13 August 2012

Ponderings, Part 1

[Part 1]

I haven't posted much of late, much to the disappointment of my hoards of readers, I can only assume. Much of the reason is that my mind has been experiencing a series of subtle epiphanies, and I've found it hard to convey in writing how it sounds in my head, found it hard to write as fast as my mind race.

I had a job interview a few weeks ago for a job I kinda didn't want to get, but I had been asked to pursue it, and I did out of interest of things new and the lure of being wanted and to do good, to grow professionally and have a stab at new problems and meet new interesting people. Oh, and the pay was better, too.

But I digress. In the interview I presented myself as an ideas person, and was asked straight back, "What was some of your best ideas?"

How could I possibly answer that question? I have ideas all the time, several times a day, meaning each year I have hundreds if not thousand(s), add up with 40 years of life ... you get the idea. How do I pick a few of those in order to prove that I enjoy working in a place that takes ideas seriously? Should I tell him about my idea for fresh water plants using buoys and solar power? Or the philosophical construct of scaling computer systems based on human attributes of compassion? Or should I push my ideas on semantic operability and digital persistent identity across abstract human computer systems? Or should I venture down the way of educational methods? About teaching kids modelled after evolutionary psychological models? Or how about a better way to pickle cucumbers? Or my idea for self-sufficient wind-driven electricity built into housing materials? Or the opposite way of mapping political ideas and individual opinions against a zeitgeist-like model of social interaction as a means to govern?

Some of my ideas are successful, others are abstract delusions of grandeur, and yet more just outright bad ones. But what makes me an ideas person isn't the successful ones that I suspect was the wanted answer; it is the combination of them all, the fact that I constantly think about these ideas, forever nurturing, pruning and sowing new ideas, never stopping. I often also call it creativity. And there's nothing too special about this; many people out there are also constantly thinking about stuff. But from what I can tell, there's more of those who don't.

I've never understood that, of course. I don't really know what it's like to not have a million solutions to problems not even yours racing through your mind, distracting me from doing stuff that those others people seem to do so well, like sending signals of assurance and disarmament through audiovisual bodily compositioning, and stuff like that. Not my thing, ok? I'm into the problem, not the theatre of spectacle. Some of you have already identified this disease; being a geek.

Geek is far removed from dork or nerd. I'm not socially nor physically challenged, I'm rather the opposite, I can be part of friendly banter and serious cavorting when I so choose to, and have done to great success (to a variety of definitions of 'success'). A geek is focused on stuff that's less generic than the generic stereotype allows, both in terms of topic at hand or the time consumed with it. Spending hours at the pub watching a game with friends is apparently ok, but spending hours researching and taking pictures of local igneous geographical structures and working out beach evolution to understand them, is not, no matter how many friends I drag with me to do it. There's something wrong when value of a past-time is determined by the category for generalized popular activities, as if its inherit value is linked to the number of participants who's even heard about the activity rather than the knowledge or the activity itself.

I'm getting older now. I'm increasingly tired of human social automation as some assumed important part of our identity. I'm constantly finding a lot of my ideas are rooted in fundaments of conformity and that other dreadful word, 'applicability.' I hate it. I hate that I as a purported free man are not free to do the things I want to be doing, simply because my value system isn't shared by the majority. One can understand the logic of it if your views were regarded as hostile, racist, vile, cruel or otherwise derelict (and there's easy measures one could take in order to find out if your ideas and views are bordering on the politically correct, or even going over them), but ideas are ideas - abstract concepts in our minds - and test those ideas against real life, I am not suggesting that ideas are fine when they cross ethical lines or even political sharp edges, not at all. What I am saying is that the norms of our society is not only a measure of where political lines and human ethical sketches are drawn, but that they are often constraints on new ideas no matter their ethical possible outcome.

There's nothing new about these poor ramblings of a middle-aged bitter twisted liberal-centrist man, married, living in the suburbs with wife, kids, dog and a piano, pining for the fjords on the wrong side of the world, wishing all his ideas we applicable rather than abstract, and character-building rather than character assassinating.

From this venture point it is clear; the future is coming, and I'm dedicated to rush towards it rather than wait for it. Even the status quo is forever changing.

No comments:

Post a Comment