pleasework.io ; edition 0.0.0

Mike Solomon
Aug 14 · 2 min read

Crosses fingers and pushes to production…

In 2014, I wrote a nihilistic glitch opera called Overtime. To put the thing together, I imported a bunch of loops from Ableton into SuperCollider and progressively messed with their timing until I came up with stuff like this.

I’m sorry you had to hear that.

Anyway, if you look at the directory of all the SuperCollider scripts I wrote to compose the thing, you’ll see the following.

$ ls .
pleaseWork.sc pleaseWork.Now.sc pleaseWork.Tuesday.ahhh.sc
seriouslyPleaseFuckingWork.sc prettyPleaseWithSugarOnTopWORK.sc

Within the files, the same monotonous naming convention represents variables and functions.

pleeeeassssseWork = [Synth.new('foo', \t, x) for x in range(100)]

In fact, on my computer, if you look up the number of files that contain the phrase “pleasework”, you’ll find…

$ grep -rnw '/Users/mikesolomon' -e 'pleasework' | wc -l
10561

Perhaps I am a bit obsessional, but pleasework is my de facto name for basically everything I do because (a) I want things to work; (b) they rarely do; and (c) I have learned that, in life, if you don’t ask for something nicely, you won’t get it.

So why a blog?

I have a hunch that, these days, people utter the supplication “please work” a lot. And I think we do it more now than we did in the past. Of course, humanity has always had its share of compulsive fiddlers and tinkerers that spent their life crossing their fingers and biting their lips that they could pull off thing X or Y. But something about the modern lifestyle, with its abundance of tools, processes, and networks, leaves most folks with a healthy skepticism that anything will work, and certainly not on their first try.

The theme of this blog, then, is the things we do to make sure stuff works as expected. It could be writing a test, doing an experiment, having a discussion, rehearsing something, making a sketch, praying, etc. That’s sort of vague, but in general, if you’ve ever found yourself holding your breath with your eyes shut while compulsively muttering “please work”, think about what led you to that moment, what transpired afterwards, write it down and send it to us. Then, we will add some snazzy artwork, offer helpful editorial suggestions, and post it for the world to applaud. The great thing is that, if the article doesn’t work out, you’ll have a subject for your next article!

If you’re interested in being part of the journey as a contributor, editor, or designer, or just want to say hi, ping us at editor@pleasework.io. See you soon, and thanks for giving us a read!

pleasework

Random musings about the things we do to make the things we make do what they should do.

Mike Solomon

Written by

C.E.O. of meeshkan.com / Artistic director of ensemble101.fr / Meeshkan’s hiring! http://bit.ly/2MqvCiZ

pleasework

Random musings about the things we do to make the things we make do what they should do.

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