TempleOS is both a temple and an operating system
November 25, 2014 9:22 AM   Subscribe

 
Davis emails me regularly and late into the night, in Courier font, from a two or three year-old Dell desktop running Ubuntu.

Someone who understands neither computers nor mental illness is probably the best person to write this story.
posted by DU at 9:28 AM on November 25, 2014 [12 favorites]


By the by, every time I see a link to Vice's Motherboard, I'm expecting the Motherboards.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:35 AM on November 25, 2014


Someone who understands neither computers nor mental illness is probably the best person to write this story.

I dunno, I thought it was an interesting profile, if a bit on the thin side. I'm not sure getting deep into the internals of TempleOS or MUA typeface selection would have improved it, and it does talk about his mental illness and his own attitude towards it.
posted by whir at 9:54 AM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


God, this is an incredibly sad piece. On one hand, it looks like the craft-like elements of coding have helped him stick his life back together, but on the other hand, the failings in the system that let him get to this point are just heartbreaking.
posted by The River Ivel at 10:00 AM on November 25, 2014


losethos is, as far as I can tell, still a member of Metafilter in good standing.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:28 AM on November 25, 2014 [8 favorites]


God, this is an incredibly sad piece. On one hand, it looks like the craft-like elements of coding have helped him stick his life back together, but on the other hand, the failings in the system that let him get to this point are just heartbreaking.

He seems to be doing okay. It's fair to say the system failed him in the past. Could his present be different if it hadn't? Maybe, maybe not, but again I don't think it's so bad anyway. Not everybody can be made un-crazy.
posted by atoxyl at 10:32 AM on November 25, 2014


Part of me is curious to know what the architecture of this operating system looks like. Does it integrate with the MMU? How does it handle multiple CPUs, if it does at all? How is the task-switching logic laid out? My mind is full of questions!
posted by surazal at 10:46 AM on November 25, 2014


There were some nice comments at Hacker News (I know, I know).
posted by yerfatma at 11:07 AM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Every time I look at TempleOS, I realize that if Terry Davis had invented HTML, every piece of text would be a scrolling marquee, unless you marked it as <noscroll>. Later versions would remove the <noscroll> tag.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:21 AM on November 25, 2014 [7 favorites]


benito.strauss: Later versions would remove the <noscroll> tag.

On the plus side, hitting F7 on any webpage would be guaranteed to pop up an Easter Egg game.
posted by surazal at 11:44 AM on November 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Someone who understands neither computers nor mental illness is probably the best person to write this story.

That's cheap.

I thought it was touching and empathetic; it gave me a precise portrait of his strange world and hinted at why his brain might want to live in it.
posted by Sebmojo at 11:51 AM on November 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


If I recall, there's no networking built into TempleOS due to our lord's insistence that networking is evil.

Which is a shame because with his dedication we very could have one of the most secure systems that has ever existed.
posted by wcfields at 12:04 PM on November 25, 2014


Which is a shame because with his dedication we very could have one of the most secure systems that has ever existed.
TempleOS is beautiful for a variety of reasons but I wouldn't call it secure. All userland programs run in ring 0 with access to everything, unless it's changed significantly from its original incarnation as LoseThos.
posted by nerdinexile at 12:33 PM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


i never got loseThos working in virtualbox... i really liked the devotional music.
posted by ennui.bz at 1:14 PM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


It seems very apropos that he experienced his event in Marfa, TX. Heaven knows, if I were to encounter my Lord and creator that's where I'd want to do it.

He kept the rest of the programming simple. God told him to stick to 640x480 and 16 colors, with only a single audio voice.

This could be a Phil Dick story, but if it were, then God would probably turn out to be merely a deceitful demiurge while the singer on the radio, Lorde, maybe, or Taylor Swift, was truly speaking the words of Holy Wisdom. Is 640 x 480/16 colors really how they do things back in the Pleroma?
posted by octobersurprise at 1:34 PM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


"What people are going to read is, 'It's about a pathetic schizophrenic who made a crappy operating system.' My perspective is, 'God said I made His temple.'"

Hard to argue contentment.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:46 PM on November 25, 2014 [5 favorites]


If Erik Davis ever write a Techngnosis 2.0...
Terry and TempleOS needs to be in it.
posted by symbioid at 7:02 PM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Though of course diagnoses can't work properly at a remove, I'm wondering whether undiagnosed Temporal Lobe Epilepsy may play some role here instead of or in addition to schizophrenia. (Though examples of people who are High Yet Differently Functioning shows the limitations of labels.) Religiosity is common with TLE, as is hypergraphia, although this seems a case of hypergraphia by proxy, in this case by the divine quotes provided by his operating system.
posted by Schmucko at 5:36 PM on November 26, 2014


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