Chapter One

It's dark. Not completely dark. The ambient glow of a street light, compelled by the laws of physics, pushes its way, like a commuter in the morning rush hour, through the thin material of the hastily strung curtains. Two monitors adding to the ambient glow in the room, an author sits at a backlit keyboard wondering why anyone would want to read the dispossessed thoughts in their head.

It's the same transitional thought that goes through the mind of all authors. Confidence is an illusion, a party trick that some people have learnt and others wonder whether you can buy a box of it on Amazon. This author is no different. This author does a quick search on Amazon just to make sure nobody sells a box of confidence. Plenty of books, most pushing the lie that confidence is something concrete that you can reach out for and hold. The ones that do make some kind of sense will all have the same basic concept. Take your fear and ignore it. Do it anyway. Practise your chosen craft. People will either like it or they won't.

So what qualifications does this author have? None. There's no outline here, there's no defined purpose. This author has never written more than a blog post; I've never written more than a blog post — because, if you haven't guessed — that author is me. The nihilism comes crushing in. Rip it up. Throw it in the bin. It's all metaphor. Even this action is now just a metaphor. We push a button or we drag a virtual collection of numbers towards an icon that we greenly call the recycle bin. The irony of using more electricity to 'recycle' the 'file' of numbers is lost on us all. A proper metaphor for recycling would be to rename the file and write a different set of numbers to it.

Unless you're technically minded I've probably lost you now. The joke and the irony would be lost in explanation. It started with ASCII, we then had ANSI, now we have Unicode — and a forum to decide if we should have a poo icon, and which set of numbers we should use to represent that poo icon. If you want an explanation of all this then you can do far worse than watch the series of numbers that Tom Scott stores publicly on YouTube related to emoticons.

This book is the equivalent of a live stream on Twitch. A stream of consciousness that hasn't been proofread. This paragraph will disappear in a future version. It will morph from a Live Stream into an edited video. This entire chapter might disappear but I'll probably leave in the description of the light pushing arrogantly through the inadequate curtains.

This stream has to end now. Life says that other things have to happen. The linearity of time and the inability to make a temporary clone to deal with the mundane comes to mind. The numbers that make up chapter one will likely be relabelled as Introduction. But it's my book so I get to decide that this set of numbers is currently labelled as chapter one.