Progressive Development

Published on November 26th, 2020

My first job writing articles (and not dumb rants) was as a part of my school newspaper, writing articles describing the courses we take during our time in school (don’t try to find it; I don’t identity as NightScript when doing anything locally and there are hundreds of people that share my real life name). Although I now believe it was simply a propaganda tool and having an entirely independent place to showcase one’s writing is a more accurate representation of one’s skill, but I am proud of these students for attempting to represent the school. Unfortunately, though, we all know that attempts can fail in terms of living up to quality. This is exactly what happened to me in an article I wrote for this publication a while back, and now that I was reaffiliated with it, I thought I could influence its deletion. In a recent meeting, I expressed the idea of potentially deleting articles that were old and irrelevant, since I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t proud of my work. My collegues, however, want to demonstrate the growth of their English skills for their college application, and dismissed the suggestion. which made me ponder on the definition of progress overall why people would like to show others a lack of quality as “progress”.

Looking back at older work is nostalgic for most, but I view it as a sign of embarassment. Standards evolve, styles improve, and I don’t want to put my best quality work right next to one that looks like it came out of a teenage girl’s diary. The issue isn’t limited to writing but rather, as a representation of anything that would be presented to a general public (so everything but open-sourced code, because all the proprietary stuff is more interesting for some reason).

Last Saturday (from the initial publishing date), I ran into a real-life friend of mine (of course following COVID-19 precautions). Just like others who I think wouldn’t be interested by articles with a niche audience, I’ve used the “What is Considered Ownership” article to introduce him to the site. He noted that the language quality used is quite unlike the one I express myself in currently, which showed I have evolved in my writing skills. When I explain that it was old but it’s the only topic that would apply to a global audience, I was told “well, you gotta constantly develop your skills”. Of course, he implied that over time, my writing would improve, but I don’t think that’s the actual story. So what is the case? How does our style change and how are skills developed? Experience? Inspiration? What makes us into how we are today?

Experience — History that doesn’t determine anything

For two months before this article got published, blog articles on this site have seen a massive rewrite, whether it’s with new content or revamps of older ones. This was part of a grander plan to place heavy focus on my writing, with even new articles to showcase my ideals. However, this plan never got finalized, with its remains staying on Discord channels or as unlinked files on the GitHub repo. The average amount of articles I’ve published when compared to how many new articles were written was one-thirds, based on having six prior articles (this being the 7th one) and eighteen articles written. It kind of wears me down and demotivates me, hence why I’ve writen in a more personalized manner with my later articles.

My first ever article was the “What is Considered Ownership” article, but between that and July, I was going to follow up that level of quality talking about the school system and how it can be revamped. However, that article drifted off path and ended up just being a rant about College Board and how awful they were. I ended up taking aspects of it and placing them into other articles, but the main topic about learning styles never got adapted. I then tried to take the gaming section on my home page (back when it was text heavy instead of the grid layout) and perhaps make that an entry, but that also drifted off the path from “hey, I like complex games” to a Project Plus advertisement and “Mario is a boring platformer”. Yeah, not what I had in mind. I had to reuse a thread I previously wrote on Mario Making Mods about a potential Sonic Mania sequel, which turned into “Classic Sonic: Infinite’s return”. This article is nothing like the original one I had on Mario Making Mods, yet it’s not a downproof to my belief that experience =/= progressive development. That’s just because of the medium that blogs are compared to threads on a forum software.

It’s not some foreign issue from the past either, as it’s rather a common occurence that also just happened this month. The original article planned to come out was supposed to focus on the current election going on in the United States as a way to give my opinion on current events. However, it smeered from “Hey, I have high respects for some republicans but I think Trump went too far” into “WEAR MASKS ULTRA-FAR-RIGHT-WINGED REPUBLICANS”, which is out of line when I start attacking people. This article was made to replace that one, hence why it’s much shorter in comparison to my other ones. What I would like to derive your attention towards is the dates of these failed articles. The failed political article was written this month, after I rewrote 4 other articles. As you can see, if quality improvement was based on time passing alone, I am either extremely forgetful or I should just quit. But these faults don’t happen just to me, because I’ve seen other people make masterpieces only to revert back to their old quality.

Inspiration — Lazy & Perhaps Delusional

Watching how Hiroiko Araki (the creator of JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure) develops characters like Giorno Giovanna has been a major source of personal inspiration, as opposed to my former identity which is similar to Fugo. However, I am not Giorno; I am NightScript. I can see who I want to be through other people, but I chose to be like them; it’s not because “oh, funny hair dude make cool poses”. I take certain aspects that I see of him but I don’t want to be Giorno IRL.

Inspiration is helpful for getting new ideas, but the thing is that if you’re getting your idea from elsewhere, then clearly that idea already exists. The whole point about making a unique experience is to see your style, not whoever you plagirized from. Sonic’s idea about having speed being a reward rather than via a simple button press is what gives it its appeal. The Mario & Luigi series took the RPG formula and added timings + a quirky story. It all depends on presentation and uniqueness. Progression by copying is not progress but rather plagirism.

It’s why I hate those that try to be the next big thing; If your aim is popularity, than you would sacrifice quality and uniqueness. I love Scott the Woz and his style of jokes inspire me, yet taking his jokes and just placing it onto my articles won’t make me into him. I could have very well added in “Progressive Development is the process of changes through which a developer’s body matures into a skilled developer capable of sexual reproductio~this is the Wikipedia article for Puberty”, yet that joke has already been made in his 2D to 3D video. It wouldn’t be funny saying the same joke someone else already made. To repeat the sentence I wrote above, progression by copying is not progress but rather plagirism.

Feedback — Other viewpoints

But if you’d like to know what isn’t plagirism and what the ultimate leadup for progressive development, look no further than feedback. You get direct answers from those you get inspiration by and because of the experience factor, you won’t make those mistakes again. I now realize why my friend is always looking for feedback, and while I don’t think he’s right in the sense to punish those who don’t give feedback, getting a reply makes you feel like someone actually wants you to improve and took the time to read what you had to say. Come to think about it, I now understand why receiving “k” is offensive, since you don’t even put in any input but instead did the bear minimum that you couldn’t have even write the full “ok” sentence. Of course, unlike the people back in 2017, I won’t ban others for simply writing out “k” but I now see how it offends others.

As frightening as it may seem for some (myself included), opinions are developed anytime anything gets shown to anyone. Personally, I put too much focus when someone calls me annoying, as it discourages me to continue on. When publishing articles or asking for polls, I always wonder what I can do to improve. Sometimes, I even openly state that I would love to be corrected. I could be stuborn and debate my ideas, but I try to keep an open mind and hear the other person out (except when it comes to bigotry or rudeness, I have no tolerance for those). I always appreciate when people either take the time to read what I have to say (hence why I’m shortening this blog post; just for y’all) or test my products and show me how they use it. Either way, it’s important to be considerate.

Don’t have any friends or people aren’t interested? Feedback doesn’t always need to come from someone else. Feedback could be developed by reflection, either in your own developer eyes or by placing yourself in someone elses eyes. Feel free to look at others work and incorporate that into your article. I never said that inspiration is banned; just that you cannot plagirize.

I guess that’s a note to end on; the others who say that it’s via inspiration or experience aren’t wrong. However, it’s nothing compared to what you can get by feedback. At the same time, feedback needs those two back bones.

This article might have led you to think that you could reject evolution and inspiration, yet that’s far from the case. What I’m trying to say is that the basis of writing evolution isn’t purely based on experience but rather, a merge of experience, inspiration and feedback. All three of the triangle need to be in there, and to let feedback reign supreme. This is why I believe in open source; so people can send in pull requests on how they think a piece of code should work. This is why I encourage others on my Discord Server to constantly read and correct me. Feel free to take risks and if you truly believe in something, feel free to ignore the feedback. However, always open yourself up to receiving it; they might spot something you missed.

PS: Remember that introduction paragraph? Ironically, the article is still up to this day.