XO Axiom #3: Open-source is all about fun

[First published at GoTo XO as XO Axiom #3: Open-source is all about fun on January 1, 2008.]

This further continues a series on what I take to be axioms, or self-evident truths, when it comes to using and learning about the XO Laptop. The first two axioms can be found at XO Axiom #1: The XO Laptop is a general-purpose Linux computer with builtin network access capabilities, and XO Axiom #2: Open-source is the scientific model applied to programming.

Axiom #3 follows from my earlier post, Samuel Butler: All of the Animals Excepting Man Know That The Principle Business of Life is to Enjoy It:

XO Axiom #3

Open-source is all about fun.

From this follows the following theorem:

If you aren’t having fun when working with an XO then something is wrong and you should fix it.

Proof (informal):

  1. Assume you are working on how to use an XO laptop, or writing about your experiences.
  2. By Axiom #1, the XO is based on Linux and other open-source software packages.
  3. By Axiom #3, you are working with open-source, and so must be having fun.
  4. If you aren’t having fun then you are violating Axiom #3.
  5. This is contradictory, so resolve the contradiction.

A consequence, at least to this writer, is that I will go about it at my own pace, trying to have as much fun along the way as possible, though I will try as best as I can to make it fun for you, too.

Axiom #3 is just one way of saying I am writing this blog because I want to. I do it as a volunteer effort, on my own time and my own dime. I want it to be fun.

I also need it to be fun. It it doesn’t become fun then I am going to stop doing it. For example, I’ve been going to a gym regularly for over ten years now, and I go almost every day. Not every minute is fun, but I make it a point to have enough fun each day so I will come back on the next. If I don’t feel good, or a muscle aches a bit too much, or it seems harder to get going than usual, then I don’t worry or fret. I just back off a bit, and quit early if I have too, as it is much better to quit early on the occasional day than to make it such a chore that I wind up quitting it altogether.

I used to play a lot of golf. Golf is among the most challenging of games. Not only is the golf stroke a quite artificial movement, it is a movement that is hard to repeat. As a result, every golf round I have played begins in a burst of optimism that extends till my swing reaches the apex of the arc at the first tee, and then the rest of the round that becomes a test of characte commences as I start to bring the club down, and almost always fail to hit the ball in a true manner.

However, the occasional good shot brings great satisfaction. And even if it isn’t that great a shot, I make sure that at least enough good shots occur each round that I will come back to play another.

The occasional nice fragment of code in Python can also bring satisfaction, as I will try to demonstrate in some future posts.


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