You gotta learn to dance before you learn to crawl

James Morgan (2)






By @SW16_Moriarty


Towards the end of August I’ve been doing my best to expand my idea of what this year will be like, to listen more and read more to what is going on and there’s been one little snippet that’s been spreading like acne recently:

Crawl, walk, run…. Crawl, walk, run….

It’s the mantra that I’ve heard prolifically over the last few weeks, the mantra of SCA that (quite logically) will help us through the next year and beyond, an approach that will stop us from being overwhelmed and, well, I guess it will stop us from running too soon and cracking the ol noggin open on the sharp end of a kitchen table.

I’m not here to redesign the wheel and I don’t presume to know more about the world ahead of me than others, but I must confess I threw in a little something else before moving around on all fours.

You’ve gotta learn to dance before you learn to crawl.

Yes it’s a Meatloaf lyric (fuck all of you, The Loaf is a rock God!) but it does explain my method pretty well to be honest. As cliché and unimaginative as it is at this stage, I’ll use my Arduino as an example. The first thing I did was look in confusion as I tried to make two LEDs blink in unison. The second thing I did was to try and build a motion sensor, autonomous turret that would work alongside a webcam, infrared and a bunch of other stuff, shoot foam bullets at my housemates and generally just be pretty great. I spoke to super talented “creator of things” mate about authentic turret effects and how best to make my own fake mud and blood, I started designing a military esque logo and so on. However, the key here is at no point did I ever actually expect to make this device. I was simply dancing with it.

I worked backwards from this chaotic, kinda flamenco-y dance and begun to understand which parts of this ludicrous design I could actually do, and THEN I started to crawl. Whilst the result is essentially a bunch of CD’s stuck on the top of a shoebox, I’m really happy with it and the journey that brought me to this point. Yes I had to crawl long before I could walk, and I’m still not sure if I’m running, but without the dance….I dunno, I guess I just would have ended up crawling in the same direction as everyone else.

But a dance….a dance is a great thing; it throws you around, it raises endorphins, it spins you (love spinning…) and most importantly, when the music stops, everyone is standing somewhere new, somewhere no one else is standing and somewhere distinctly different from where they started. Everyone is looking in different directions, everyone is fuelled by their own person experience of the dance, and most importantly, they’re energised. Now it’s time to crawl, now while you can still hear the music.

Because I once studied philosophy and occasionally I want to pretend it wasn’t a complete waste of three years, I’ll leave you with a Nietzsche quote to keep in mind when you next see someone in the study doing working on a project or scheme you consider far too absurd or impossible to actually achieve.

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”

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