I think I finally get it!. I know most of you do not care, but to me this is huge. I have struggled for years with the fact that I could not find a word to encompass all of my interests, all of my personality, all my dreams, passions and all of what makes me, me.
I enjoy programming but, unlike most geeks, I like talking to and trying to understand people. I enjoy teaching and learning. I am interested in sports, music, math, physics, drawing, economics and psychology. And actually have found very little that I am not interested in. I could honestly enjoy a career doing just about anything except that I would always be wanting to do something with all my other interests.
I love new. New is better, right? If there is a better way to do anything, sign me up. For a while I thought that might be the common theme. No matter what the area of interest, I fix things, find better methods, and invent new things. I am not an inventor, though. As much as I love new, I do not excel at making new. I have written several small applications, and invented a few gadgets, but I am not great at it. I enjoy it, but it is not my passion.
I want to be a part of bringing food, water, shelter, and hope to every part of the world. I want to design transportation systems and infrastructure that are built correctly based on what we know now. I want to re-design the personal computer from the ground up, based on interchangeable parts, open-standards, fiber-optics on the inside and whole host of other ideas. We have the technology now to build a new computing paradigm that is hundreds of orders of magnitude better than we have now. I want to invent a new alphabet that is flexible enough to represent all sounds used in human communication. It can then be simplified for each language in a way that a non-native speaker can use the common rules to determine what sound is being represented and the nearest equivalent in his language. And that is just the tip of the iceberg! There is more than I could ever hope to accomplish in a single life-time.
The good news is that I do not have to do all these things on my own. For each of these passions, there are many other people who would also like to help. These things might even happen without me, but I think I have found a way to contribute to each of these goals and increase the likelihood that they will happen.
I took a look back through my memory banks at all of the new things and better things I have been a part of so far. And what did I find? A common thread! Finally! Success, for me, has been to discover another person’s invention and tell everyone about it. Then after using it for a while, I talk to everyone that has used the new thing and try to make it better, bringing valuable feedback to the inventor and hopefully making the invention better again. I communicate!
Some of my interests are directly related to communication – linguistics, heraldry, writing, blogging, teaching and even programming. Other’s are not quite so obvious. Music is a form of communication, and one thing that has really gotten me excited is finding a better way to write musical notes. The most interesting thing about sports is jersey numbers, team colors, hand signals, and other aspects of communication in a high speed, high stress, noisy environment.
And there you have it! Or at least I do. One word, communication. That is what I am passionate about. I can even focus it a bit more. I communicate about better ways to make everyday life better for everyone. I do not build the future, but I help those who do. Then I tell everyone else about it, so they can enjoy new too!