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What I live for - Ed's journal
What I live for
Well, to follow on from a previous post: "What do you live for?"
I left my answer aside, because I wanted to solicit opinion without applying my bias first. (Or maybe it was because I was in a rush).


Recently, my answer would be because I have met someone wonderful, and they've brought a new degree of depth to my world. You see, I have spent quite a long time 'content'. I had everything I wanted/needed. I stayed well clear of advertising, due to lack of TV, so actually had quite a delicious bubble of 'my world'. It was comfortable, warm, but ... lacking. I have no doubt whatsoever that I could have lived out my life content.
In hindsight, I know what was missing though - I didn't really grasp what 'beauty' meant. What love was. The heady intoxication of powerful emotion. I think I could easily have never experienced it, and gone through life like that - content, but intrinsically unfulfilled.

But prior to that - and even now - it's because I want to see what the future holds. Some days, I'm a bit pessimistic, and think that mankind is doomed, and in quite a narrow time frame. (Oil running out, civilisation collapsing).
But from another angle, the future seems ... fascinating. There are people today, who've never experienced a world where there is no Internet, and where phones were something that had a wire.
When I grew up, at an early age, Dad had a computer. It was ... an enthusiasts sort of project. There was a matchbox taped to the side, with the memory upgrade, in a day where ... practically no one at school had a computer.
And I've seen the world change. I've seen computers become common, and then ubiquitous. I've seen the Internet grow - I remember logging into a bulletin board, via a modem, when the BBSes weren't really interconnected.

And from such small acorns, the world has changed - in some ways, it matches my life.
I've owned a PDA, and that's disappeared because my phone has got really smart.
I mean, a 1Ghz processor, a half gig of ram, and a 480x800 full colour display? That exceeds the capability of the first computers I used by quite a significant margin.

But ... that's sort of what drew me into IT. Well, ok, it was computing back then, because IT was what people who couldn't cope with computers did, when they did spreadsheets, and left us to do the programming.
I went to college, university and entered the world of work, always intent on 'playing with computers'. And the reason is, because I want to know what happens next.
The things I work with - storage systems - was fledgeling field back when I started. Hardly a surprise back in a day where a 'network' was a rarity, and redundant disks was a ludicrous expense.

The world is changing. And it's doing so faster and faster. 'high tech' is no longer the realm of the techies. Smartphones are really the leading edge there, but - to see my previous post, so are other, new emerging trends.
Twitter and facebook are also becoming widely immersed in our culture - because 'everyone' is getting on this bandwagon of smart mobile devices, everyone has a camera, everyone has a video camera, a colour display and a netlink.
We're not quite there yet, but we're already seeing Twitter being a faster news source (and in some case, more reliable, such as during the Iranian elections) than the _actual_ news sources. But even there, it's a minor miracle that we can know about flooding on the other side of the world, and be watching it as it happens.

And the really impressive part? The evolution of technology is getting _faster_. 4 years ago, I had a Nokia N95. And it was amazing, because it could do mobile video. 2 years ago, I had a windows mobile smartphone, and it was amazing because it could do email on the move.
The rate of progress is accelerating. Charles Stross posted a blog entry, about how writing 'near future' is becoming difficult, because the lead times on publishing are such, that between you writing, and it appearing on the shelves, everyone's got iPods. Or similar. (Edit: ehrine found the links I meant. See comments).

So yes. I want to know what happens next. Things are changing, and they're changing fast - and faster. That's... the headlong rush, either into the technological singularity, or the collapse of civilisation. I think either will be very interesting, and I want to be there to see it. We live in Interesting Times.
3 comments or Leave a comment
ehrine From: ehrine Date: January 11th, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Blog entry you were after was almost certainly Living through Interesting Times although to an extent the more recent Sandbagged by the near future is relavent as well.
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sobrique From: sobrique Date: January 12th, 2011 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think one of the key indicators is twitter/smartphone support.
iPhones and Androids have been around long enough, and are starting to become mainstream.
A company that's on the edge, will be supporting/thinking about these things. My ADSL provider, for example, reports exchange outages and status updates over Twitter.

I'm actually quite impressed to see that my new employer has an employee collaboration portal - sort of a combination of LJ/Facebook and linkedin. Not to mention the iPhone/Android 'news app' and twitter feed.
(Deleted comment)
sobrique From: sobrique Date: January 12th, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, yeah. Instant messaging is surely a no brainer though? I mean, draw up a business case, and offer it as a 'suggestion' to someone appropriate. Similarly, there's a lot of free PR to be had by a useful Twitter feed/facebook page.

I'm afraid I still don't really like Sharepoint - as far as I am concerned, there's a lot of much better alternatives, and the only real reason Sharepoint has caught on at all, is because it rides in on the back of MS Office.

But that's ok. You only have to look at Wikipedia, for an example of how open source collaboration software can be used effectively.
3 comments or Leave a comment