After thirteen years of writing these reflective New Years Lists you’d think I’d start to reach a point where I began to reconcile myself to finding the nuggets of good in the dump-truck load of bad… and maybe that’s what I need to consciously attempt to do.
The chaos of the world seems to be leeching into my soul with each passing month, the news full of hate-filled politics and ignorance-driven malaise, the internet crumbling under the weight of greed and everyone’s never-ending desire to bask in a few seconds of fame no matter the cost, and the frustration of plain-old-middle-age and the impacts that has on everything from relationships to work to falling asleep each night.
There is a part of me that has been clinging with a kind of next-best-hope desperation to a little jewel of optimism I found. Where I found it I don’t remember. Under a glacier at the top of a mountain. In the mouth of a butterfly fish in a Caribbean coral reef. Rattling around in the bottom of a cheap little violin. It was just there one day, in my hand, and I’ve been fidget-spinnering it with me as I try and deal with the stupid of the world. It’s not elitism. It’s not being a triggered snowflake. It’s not a lack of common sense. It’s just the clash of too many competing ideologies, none of which make complete sense on their own, but all of which seem like they would draw blood from any poor soul who shows the least vulnerability.
And, sadly, that was 2017: clinging to a tiny jewel of optimism while being pelted in a hail storm of whatever the opposite is of a jewel of optimism… a turd of pessimism, maybe? A snot-rocket of fear?
Alas, with that small fragment I’m going to try and sum up said year from my point-of-view, and looking forward to whatever the next twelve months might put on offer. With that…
First, who are you leaving behind in 2017?
I’ll be the first to admit that my uncle-in-law and I were from two different worlds. He was a gruff farmer who liked hockey and drinking and never said much that didn’t come out seeming like he was yellng at you for no good reason. I’m just a city guy who works on computers for the government. We went big family camping about ten years ago and for some reason I can’t remember, he and I were alone in the site, sharing a virtually silent afternoon campfire and a beer. Across the gravel road in the next site a little boy, maybe eight, tripped and fell into their campfire. He came out screaming and in flames, his t-shirt melting to his skin. He severely burned his arms and back. We jumped up (along with about ten other adults) to intervene. We were a three hour drive from the nearest hospital and we stood by virtually helpless as the parents and other better-equiped people calmed the kid and pumped quarters into the shower to keep him cool until the ambulance arrived. It was a weird sort of afternoon in retrospect, and every time we were sitting around after that he’d awkwardly bring up that kid, like “remember that kid and the fire? that was something, huh?” and I’d agree and that was that, like it was hanging there between us as a thing that would never go away. After fighting cancer for a couple long years Karin’s uncle passed away in the summer.
How did you make money in 2017? How might you briefly describe to others what you do for a living?
This was, honestly, a tough year. In November my employer actually made national news for the state of employee morale, largely due to a workplace culture issue that came to light. It’s only been a month or so since that public airing of our dirty socks, but a few positive things have tumbled out of that daylit cupboard, and despite contemplating personal professional change on this front multiple times in 2017, next year is shaping up to be year where stasis may not be an option: change is coming, its just a question of where from first. In brief, I have become a jack-of-all-web-trades. My title, officially Web Analyst has put me in a position to be someone who needs to think analytically and strategically about a huge government website, how the pieces fit together, how the public perceives everything we make from the way we write to the shape of our buttons to the colors of our links. It is a juggling act with many competing interests, and in the last year there have been many times when I’ve need to wear different hats that don’t fit strictly in my role: trainer, enforcer, gap-filler, cheerleader, brand ambassador, morale officer, and so on. Mostly, I help make web pages as part of a huge website that tell people about road construction, property taxes, or snow clearing, but often to make sure those pages are made well, and right, and in a way that is done in the service of users and not just checklist items, it’s an exhausting effort of my humble will against a massive bureaucracy, day after day after day.
What do you wish you’d done more of? Less of?
I’m not sure I wish I’d done more running. Running has become an important outlet for my stress and this year has needed an outlet more than many, but it was also a year that post-New York marathon I opted to scale back my training in lieu of other pursuits. Temporarily. But I still felt it and feel a tad guilty that I’d put my feet up as often as I did. So, in short, more running and less procrastination… despite the fact I tell myself I deserved a year as a break year.
How would you describe the world from your perspective in terms of:
Voice activated. Aside from the quantity of yelling we all seem to do (at each other) online, my personal life has been supplemented by two new gadgets that seem to have transcended the barrier from gimmicky to actually useful. I wrote a post about our purchase of an Amazon Echo earlier in December, and though it is still pretty early to tell, adding a voice powered radio and all around general purpose entertainment and communication machine to our living room has been (so far) an interesting and useful experiment. In October, I picked up a new GoPro Hero6 which has a side-feature that is not really highly noted: voice control. I’ve found that 90% of the time this is not at all useful, but when I do use it, it is massively useful… like when we were sledding and I was wearing big gloves and couldn’t push the button… or when we were carving pumpkins and my hands were oozing with the entrails of a massacred orange squash. Voice activated photos to the rescue!
As per the next question, when politics flare up in the hearts of the people, the art and creativity that emerges from the struggle is often among the best things we create. It’s a small comfort for the craziness of the world, but the quality of late show humour has increased exponentially in the last year.
What can we say here that hasn’t already been said a million times? I struggle daily with the notion of wanting to voice my opinion of a force that I stand so firmly against it literally hurts my heart to think of the damage that it’s doing to the world, but I counter that with the wasted words in making a rational argument counter to that same force whose members too easily dismiss the very idea of reason and truth in the name of ideology and jingoism. I also refuse to so much as name that shit-stain of a dishonest, racist, misogynistic, grifting idiot who has conned his way into the most powerful office in the land of our usually-wonderful neighbours and friends to the south. His toxic brand of populism has stank up the whole of 2017 down there, and that stale odor has drifted much too far across the border for my personal liking. We’ve got our own growing collection of imitators who are revving up local campaigns of hate and lunacy and the usual band of me-first folks are lined up aggressively chanting their names in the mistaken blur of confusing their narrow-perspectived, personal entitlement with a better world for all of us. Everyone is welcome to share their own opinion, of course, but that cross-respect, listening, and honest consideration of both sides needs to work both ways. I’ve honestly sat back and tried listening, but the past year’s lack of rationality and forceful dismissal of alternative viewpoints has shown me that next year might be one of more firmly choosing and voicing whose side I’m on. Just what the world needs: more yelling at each other, right?
In this world there are ants and there are grasshoppers. Consult the famous fable if that metaphor is unclear. It has been a year of grasshopper impulse that has led to an existential pursuit of the now and instant gratification, denial of the oncoming hardships of winter, and the willingness to break things because of a willful ignorance of the well-being of something bigger than self. This transcends politics. This transcends race, class, or generation. People want to blame one group, but it is a natural impulse in all of us to consider the long term health of the colony as an ant, or to think only of the moment as a grasshopper. 2017 was a grasshopper year.
Pending. Until we stop asking “what’s in it for me?” and start asking “what’s in it for all of us?” nobody will ever be really happy. Until we start making the world better together, we’re ultimately doomed as a society. This manifests in so many ways, from the complexities of how we talk about taxes (“my bill went up” versus “look what we can build as a group”) to the simplicity of driving through our newly playground-speed-zoned neighbourhoods (Do you speed and get there slightly faster for just you? Or do you slow down and make the neighbourhood safer for everyone?) Everyone thinks they deserve everything, are owed the moon, and are never wrong about wanting it all. It’s always lingered there and grown, but amplified by the web and ignited by the craziness of 2017, it’s been a particularly bad year and it doesn’t make me hopeful for our prospects if we keep down this path.
What three experiences will always remind you of 2017?
1) Training for Berg Lake. As much as the week of mountain adventuring was the literal summit of our efforts, the months leading into our five night trek up a mountain in August were filled with planning, preparation, shopping, and training. The training, I think, might have been almost as much fun as the actual hike. The six of us would walk through the river valley of Edmonton for six, seven, eight hours at a stretch trying to simulate the final hike, break in our boots, try out our cooking equipment, battle-test our backpacks, and see if we could endure. It was an opportunity to spend some amazing quality time as a family and with friends, and for me to show off my knowledge (gained from years of running) of all the local trails.
2) Dealing with my online presence. I’ve spent a good part of my life online. My first time using the web was in the basement college computer lab in the mid-nineties. Before that, in high school, my friends and I were the weird kids posting to BBSs. I still remember the first email I sent, then describing it to an elderly librarian (I was working for her… at the library) who didn’t believe that it was possible to send a letter over a phone line all the way to Toronto. The rules of being a web citizen have changed gradually in the last twenty years, but not so quickly as they have this past year. Being a guy with multiple websites and a pretty solid social media presence has meant I’ve had to re-evaluate why and how I participate.
3) Running in less than optimal conditions. Midnight soltice runs. Overnight relays. Industrial areas. Cruise ship tracks. Early morning mountain runs. Heat. Cold. Ice. I didn’t run as much as I’d have hoped in 2017, but when I did it never seemed to be just a simple race or outing. Either I’m getting more advneturous or life is trying to tell me something about my priorities.
Without asking them, what are three words your ________ would use to describe their 2017?
Multiple new bosses.
…but I’m BUSY!
Finally both retired!
Ultra! Who’s in?
Crashing the plane.
Without asking them, what are three words you think that your ________ would use to describe you in 2017?
Needs new job.
Whatcha wanna do?
He never calls!
He never texts!
Haven’t quit yet?
What are the details (events, memories, etc) surrounding important days in your life in 2017:
I turned the completely uninteresting age of 41 which was marked by a completely average sort of day… well apart from the fact I had the chance to stand up and ask a challenging question to management at a meeting, but you sort of had to be there to have that bear any weight on your opinion of said things. Besides that, dinner out with the family. A new hat. And a couple days later, a brunch with some running friends. I can’t complain.
b) kid(s)’ birthday?
The kid turned 10, and we let her an a bunch of friends fill an afternoon at the local science centre and then stuffed them all full of pizza and cupcakes. We also took it as an opportunity to upgrade her device from an aging iPod to a new, higher capacity iPad mini, which makes her completely spoiled and has turned her into even more of a screen-zombie… but then that’s why I went to school for nineteen years, I keep telling myself, so I can buy my kid nice things. But no… she’s totally spoiled.
c) spouse’s birthday?
Dinner out and some cake. The kid, of course, makes a bigger deal out of these dates that we ever do.
d) the holidays?
I took ten days off work and it broke down into three segments: (a) four days of family to eat too much and open a few gifts, (b) three days of hibernation from the bitter, angry cold while I wrote (this post mostly) and built a server in my basement and (c) see the next question…
e) new years?
The plan, at the moment, and given that it’s forecast to be -25 (feeling like -34) for New Years Eve evening, the annual party we host here at our house (because of the proximity of the fireworks in our park) is looking to be an inside affair with a very short rush to the park at 8 to see the pretty lights before rushing back to the warmth for games and food and drinks.
I’ve also signed up for the annual Resolution Run 5k on the morning of the first. That’s gonna be a three-layers race, methinks.
How would you describe your life from your perspective in terms of:
Hanging out with friends. Making art. Playing video games. Learning to play an instrument (with some actual success). Hiking. Running. Biking. Camping. I miss my dog, but I’m finding new ways to spend my limited free time.
Dad’s taxi service is the reason why I miss so much running, but the Kid (as much as she complains and says that she’d rather do a million other things, but heck, who didn’t when they were young?) appreciates me driving her to dance and piano and art and everywhere.
Some neat new people who I’m ending the year as friends not having met this time last year, but simultaenously spreading myself more thinly and missing some of that quality time with folks who I’ve known for longer, or even forever.
Homemade sourdough. Cast iron grills marks on amazing dishes. Eggs for breakfast. And more frequent vegetarian lunch choices. But we still eat out too much.
I climed the highest mountains but also collapsed into the coziest of chairs.
Steady as she goes.
Most of the new clothes I bought this year were to keep me warm while camping. But I do occasionally wear a sports jacket to work these days.
Compared to this time last year, you are:
a) happier or sadder?
As I wrote in my intro, I’m clinging to a jewel of optimism that I’ve had to dig from the cold, hard ground with my sore, bleeding hands this past year. Does that make me happy? Probably the opposite, especially since I’m perfectly aware of that effort.
b) thinner or fatter?
My running schedule being completely out of whack lately, I’m going to let readers assume what they will about the impact that’s been having on my not-getting-any-younger body.
c) richer or poorer?
The world is poorer, the country is holding steady, the province is just starting to bud out again, and the city seems to be spending like there’s money to burn. At the end of this chain, I still seem to be doing ok. Considering we’re another double-digit percentage closer to being free of a mortgage and I was able to stuff away more retirement cash this year, I’m going to say incrementally richer.
d) focused or distracted?
Hold that thought while I go check to the news to see if the world is on fire today.
e) responsible or irresponsible?
When the universe creates a vaccuum, air will by necessity rush in to equalize the imbalance. Likewise, when life, work, society, culture or whatever creates a void then some people by necessity rush in to equalize the imbalance. I feel like so much hot air these days.
f) simpler or complicated?
If only because I can’t think of a reason to claim my life is simpler, it’s probably because it’s a lot more complicated.
What was your biggest achievement of the year? Failure?
This is a toss up. In the year that was for so many reasons a dud, I found some mental and emotional balance in two big side-projects: 2017 was my first full year of violin and I end the year measurably improved over this time last year when I was still reluctant to note it as an achievement. Also, in May, I kicked off on an idea that I’d been trying to kindle for years. I started a web comic called This is Pi Day which loosely translates my experience as a dad into a weekly four-panel strip. As of this post I’ve published (online, of course) 31 weeklies and about the same number of bonus extras, and it continues strong into 2018.
As far as a failure, my post-summer running schedule has left me disappointed.
Did you travel? Where?
Mostly because we’d made three trips to the States in 2016, we opted to have a vacation a little closer to home this summer.
For most of the spring and summer we peppered our free time preparing for a week-long hike in August. We did day-long training hikes. We spent hours in MEC and other outdoor shops comparison shopping tents and sleeping bags and dehydrated food. We spent weeks dehydrating all kinds of meats and fruits. And then in August we did a final packup, drove to British Columbia, and spent five nights on Mount Robson with nothing but what we could carry.
We did the exact opposite in November as we lazed aboard a Caribbean cruise ship out of Galveston, Texas down through Honduras and Mexico and back over the course of a week of eating too much and enjoying the warm, tropical climate.
What did you want and get? Not get?
About this time last year the Nintendo Switch was a thing that was a notion that was filling the speculating minds of gamers around the world. Would it be good? Could it be possible to actually get one? Would I actually want one? I assumed that my usual pattern of late adoption would hold steady, but I had put into my own head the idea that if I could get one, that would be cool. Pre-order morning arrived and I had pretty much assumed I’d missed the boat: everywhere had opened early and sold out in minutes. By 9am it seemed like a lost cause. Except, I went for a walk. I work in an office attached to a shopping mall, and in that mall is a video game store. That store had not opened early. They were opening at their regular time, and had quietly noted that they had an allotment of pre-orders. While I was out for my walk I happened upon said store and there were a whole five people in line. Needless to write, I’ve been playing Switch games most of the year and I feel pretty lucky to have been in with this system from day one.
On the other hand, by my own choice I still think I’m gonna hold off on buying a new violin. I bought a student model thinking that (a) I wasn’t going to invest a lot in a hobby that I didn’t know would stick, and (b) a student model is good enough for learning on. That said, the hobby has stuck and the student violin is sort of like being a budding photographer and only owning a point-and-shoot camera: you can take photos, sure, but you really start to notice the limitations of your tool as you reach towards new skills. I’ve only hit that wall a couple times (re: violin) but when you hit it you feel it, and I always sort of assumed I’d be upgrading. I figure I’ll know when I know… and I kinda wanted to feel that feeling sooner, but I didn’t, so I continue playing with my student model, for now.
What ___________ will likely remind you of 2017 and why?
a) website – Cracked.com. If you grew up in the 80s, like me, you probably had (or maybe still have, like me) a few issues of this not-MAD comedy magazine. Cracked was a failing humour brand that got bought by an entrepreneurial young start-up in 2007, a group of writers who immediately shuttered the print edition and moved to blossom it into an edgy publisher of online articles, videos, podcasts, and more. In 2016 the site was bought up by a larger media company. And in mid-2017, the original founder bailed just a few months prior to the new owners sacking most of the writers on the site who (in my humble opinion) had been creating most of their best content. Cracked was my go-to for videos, podcasts, and lunch-time reading, and at the end of 2017 it seems like that habit is effectively dead. Good luck trying to be the another Buzzfeed-clone new-Cracked owners, but it’s time we parted ways.
b) film – Star Wars. All of them, really. My life was like peak Star Wars this year. We bought Rogue One when it came out on blueray and about the same time I picked up the original six collection and worked through them with the Kid. We watched VII over again a few more times. I learned some music on the violin. Plus Carrie Fischer passed away late last year and that hung over the world like a cloud for a few months. Disneyland is building a new land and that is actually, literally impacting my travel plans in the next two years. And then we watched Episode 8 in the theatre a few days ago. We even did a Star Wars jigaw puzzle over the holidays. I feel like if I said any other film it would just be to not mention these ones due to oversaturation.
c) song – “Baby It’s Cold Outside” ended a year of giving a voice of resistance to many disenfranchised or otherwise unwillingly-muted people and puncutated it an awkward reminder of how pervasive the layers of control and manipulation are wound into our culture. There’s nothing quite like cringing at a christmas song when hearing it with a new perspective that makes you go… “well… the world has changed a bit this year, hasn’t it?”
d) art – The kid was in a Saturday art class for most of the year. The studio abruptly closed at the end of this month, which was sad, but means 2017 will be noted as the year when Saturday mornings were art mornings, her at the class and me, sitting in the library working on my web comic for an hour each week.
e) game – Zelda: Breath of the Wild. True, I haven’t done much with this in a few months, but buying this title personally validated the money I’d spent on a new gmaing system in March, including all the random lining up and pre-ordering shenanegans.
f) event – Canada 150. Despite being a politically and culturally divisive moment for our country, maybe even because it was a politically and culturally divisive moment for Canada, the celebration of 150 years passing since confederation has been hailed as everything from a glowing year to a wet fart in our history. The day itself, for me, narrowed in on the wet fart territory: I was on call and got a late night request, ran my annual race tired and grumpy, crashed on the couch in the afternoon and missed the fireworks.
g) location – As noted above in my travel question, in August we hiked to Berg Lake, a puddle of clear, blue ice-water at the foot of a glacier hanging from the side of one of the largest mountains in the Rockies. There were a few moments of peaceful clarity that accompanied that trip which will linger in my memory for a long time as a reminder of something positive from this past year.
What was the best book or story that you read and/or what was your greatest literary discovery for 2017?
I started buying MAD magazines for the kid. I discovered the humour magazine at about her age and still have a small stack of really old issues in my basement. My greatest discovery about it, however, was finding that (because it’s doing so much politcal humour these days) many stores are shelving it in the “News & Current Events” section of the magazine rack.
Describe the best picture you took — or that was taken of you — in 2017
Holding my camera over my head and aiming it backwards, the fisheye angle of my GoPro captured a bit of the panorama around us as we trudged through the last few klicks of our hike on the approach towards Berg Lake. We were all sore, tired, blistered, and done when this photo was taken… but we made it.
Thinking twenty-five years in the past: reminisce. What do you recall or what event stand out most of all from your life and beyond in 1992?
I think 1992 was the end of innocence for me. Read that how you will I suppose, but what I mean is that as I finished the first year of high school and started grade 11 I did so not realizing that my life was going to dramatically change in the following months and years. I would get a “real” after school job. My friends suddenly had vehicles. I turned 16, and a sixteen year old guy is a guy in transition grasping at independence no matter the cost. I was taking a high school IB program, but it was during this year that I figured I might be able to crank it up to a full program. It didn’t work out, but there was an effort there. I was still in scouts, but we were the senior troop and had a bunch of privileges and perks that came with that, mostly involving setting our own program: so it was just hanging out with friends camping. It was a time of skipping family vacations, hanging out with friends, rebelling even if my rebellion was not exactly “traditional” — the irony.
Thinking ten years in the past: reminisce. What do you recall or what event stand out most of all from your life and beyond in 2007?
That’s an easy one. My daughter turned ten this year, which makes 2007 the year I became a dad and everything about who I am and why I do the things I need to do, all the decisions I make, and what factors into every penny I spend, this was the year all that changed. If you’re a parent you know what I mean. If you’re about to become a parent, you’ll too look back in ten years at how different you are from then. If you’re without kids… well, hopefully it’s by choice and I don’t mean to rub salt in open wounds, but it is one of those experiences that does make you a different sort of person for having lived through it. You are welcome to babysit anytime… just note that by this time next year (because she’s racing towards independence faster than I can keep up) even that might be off the table.
What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory because they made you…? And why?
a) happy: July 28 – Watching my daughter shine on stage after a week of summer musical theatre camp at the Citadel, where she learned to sing and dance and beamed with pride at learning a key role in their end of the week play.
b) sad: May 26 (thereabouts) – Having realized that the ten-year-old apple tree in my backyard which we’d planted to commemorate the birth of our daughter in 2007 had failed to bud out was probably dead.
c) angry: May 8 – Having seen a post on social media by a parent I know IRL that crossed a line of oversharing and prompted me to write a whole post about it (in general).
d) defeated: July 9 – Having given myself heatstroke running the Moose Is Loose Half Marathon and acheived my worst time in years and utterly borking my health for a few weeks in the effort.
e) victorious: June 14 – Having successfully cooked a full breakfast set of waffles over an outdoor campfire using a cast iron waffle iron.
f) surprised: November 23 – Having, after a year of work frustrations, stood up and asserted my slightly annoyed opinion to my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss on the state of those frustrations, in a crowded room of my co-workers and on my birthday. I was a little surprised I’d do something that crazy.
If you could delete one day from 2017 which one would it be, why, and how would it have changed things?
August 25. It was the day that we hiked down the mountain. It was a lovely day, with great weather, but marked the end of a summer of planning a preparation. If I deleted the day I imagine that I might never have come down and just be caught in a timeless loop on top of a beautiful mountain. Of course, in this scenario I need to assume that day would be a’la the film Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and just keep repeating August 24th over and over forever and ever until I learned some valuable life truth and freed my heart from my selfish ways… otherwise I’d just be up on a mountain right now freezing my ass off.
What kind of plans or goals have you made for 2017 with regard to ___________? And why?
a) family – As the kid approaches and gets yet another year to being an independent teenager, there are not only duties involved in helping her thru that transition, but a clear timeline to continue enjoy having a kid in the house. I need to remember that with each day that goes by.
b) body – More running. I’ve already signed up for a half marathon in February, which means cranking the training back up. I also have a stationary bike in the basement that is fulfilling the destiny of every home stationary bike… becoming a clothes rack. So, I hopefully can wrest that fate from it’s cold, silver-disc fate and start riding it more often.
c) money – I think I need to consciously invest in the things I already have, and build my own personal equity. This is investing, yes, but also simple things: like in the last days of this year I migrated my web hosting to a personal server in my basement saving me a hundred bucks a year in hosting costs, but also investing in my own personal infrastructure and not just renting it out.
d) knowledge – Continuing to learn. I think I’ve bitten off a pretty big task with this violin thing, and I’m going to keep at it.
e) self – Again… that jewel of optimism. I’ve been dabbling in mindfulness and non-spiritual mediation and I think I need to follow through on that more regularly.
f) creativity – As of publishing this I’m approaching eight months of being a famous web cartoonist. Well… a web cartoonist. Not quite sure about the famous part. Not quite sure I want the famous part. Alas, in 2018 I’m going to keep chugging away at my comic strip and see where it takes me. It’s going better than I would have hoped, and I think it’s got at the very least another eight or nine months left in it. Anyhow, I did print 500 business cards for it, so I can’t quit until I’ve given most of those out.
g) purpose – Middle age struck and solidified last year and I think while it’s possible to start learning new things, it becomes apparent that there may not be enough time left to master anything new. I want to learn all sorts of new things, but I also need to start honing my expertise of a select few.
h) mortality – Ideally this would be the year we transition from splitting our mortgage and retirement saving to exclusively retirement saving, but… well, a lot can happen in a year, right?
Thinking ten years in the future: prognosticate. What do you think the world will be like in 2027?
There is a future that I hope for and a future that I dread. On bad days I wake up and see the future I dread being created by the actions (or inactions) of the world around me. On other days, I am more optimistic. I think if 2017 taught us anything about prognosticating, is that nothing can be predicted.
Thinking twenty-five years in the future: prognosticate. What do you think the world will be like in 2042?
On the other hand, in twenty-five years I’ll have 35 year old daughter who presumably will be a fully functional adult. As I climb through my mid-sixties, I assume I’ll be on tour playing awesome violin songs in some augmented reality, AI-powered, singularity-mind-space while I enjoy my early retirement.
Explain a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017:
If you’re not paying for it, you are the product. Everything — EVERYTHING — has a cost, and if something seems like it isn’t costing you anything, you need to stop for a moment and consider who’s paying for it and how it is being paid for: Money? Spent time? Environmental damage? Human suffering? Societal decay? At the end of the day nothing is ever free.
What is one thing you’d like your kid(s) to know about the year 2017?
If you take something for granted, one day you’ll look up and it might not be there. We took for granted for so long the idea that facts were things that could be measured and tested, people make ration decisions, and that at the end of the day most people will do the right thing. This past year challenged that assumption in more way than I can itemize here, and we may recover… or you may be reading this in a very different reality than the one in which I’m writing it.
One quote that sums up your 2017 is:
This is not going to go the way you think. – Luke Skywalker
One word that sums up your theme for 2017 is: