Welcome to the Spaceship

Work in progress

I’m proud of this post, but it contains something that’s not quite finished.

The traveler bit you’ll see below is a custom component that I’m experimenting with.

I’m using some styling utilities that aren’t currently supported in all browsers, and I’m still tinkering with it to get it looking good everywhere. (You should see an animated glowing effect.)

If you want to see it at it’s best, check it out on Chrome, Edge, or another chromium-based browser.

(Note that Chrome on iOS is just a re-skin of Safari, so it's not chromium-based. Wild!)

Good morning,

Get Started, and welcome to the spaceship.

It's great to have you as a new member of our crew.

This vessel is among the finest in the galaxy - and the oldest too.

We are caretakers of its mechanisms, keeping its many systems online and in homeostasis as we drift through the aether.

Unfortunately, our task suffers a peculiar irregularity: the lifetime of the spaceship is measured in eons. We are mere blips on the timeline of its existence.

And yet, it is members of our order who will ensure its safe passage.

A secret

If you are to succeed here,

Get Started, I must divulge a secret to you.

The vessel's hull holds innumerable components - far too many for any one of us to comprehend.

...and, because of this, the full depth of its design is a mystery to us.

I don't mean to alarm you. I assure you that the safety of our passengers is of our utmost concern and that we can achieve safe passage despite this quandary.

I share this in hopes of shedding light on our history.

Like fools

Our order once believed its goal to be the safe operation of the vessel.

In the early generations, this strategy was tenable.

The first of us worked amidst simplicity.

But as unforeseen obstacles were encountered, they added new and intricate mechanisms to the ship. Powerful behaviors, to be sure.

For our first elders, the galaxy was treacherous, and the ship's survival was hardly guaranteed.

Time beat its unrelenting drum, and soon the elders were replaced with new Operators.

These were cunning new recruits. They made haste in understanding the vessel's idiosyncrasies.

Each of them undertook a different station. Each of them became the keeper of their realm within the hull.

Their fluency shepherded in an age of serenity.

And then, as is wont to happen, time claimed each of them in turn.

In their stead, a new generation - eager to learn - examined the once-known machine.

For many cycles we continued, like fools, languishing in this toil of learning and re-learning.

The central ledger

One day, during the ship-wide convening, a new mechanic captured the attention of the order.

"The first elders," she proclaimed, "bestowed a great gift upon us."

"This vessel contains numerous autonomous components, which allow us to operate it at a high level of abstraction. When we order it to turn, we simply set our bearing - we need not think of the position of each individual booster.

"But these systems require upkeep and - often - extension. And we must re-learn their inner workings each time.

"I propose the introduction of a central ledger, a system of record for us to document not only how each component works, but also why this behavior is important.

"In short, I propose that we transcend our roles as mere Operators and become Operator Historians."

This caused much commotion among us. Many - myself included - were hesitant to change the ways of the elders.

But the idea was compelling.

And so, after much debate, we adopted this new charter.

Philosophy of craft

The central ledger extended beyond its physical embodiment to become the shared philosophy of our craft.

As we see it,

Get Started, we are Operators of a new machine: a machine that builds fluent Operator Historians.

We are not merely caretakers of the vessel. We are caretakers of the order itself. Our output is an ever-improving process of learning and teaching.

The original elders would not have conceived of this path that we walk.

Whereas they worked in isolation, we work dynamically in groups. Yes, we pursue individual focus - but we also practice occasional pair-work to share knowledge and build camaraderie.

Whereas they worked carefully on the vessel, lest they break it, we create virtual replicas of the ship where we can freely experiment to better understand its mechanics. This costs both time and resources, but we value the knowledge we gain through this pursuit and find it justified.

And whereas they often toiled exclusively on one part of the system, we make time and space to explore other domains. This helps us find unexpected commonalities and learn from each other.

In fact, it is not uncommon for an experienced Operator Historian to do a short apprenticeship with another group.

Through these deliberate practices, we have begun to slowly unravel the mysteries of the ship.


I see concern in your furrowed brow,

Get Started.

Worry not - for while this mode of work takes some adjustment, it's an endeavor each of us has taken on and found great value in.

Having walked this path for some time now, none among us would return to the old ways.

You too will find kinship here.

And - perhaps sooner than you know - you might find yourself welcoming new travelers to the way.