I need to vent, seriously vent. Every month, suicide is looking like a better and better career choice, but I can’t afford life insurance so there’s no real benefit to anybody for taking that option. Also, just in case the singularitarians are right, I certainly don’t want to miss out on the big party at the end of the time. So suicide is a terrible idea. Fleeing to live in the woods might be much nicer.
Anyway, I’m tired of fronting ideas, expending huge efforts, and putting my life’s work into projects just to be undercut by a group that has 1000x more funding and 10x the experience. I can’t escape it in the job market, I can’t escape it in my personal projects. There is no place for me, no ladder to climb, no guaranteed growth. There’s not even sustainable paychecks any more. Being idealistic means a figurative death at the hands of personal expenses. Often I’ve tried to remedy this with awesome projects, but something always goes wrong.
- In 2007 - I told my friend who owned a computer shop to make a small computer in a box that plugs into the TV because internet TV was the way of the future. He didn’t listen.
- In 2010 - I tried to convince my peers at a logistics company that 3D printers would one day be super disruptive to transportation. They thought I was an idiot.
- In 2013 - I got together a team to build a networked simulation platform, but too much overtime at work killed my involvement and the project died.
- 2011-2014 - I contributed to /r/Futurology helping to grow organically a userbase of self-organizing techno-progressive activists. It went mainstream and new leadership turned into a news site.
Today (1/28/15) – Stardock announced Offworld lead by Soren Johnson. I’m a big supporter of both him and Stardock, but it might totally bury all our work Asteroid Ventures. At least it proves the market is there though, for realistic space games. They even have the non-warfare competitive features we were trying to pioneer – stock purchasing, sponsored revolts, infosec, chartered pirates…. Goddamn it! At least we’re going to showcase the entire solar system and have some focus on managing interplanetary trade networks. At least their prospecting appears a bit different from ours. Our game will feel more like a Paradox game than Firaxis or Stardock, which is GREAT, Paradox has valuation well beyond $10 mil according to my snooping.
I need just one project to be successful so that I can flee the country before income disparity becomes permanent (OR HOPEFULLY do something about it!). The Ferguson riots are going to look like a walk in the park in about 5 years time. The streets of the US will look like Donetsk, Ukraine if social programs get slashed simultaneous to machine intelligence winning the hedge fund race and offshoring to dodge taxes. With the right(evil) combination of AI and greed, the entire US economy will evaporate overnight. People are afraid of military Terminator robots, they should be afraid of abstract financial automata consuming their pensions and medicare.
One of my roommates told me “there’s Steve Jobs and then there’s you Tom, you’re a normal person and should know your place.” He was right, without wealth it’s excruciatingly challenging to generate more wealth. Maybe I do belong at the bottom, chained into a low-paying contract position with no health benefits or vacation hours. Maybe just by dreaming of something more I’ve obsolesced myself out of a place in this world. I never fit in, I’m always angry at society, the world feels backwards, broken, and wrong. Maybe I should figure out what pills to take to kill my ambition permanently.
I’m extremely thankful for the people who have come together to push forward into the crazy projects I put together. By going after idealists who believe in the product, who want to evangelize space travel and simulation, we will be unrelenting regardless of circumstances. More than just a startup, rSimulate (soon to be Universe Builders) is a digital guerrilla movement focused on creative efforts. I’ve had to bend my ideology to chase capital instead of utility, but that won’t last forever. I’ve sacrificed everything, repeatedly, it’s destroying my personal life and my well-being, but the ends are more important than the means.
We need to convince the world to go into space for sustainability & parity, and we need to try and save the global economy through socially-aware software and predictive simulation. Either help us get to the top, or put a bullet in my head, but I won’t stop. Anything short is a failure and I will carry my regret into the grave regardless of any apologetic words. I’m tired of being labelled a detriment to society when all I care about is our long-term safety and prosperity. Somebody show me where to sign my soul away to achieve success in my idealistic endeavors. It’s no longer worth anything so I won’t miss it much.