Atanas Laskov

Choice

November 25, 2018 20:39 GMT

I have decided it useful to attempt a summary of what I think are important felt desires; The choices I have made, more or less binding. It is important that in this essay I make a summary of things and not be greedy for details.

Science, and programming and technology. Science is attractive in its quest for knowledge. However, in looking for objective knowledge one abandons his subjective side, the things that make him unique and original. Mathematics is the language of science, and only being very talented at that discipline one could hope for one bit of originality.

I wish my work to be separate and free of the boundaries of disciplines; I do not wish my work to be a tiny bit of knowledge, intermingled in a massive discipline. I want separateness. Perhaps this is a selfish deisre, but it is fundamental to who I am; To me maths has always felt unadapted to creative expression (but I am sure some mathematicians would disagree), science seeks only meaning, while I seek both meaning and creating. I made no commitment to science.

To engineering, programming, I have made a commitment. I’ve been using it as tool to seek meaning and original creation; Programming shines with reflected light when it comes to „meaning”. It has been my experience that natural language is better in capturing original logic; Of making „sketches of ideas” as it were.

Using programming as creative tool has been plagued by the problem that it encourages pedantic attitude. Programming and technology are highly volatile; Programming languages evolve, hardware evolves, technical requirements evovle. That makes it hard for the creative strive to be focused on the essence of the thing, and there is constant worry about the properties of the tool.

Nevertheless, it continues to be a practical tool. I can see programming and technology as the final step of implementing a creative idea; Some types of projects require that. But it remains a somewhat tedious step of implementation; It has been my observation that natural language, informal logic, drawing, illustrating, are more efficient in capturing original ideas; All this being said, I am indebted to programming for teaching me logical thinking. Science also continues to be source of inspiration, and programming a good tool - with all the weaknesses of it.

It is necessary to master the disciplines of writing and drawing. Because they can teach me many vital lessons about good form, about what is essence, and what is just surface decoration. They cultivate good habits that one needs.

Writing. In the harshest times, when I have been so confused and alone, writing has remained my only support and guidance. For this reason, I am thankful that writing exists and that I have discovered it.

Some long years ago I described writing as the centre of everything, surrounded by two outer layers - drawing, and programming; This description still seems to hold true, and perhaps it could be that the external layers have been an expression of my fear to progress towards the centre.

I have also discovered dangers and imperfections in writing; It is now my conviction that philosophy should be simple and elegant to be useful, and not some 10-volume monster. Also, I have the strong conviction that philosophy and life should be one. They interpenetrate in terms of inspiration, goals, and desires.

Writing also comes from love for stories, adventures, exploration, and for building worlds. In my soul I identify with other writers and feel inspiration for the adventure; It feels to me meaningful and profoundly good to create such worlds, as fantasy creates, to the extend that I have attempted to give it the status of „ultimate truth” on several occasions.

My attempts to create stories and adventures have been plagued by the greed for pedantic implementation; I have discovered that my interest for games is in fact just interest in the story and world. They say, "the story is not the game". Well, it is my game. In any case the story is what I care about. Writing gives freedom to explore, to ask questions; In a way the rigidity of science prohibits it. And in as much as exploration of reality matters, writing is the best tool of the thinking person.

Illustration. I have been drawing all my life, without anybody teaching me, and this has been my oldest and most intuitive support in life; It is a way to capture ideas, to explore and build creatures and worlds; My ideas often come in visual forms; My inner child loves to draw, it has always been scribbling, and drawing, and the desires of that child live on within me. There are things that are dear to me in drawing, dear in a way only equal to writing - if even to writing. For these reasons, I think drawing is paramount to my definition.

In drawing I have also observed the danger that it can become a pedantic procedure. The artist gets caught up in implementation, in details, rather than capturing the idea of the thing; In that he becomes a crafstman more than a creator. I have decided it is very wise to use quick tools; like watercolour and also black-and white, for its self-imposed simplicity; This is a way to shape my environment, that will shape my mind. It is a way to learn that idea is above form; That essence matters more than implementation.

I am attached to figurative drawing, because it allows to build worlds having some substance and reality; Because it explains things in understandable ways. But in figurative drawing I want to look for simplicty, for rapidity and style; Decorators of the past have been my inspiration in their stylish simplicity. The symbolist approach is also interesting, in that a painter and a writer is united, painting being symbolic to what is felt. Not liking the style, but liking something of the idea.

All these properties of drawing are united in illustration; And illustration also feeds naturally into writing. Therefore, in this I believe to have found one great part of my unity, that gives sense and harmony to everything in my life. The good form that unites the narrative, and the visual - such as graphical novels - represent this harmony. It is not a coincidence, that I have started doing exactly this. On a spur, as if out of nothing - and have felt it to be so necessary.

So I have made a comitment to drawing. I have sworn not to abandon that folder with my images and the paper; And to hold it in my hand forever. It is easier to do this when I know why; To do this because I hold it dearly; For it shapes me as much as few other things do.

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Independence; self-reliance, security, freedom. It manifests itself in two ways. First, it manifests itself in the desire for financial independence and security; This is not primary to my ethics but I have determined that it is very healthy to have some material independence, to live at my own place and work at peace; It is a good thing; Material independence is achieved by having low expenses, having some income, and having some place to live that is away form malignant influences. Form the health perspective I attribute meaning to this. Second, independence and self-reliance is also the desire that my work should be independent.

Survival, immortality, remembrance; It is the strive of all living creatures to survive and to leave a trace, and this desire should be acknowledged in its honest simplicity. True immortality is out of reach, not possible for a living creature, it is much of a fake goal; Life exists because creatures are mortal; However, it is the strive that gives meaning and sense to life, all life, not just the particular case of humans; This has been my conclusion.

I do what I can to be remembered, and it is my honest duty before nature to do so; For this reason I wish to publish, to establish myself and my work; To complete what I start, and to start meaningful and good things; And to ensure that the things that I complete are preserved, that they find their ultimate destiny and are not lost. This to me feels meaningful.

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© 2018 Atanas Laskov

Atanas Laskov