Goals for 2007

I’ve never kept goals from year to year in a place where I could actually see if I accomplished them. Well, this will be the first year I’m going to be doing that. I read some study that said that the people who were most sucessful had written goals. Well, I want to be sucessful so let’s hope this is a casual relationship!

Athletic

  • Contribute as much to the team as I can – through my scores, the way I practice and the way I work with others

Career

  • Get into a better idea of what working in philanthropy is like
  • Figure out what I need to do to get into philanthropy
  • Do some of those things

Creative

  • Finish a fantasy novel by the end of the year
  • Finish and also edit my sci-fi novel
  • Take 50 photographs that I’m proud of and would publish

Personal

  • Spend less time surfing the web and more time doing things – blogging, reading books, doing work, anything else
  • Keep in touch with more people

A Message to Our Descendants in 50,000 Years

I came across this website, which asks you to preserve what you consider humanity’s most important knowledge in one sentence. Examples include – F=Ma, No Such Thing as a Free Lunch, and the 3 Laws of Thermodynamics.

The postings lead me to the KEO website, where messages are accepted to be loaded on to a satellite that will crash back into the Earth in 50,000 years.

In their words:

The faraway children, of your children … of their great-grand children … who you would never know … would love to know you. What would you like to tell them?

I’d like to tell them this:

It is hard to put in to words the reflections and revelations I have had in my twenty (20) short years of life on this planet. I hardly remember half of them anyways. But I will try.
Continue reading…

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : An Inquiry Into Values

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : An Inquiry Into Values (Mass Market Paperback)
by Robert M. Pirsig

Synopsis: An autobiographical story of a man and his 13-year old son take a cross country motorcycle trip across the Midwest. Along the way he reflects deeply on philosophy, Zen, the struggle between art and technology and the nature of reality.

Summary: This is one of the most famous popular philosophy books out there. The sparse story line is merely a way for the author to reflect on his ideas. The narrator, Pirsig, tells us how he suffered a psychotic break earlier in his life. His persona before the break he calls “Phaderus”, supposedly meaning “wolf” in Greek.

Throughout the story, the narrator goes into long ruminations, what he calls Chataquas about various topics. He talks about how he is really into maintaining his bike, but his friends who ride motorcycles, are not. They don’t like thinking about the systems and technology behind it. Eventually this discussion leads to the ideas of romantic versus classic views of the world and objective versus subjective thinking. The narrator tells us how Phaderus grappled with this huge ideas, eventually combining Eastern and Western philosophies.

It stems from the idea of Quality. What is it? How do you define Quality? You know its there, but you can’t say what it is. The reason this is, according to the narrator that Quality is pre-intellectual. It is not that objects produce or inherently have Quality. It is that we perceive Quality, and that produces our ideas of the objects. A rather complicated and deep discussion of this follows.

He also talks about other topics such as stuckness, gumption, peace of mind, and the lack of caring in this world. Caring is what produces Quality.

Takeaway: Subjectivity and objectivity are two faces of the same coin. In order to produce Quality, you must care about what you are doing and have gumption.