Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Window Into My Mind

Probably a scary concept right?

Well, I'll give you a little bit of insight into my mind and what drives me. In my Google searches, I got a hit on Adam Savage from Mythbusters for this video of a presentation he gave some time ago. I have seen it before, or a version of it anyway, from a hackers convention he was a guest speaker at some time ago.

Just an aside, the word hacker has been unfortunately taken to mean something negative, a malicious person who breaks into computers, systems and other things they don't belong in to either steal information or cause damage. In fact, a hacker is someone who likes to disassemble things to gain an understanding of how they work, and to modify them to work better or more elegantly or to look different. I am quite proud of my budding hacker status.

Anyhow, back to the video that I found. As I said, I found a version of this on YouTube some time ago, recorded by someone at the hacker convention, and it was pretty good quality, and I've blogged about it on my other blog before, mostly because of some controversy that was around some statements he made in the Q&A after the main presentation.

However, I found this beautiful quality version of the presentation, and shall share it with you here:

Adam Savage on Obsession

It's a long piece, but basically it's about obsessions and passions. And while I was listening to Adam talk about his obsessions and passions, a lightbulb went on in my head, because that's EXACTLY what I am like. I have folders in my computer of things that I am fascinated/obsessed with. I buy/make/collect things that replicate things I'm into. I collect a thousand little bits of trivia and factoids on things that I am passionate about. And the end result isn't really what it's about. It's the process of being totally immersed in something that interests me.

For a long time, I thought that I was the only one who got like this over things that interest me. But with my explorations on the internet, I've found that a HUGE percentage of people actually have minds that work this way. Quite often it's suppressed because we're told we're obsessive or fixated or that it's somehow a bad thing to be completely immersed in something.

But it's becoming very apparent to me, that this kind of drive and passion needs to be encouraged and fostered. Things get DONE by people who are totally fascinated by what they are doing. Whether it be someone recreating a prop from a movie, someone designing a beautiful garden, someone inventing an item that is otherwise unavailable, someone proving a scientific theory that had been unproven, someone drawing attention to a cause or just someone working on a piece of art. That kind of focus and drive is what changes the world.

So that's one of the amazing things that the internet has brought to us, with the advent of what is collectively called Web2.0 - the way the internet allows us to create and communicate in ways it was not possible to do so in the past. With these tools, we can learn, explore, discover and SHARE our passions. We can do things we would never have had the opportunity to do in the past, because now all of this information is at our fingertips.

What are your passions? Do you get fascinated with things that consume your thoughts and life? Have you found that this has grown with your use of the internet? Blog about it if you have, and leave me a comment so I know to go and read it.

No comments: