I would like to start by acknowledging that the title of this post is in opposition to the hero image above, in much the same way that today's new moon is in opposition to Saturn. I guess that's intentional? I mean I'm talking about it, and not changing it, which means it must be intentional, right? Are we not in an environment of strange oppositional dichotomies? Fuck it, I'm just gonna go with it.
Last week was the start of actively reaching out to people about Urania. My expectation was that a handful of people would respond with something along the lines of, "oh look, more astrology software, yawn." Of course, I hoped that at least a few people would see the unique value of Urania and get excited about it, but I had very low expectations.
That's not what happened. The signup for the beta program exceeded reasonable capacity within 2 hours. I had to turn off the beta application form a few hours later because there were so many responses. That's not including the overwhelmingly positive responses I got from the total moonshot emails I sent to people I had no right emailing. The whole thing was kind of unbelievable.
I'm not sure what to say other than thank you and I've heard you. My original expectations for Urania were along the lines of, essentially, a fulfilling side-project. It is clearly something more. I don't know what yet because I have no idea where things are going to go from here. I just wanted to let you know that I'm on it. Whatever it is.
If you are reading this because you got here through Urania, then welcome! While Hall of Doors is ostensibly about a variety of magical topics, it has sort of been all Urania (formerly Prometheus, if you are looking through back posts) all the time for the last little bit. Hey, it's my personal blog and that's just been where my head is at. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. And if not, well, that's on you. My shit is flawless.
Speaking of all Urania all the time, I fixed the last three remaining known bugs in Urania on Friday and am now working on putting the beta program together. That not only includes getting the actual software in the beta group's hands, but also setting up the infrastructure to handle people's engagement and feedback. I'm not sure how long that's going to take, but rest assured that I am working on it.
It's also not clear how long the beta program will run. A lot will depend on the feedback from the beta testers and how much work Urania will need to get to the finish line. Thankfully, my many years of experience in the software industry allows me to state with a high degree of confidence that the release of Urania will happen some time between now and the end of 2021. Unless it doesn't.
While we are on the topic of oppositional dichotomies, let's talk about casino design. I grew up in Reno in the US, which if you've never heard of, is a town in Nevada (same state Las Vegas is in). Reno is a lot smaller than Vegas, but also highly reliant on the casino industry. Anyway, if you've been inside a large professional casino you may have noticed how hard it is to find the exit. That's because, duh, they don't want you to leave. Want to know the insider secret for finding the exit? Look for the largest, flashiest, most over-the-top bank of machines or displays you can find and the exit will be right behind them. It's the casino's last chance to keep you on the property, and they go all out.
Why am I sharing this one neat trick? Because the dominant paradigm is currently filled to the absolute brim with flashy traps in a desperate attempt to keep us on the property. These traps are sometimes beautiful, and sometimes horrifying, but always super flashy. Whether it's a Covid infection rate chart, a climate apocalypse research article, or the latest details on the upcoming iPhone, if you are having a hard time focusing on anything else then you are probably dropping your nickles into the proverbial one-armed bandit.
The good news is that the flashier the trap, the more likely you are to be close to the exit.