Emacs saved my life

A postmodern novel by Richard Juckes

Just a note for the geeks, before I start, to say that I'm not sure you'll find what you're looking for here. I'm not altogether sure there's going to be much in here about Emacs, and come to think about it, I'm not even sure that this is going to be postmodern, or even a novel. It's just a snappy title, so I going to go with it.

I began using Linux about 17 years ago, and pretty quickly figured out that Vim was exactly the editor that I wanted: I tried Emacs a few times, to try and find what all the fuss was about, and then after googling how to close it, I usually pretty quickly uninstalled it. But then earlier this year the penny dropped and I was lucky to be paying close enough attention to the rattle of my interaction with my computers that I heard it. Something in this litterpile of software unblocked a logjam in my creativity ...

This editor is so needlessly difficult, so bloody-minded and elitist, so pointlessly obtuse - except that it isn't. But what is difficult, is to understand why our educators put so much energy into steering us towards such cripplingly mediocre software. Well actually, perhaps not that difficult. Maybe later.

So let's start with Max Weber, who - and I write as a poet here - who wrote that a nation is defined as that unit of society that has a monopoly on legal violence; and then Ernst Gellner who appended this with, on violence and the certification of educational achievement. Sit these next to the wonderful question Who writes the history? which I first met after reading Kiril Eskov's brilliant epilogue to The Lord of the Rings, and there is a further monopoly that the nation state zealously polices: the control of the economic narrative.

Or basically, why am I sat in this office with so little money in my pocket?

(... and using the wonderful tufte-css, from Github) from here.