2. Promises

In my last post, I wrote about promises.  Today I realize that promises are worthless.  You can’t sell a promise.  A promise cannot nourish you, and this world is filled with the jagged shards of broken promises. Today I am expelling all promises from my life and from my code base, and i highly advise you do the same. But don’t despair, because i haven’t given up on futures, and i have tremendous faith in the future of futures.

Let me explain.  A promise is inextricably linked with an expectation for future events. A promise divides, it introduces a schism into our paths, it is verbose, unnecessary, and forces us to associate with a state of failure. Granted, a promise is indeed the glue of the highest scale, and given our aspirations to conduct ourselves to our highest ideals, a promise might seem a worthy companion. We’d all like to walk with our promises, hand in hand as equals; but promises are the jelly of asynchronicity. Sticky hands!

I can hear what you’re saying. That you hold your promises with great sincerity and honor. That those who have fulfilled their promises to you have earned your trust, and those who have tragically fallen short have earned your forgiveness.  That promises act as a cultural touchstone, reassuring both in essence and in function. I hear you. But please, for a second, consider a world free from promises.  A world where intentions are conveyed with a single glance, our actions syncopated, anticipated, acknowledged, and appreciated.

A promise is a sentiment which acts not upon the world, but upon our expectations.  Indicative of the central position we hold our minds within the context of our universe. Perhaps this can’t be helped. We live in a world warped by our expectations for it. A twisting, where the progression of state is funneled through beings not of it, but in it.  It was Galileo who first conceived of a world with no center.  His prescient vision was awarded with successors and champions. Perhaps our failure to them is the biggest broken promise of all.

As always, the answer lies not within our minds but within our environment. Trees grow with water and sunshine. Without promises. So do we. If you keep growing, I will too.

I promise.

Zak O.




Broken promises–C++0x futures




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