent person in the gaming industry mentioned in his forum that of all people in this world, he only respects Bill Gates. On other people, he mentioned that they're just ordinary people who did the right thing, at the right time, and were struck by the right luck. (As far as the computer industry goes. I'm sure he's not including sports where people indeed have to train to be better than their opponents. But of course, some people start training early thanks to their parents, and this, in a way, might put late starters at a disadvantage).

"Everybody is born equal. Some people are more equal than the others" - Animal Farm.

So now I move to another school of thought. It's called "Do whatever you can to survive".

Final Words

When WW1 happened, someone mentioned that it was the war to end all wars. Back in 2006, we all know how wrong that was. What does this mean? Positive thinking can't change real FACTS of life. There's a lot of peace loving people in this world. But it seems that all of their positive thinking combined couldn't stop war. Or terrorism, for that matter.

Today I went to a book fair. I browsed a book on getting a job, it was locally written. I put the book back and smile. What I need is a book that mentioned this:

How To Get A Job Instantly

1. If you're a male (which you are, that's why you're reading this book) get a sex change. 2. Get a facelift. 3. Get a b00b job. (that's a double zero, so don't censor it out).

Funny, some time ago, I read an article on getting rich in a printed magazine (now defunct). It cover all base, including politics. I doesn't want to swim with the fishes, so let's not go there. But it's funny. At least the author acknowledge the harsh fact of life.

Don't be a homeless, don't live in card box boxes. Do whatever you can to survive.

(DISCLAIMER # 2: Regarding the 'book' above, it's a sarcasm. Please refer to my other article about some of my interviews to know why.)

You can pursue your dream, but only in your dream. Heh.. heh..

Oh. Some tid bit to support my articles.

This is from the book Building Self Esteem by William Stewart.

Examples of concern and worry.

I am worried all the time my daughter is out of my sight, that something dreadful is going to happen to her, I pick up a book, and can't read. I keep looking at the clock. I can't concentrate on my favourite programme. I keep going to the door and looking out.

And he told people to stop worrying. Dude, imagine this...

"I am jobless, the money I saved from my previous job only last for another 10 day. I spent the last 8 month looking for job to no avail. And it's employer market's time. If I being evicted from the room I rent right now, I will have no place to go. In this country, nobody gives you any money if you're jobless. No food coupon either."

Now, this is the thing that people are worrying about, not some returning late daughter that have a brain of her own.

To all book writers out there, should you want to make money out of positive thinking, please write a book the people can use, for once.

The End.

Adok, again, happy 10th anniversary. I'm happy that you're still doing what you enjoyed since you're 12 years old. Keep up the good work. I wish I can follow your footstep. But I can't. I'm not you. Oh well, that's life I guess.

Diskmags will live forever. Websites get shut down (remember Game Programmers Megasite anyone?). Files (on the net) get deleted. Links get lost. But a diskmag will always be there. People mentioned that websites are good because they always change. But you see, that is what a website is for. A diskmag is a collection of articles good when it was published, while saving the forest on the same time. It's like a time stamp, like a history book. When I read HUGI 23 where my first article appeared, it was like I was living the memory again. Listening to the "lil byte" tune bring back images. HUGI survived for 10 years. I'm sure it will survive for another 10 years. And another 10.

- Fable Fox,