The Silicon Age

I was born into a world that barely knew what computers were. Computers were magic, science far beyond the common man, but wielded by people writing fancy math to make complicated equations solved in secondsĀ minutes.

At the time, no one realized the true potential of computing. No one realized that we would model entire planets, that we would rewire the world to sing the song of silicone.

I am a writer, a poet. And I speak code, and I see the song. I do not speak of the power of the Silicon age because I am a Silicon Child, a speaker of code and languages. I speak of it, because it is pervasive. Not understanding basic computer skills now is anathema. It has almost reached the point where it is pointless to list basic Windows and Office skills on your resume, because you should understand it.

The only reason it is still listed is because the generation ahead of me doesn’t quite get it. They either do not think it is important enough to learn, or think they can’t. Both are wrong.

I wield the power of software. If you’ve ever searched the internet, especially in the near past, you will know software is power. Software is knowledge.

Hardware wires it all together, but software makes it all talk. Hardware is getting everyone in the same room. Software is giving them a language.

Software is what makes all the pieces come together.

Silicon makes it possible.

Use the knowledge. Learn. Dream.

Because otherwise, people like me wasted our lives. We worked to make software give you more power. More knowledge. More than we ever had even dreamed of.

You have it now. Take it. And don’t just dream. Take it by the horns, and surpass us.

Dumb Questions

Bubble Bobble
This post is brought to you by Bubble Bobble for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). When programmers run out of ideas (and inside jokes) for levels, they can always use that itself for inspiration.

Remember when growing up you were told that there were no dumb questions?

At some point we stop asking. We stop because to admit that you don’t already know makes you look ignorant and stupid. Even if we don’t care what other people think, we stop because the people we ask treat us like we’re dumb.

I propose again, as we learned when we were still in Kindergarten, there are no dumb questions. If you are really trying to learn, you have to find out somehow. We can read and read and read (Wikipedia), but books and online articles are incapable of human thinking. We sometimes need someone to give us a point of view, rearrange our thinking, and make things make sense. Maybe we just need to hear that we are on the right track. Or perhaps we need to hear that we’re not even asking the right questions. And yes, *everyone* misses the obvious at some point in their life. That includes you.

I have always thought, since I thought to wonder about it, that life is a big learning experience. Why else would we be born knowing nothing but basic instinct with an infinite capability to learn? Why if that was not what we were meant to do?

I wonder if when you ask someone and they give you a snarky response, it’s due to their own issues with their own quest for knowledge. “Well, no one would tell me, so why should I hep you?”. People often take their own insecurities out on others. So, if they have answers and don’t want to share, it’s because no one would help them. Maybe they like having the knowledge and power and it feels better to keep it to themselves. If they don’t have answers, they don’t want to admit it and show their own short comings. So they will answer with a huff, and a puff, and a ‘I don’t know, but hell if I’m going to tell you that!”

So, we’re conditioned to not ask. In being conditioned not to ask, we don’t find answers. Not asking these dumb questions breeds ignorance.

If someone is brave enough to ask me, I hope that I am always brave enough to answer honestly and openly. I hope I will always admit when I don’t know and give information even when I don’t feel like giving up my secrets or taking the time to explain. I’ve always tried to be there and do this for my younger siblings. As the world is fast teaching them about dumb questions, I counter that with an offer: “You can always ask me.”

You Never Really Know

First rule of life:

You never really know.

You think you know yourself, your friends, what you’ll do today, tomorrow, even next week. You think you know that you will never do something or that you’ll eventually accomplish that one thing that you’re sure you will get done before you roll over into the next world.

We assume all the time. It’s not just for asses.

We assume the floor will be underneath us when we roll out of bed in the morning.

And sometimes, it’s not. Sometimes, there’s not even a bed to roll out of.

I try to take this knowledge and with it appreciate all the times something does work out, go as planned, or just doesn’t go horribly wrong. I try to be thankful when I do have a bed to roll out of.

It’s a mantra. At least this. It could be worse that.

Bad memories are also mantras. All the worries and should haves tend to repeat, chanting in my head.

There are things I arm myself with in anticipation of a time when I lose sight of the way life is. So, I arm myself:

Swallow whole your whole self.
Every part is a piece.
Be yourself at peace.
Be content with being
the being who strives.
Against identity,
we strive to embody eternity,
when all we can be is now.