Friday, January 20, 2006

Education, Knowledge, Science

My exams start in 2 weeks. Each semester, I keep asking myself the same thing. What am I doing here?

I really wonder how is it possible that I am truly a hard working geek concerning my programming/demoscene hobby in contradiction to my image as a student. No matter if I am studying math (which has something to do with computers, but only occasionally), I believe that even if my subject was informatics there would be still some struggle. I think I can easilly claim the answers to this paradox but still it makes me wonder about several things.

Actually, I find the motives behind studying preety much hard to grasp. I just have to spend my time reading some stuff and solving the same exercises again and again with the main focus to pass the exams. There is no thrive for knowledge, to really know your thing, except from gaining success as a student. I just see the people around me. Everyone is talking about his/her lessons in the way of the student, not that of a geek. I haven't met a single person in university who seems to treat his lessons like the way I do it with code.

That's the way people go nowadays except me. But why can't I push myself by studying for knowledge instead? I'd say that's because time is pushing me to read those books and solve these exercises because I have to pass some exams. The motives are distorted. Also, there is a diferrence between studies and doing my own thing. In the demoscene for example, I was into a very specific area of programming that I know and evolve since years. While in the university, I was oblidged to look at 10 entirely diferrent math subjects per year and read as much as possible about them, else I wouldn't have any chance to pass the exams! Other than that, was I seeking knowledge in the demoscene at first? I doubt..

What I've coded, even if lame in comparison to the works of other sceners, would possibly make my professors stare with awe. Though, my life as a student would make them think I don't belong here. "Maths are not for you!", a professor said to me. I told him that I would prefer to had studied computer science instead. "But you need to know maths for that!" he shouted with emphasis! What would his reaction be, if I just showed him some demos of mine?

Perhaps I am not a man of knowledge, because I am a lazy bum. Perhaps I wouldn't be good as a scientist, but just a stupid kid who likes to play with toys (computers). I don't really know my stuff well cause I don't have a diploma to verify that, my mother says (I have to get my diploma and then I'll become succesful at demos too she says :). That's ridiculous to me! Most students are working harder than me, though they don't seem to really care about their subject. Studying in the university library (which is extremely full of people these days ;P) tends to be a trend and a social thing at the same time, a way to push those students to work as robots for a common cause. Could these be people of knowledge? Would all of them become true scientists oneday? Would they handle maths the way I do with code? Or are they here, seeking for a diploma that claims full knowledge? The way of the student..

I fail to affiliate education with knowledge. I know that perhaps I am just the lazy bum who blames universities for nothing, but since my first engagement into democoding I thought I hid a talent or something. I thought universities would help me evolve my creativity into something usefull. I thought my parents would understand and support my engagement into computer programming. I thought society would push those creative minds like me to the right way. Or, I guess it's all about the fact that I can't afford the way of the student. The way to go..

I am about to finish soon and I am afraid that I'll never like to study anymore. Fortunatelly, this won't put down my creative way of life.


chris said...

What is this demoscene you r referring to? Got anything online to watch or listen?

Society will never show you the way, for sure..

Individuals or group of Individuals ACT not society.
Society is an institution, like e.g. God.

Optimus said...

Hey, thanks for asking. I always like to explain what is that thing I am involved into :)

It's a not so well known but big enough and creative community. It has to do mainly with the making of demos and few other stuff on computers. Demos are like demonstrations involving realtime graphics algorithms programming/optimization, combined with 2d/3d gfx and music created on a computer, usually it's like very well designed, pleasant, impressive, technical or funny presentations of gfx, music and code all put together in a nice way.

Usually, several groups with coders, musicians, graphicians and few other members are competing against each other about who can make the best demos in various organized meeting called demoparties.

You can download some of my demos here
but if you want to see the very best of them from other creators around the world, check the top ten of all time and some others in
Some stuff are preety impressive, especially the 64kb intro category (intro=small demo) where they fit huge 3d scenes, textures and generated music in such a tiny space! (That's because several things are realtime generated or precalculated during loading)

It's a really interesting community (started somewhere in the 80s from Amiga/C64 cracktros and then evolved) but sometimes with really high standards and shouldn't be taken seriously just for fun. At the older times I wanted to evolve there and make a really cool demo. But this needs too many skills and especially time and good motives to do that. So I am somewhere in the mediocre in demomaking but still not bad.. ;P

Oh, and there is a small but evolving demoscene in Greece too ( We have a nice little demoparty event organized each year in the university of Patra.

Optimus said...

And thanks for the other comments too!

chris said...

χμ ξέρεις παίζω με λίνουξ και επιπλέον είμαι ολίγος άσχετος ...
θα προσπαθήσω να δω τι γίνεται με μικ

chris said...

Xm I've checked it with Microsoft.


You made my night (sic)

But still not on Linux. Got a clue of what file I should extract?

chris said...

btw. it was the one with the yellow duck! Were you ever in concert?

Optimus said...

I haven't fiddled with Linux yet (No time and occupied by other interests in computers for the moment). But I have several friends from the greek demoscene who are into Linux stuff and one of them ported my Keftedes freebasic demo for Linux too. You can get the Linux version here (haven't put a link in the front page yet). As for myself, I haven't seen this version ever running on Linux yet :)
Keftedes Linux version

The yellow duck is a classic object from older PC demos, actually originally found in 3d Studio. I decided to use it for another time since it's considered classic :)

Which demos do you want to extract? I think most of them are in Zip files (Automatically extracted under WindowsXP or you can also download and use WinZip or Winrar) and then there is an exe you can run in most cases. Some other demos are for CPC or C64 8bit computers, yey oldschool, someone can watch these on emulators or the real machine if he owns it. Preety much challenge to write code on such old computers..

You can also find Linux demos at Pouet. Examples:
Top10 Linux demos at Pouet in one year
or Top10 demos in Pouet all time

SJ Zero said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SJ Zero said...

Hey, SJ Zero here, thanks for posting on my blog. Totally made my day. :)

I understand fully where you're coming from here -- I'm struggling in school too (if I'm not mistaken, in a similar field of instrumentation), and the truth is, you never see people sweat, but they do. You never hear people worry, but they do.

I was going to say more, but it made a better blog entry than a comment. :P

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