What It’s All About (One Year Later)

on Jan 3, 2011

It was about one year ago that I decided to start this blog. It was an interesting and difficult time for me – I was at the crossroads of life. I understood that I had something special – between my abilities, knowledge, and desires to better the world – but no clear direction. This blog’s purpose was to help rectify this with two specific goals from the beginning:

One – to figure out who I am and what I care for. To me, everything in the world is interconnected. My formal and informal education provided me with knowledge the spans the natural sciences, the social sciences, and engineering; from life to people to technology. One goal in this blog was to take all these interconnected thoughts – a huge and jumbled mess of ideas and insights in my head – and organize them in tangible ways.

Two – to build a repository of my thoughts, opinions, and insights that can be shared with others. Every single article I posted here was a conversation. As someone who spends many hours absorbing the world’s knowledge and even more time thinking over all I come to learn, these posts represent a window to my mind. But even beyond that, nearly all the posts are conversations I’ve had with other folks. I’ve found myself sharing the same insights with many people, retelling what’s on my mind. They connect me to others in deep ways and I understood that exposing my thoughts would help to forge connections with others that may help me find direction in life.

So what does this all mean a year later? Quantitatively, I made 75 posts in 2010 – most of them in the first half of the year, but the latter posts being significantly deeper (and longer). My writing and communication abilities improved manyfold – it was not easy to transform my unorganized thoughts into readable words but the practice has helped immensely. Most importantly (and qualitatively), I accomplished my goals – of both the blog and of finding direction in life. Many of my posts seemed of disparate topics. But as time went on and the number of posts grew, a pattern emerged. Seemingly unrelated discussions such as those involving antilock brakes and eating better actually have something in common – along with every other post I wrote: it is the mindful application of technology (in a broad sense) to better people’s lives. This is what the blog is about. This is what I am about. It’s about the intersection of humanism and technology. Perhaps the greatest insight regarding myself is that I am every bit an engineer as I am a scientist.

Having direction in life is not only comforting, but also deeply empowering. It allows one to apply his or her abilities in a precise manner – one that bears fruit. I am no longer at the crossroads of life; rather, I’m about to embark on an incredible journey. I will be surrounded by other incredible minds. I will work on interesting projects. I will be offered financial security. Most importantly, I will be in a nurturing environment that will help me to develop myself while simultaneously allow me to contribute to something that makes the world a better place. (To be specific about all this, I’ll be working as a Front-End Software Engineer at Google in NYC.) I’m excited.

Life has always been meaningful to me, but it’s enthralling to see meaning in a concentrated form. Much sweat, support, and luck has helped me reach to this successful place in life. Finding myself. Sharing my mind with others. Staying positive and proactive about the journey of life. Getting that encouragement and wisdom from friends, family, teachers, and colleagues when I was down and confused (I’m so thankful to have these people in my life). Having the stars align. Perhaps the unexpected shouldn’t be so surprising.

It’s now time to set some new goals, in life and on this blog. With life, it means forging along this direction, scaling up, and doing some incredible things. As for the blog, the first goal is officially complete. The second goal – while it’s done its job of getting me noticed for meaningful work – is also one of greater aspirations. It’s been a long term goal of mine to share and record my unconventional approach and insights (and this blog is certainly not my first attempt to do so). There are many things I wished to discuss but was [mentally] preoccupied with figuring out direction in life. It’ll all be out in coming posts; so many ideas have been churning in my head. It’s also now appropriate to set a goal to build the readership on this blog. It’s been near zero so far (which is fine since that wasn’t a goal the past year and also so I wasn’t pressured to produce). However, my network is about to expand; best I make the most of this opportune moment. This means I’ll have to post regularly; probably a good thing. I’ll do my best.

Consider this the real launch of this blog. See you soon and thanks for reading!

The Technical – Using Technology Mindfully

on Jan 13, 2010

Technology, understood here in a broad sense, refers to knowledge, skills, or tools. Technology can be our greatest asset – the essence of our advance society; or it can be our greatest source of disaster – when used without mindfulness or foresight. We live in the midst of a technological explosion and and it’s transforming our lives.

How can we leverage technology for better instead of for worse?

The Social – Understanding Society and Self

on Jan 13, 2010

We humans are social beings and our advanced society results from our collaborative (social) behavior. Our complex world involves many social entities – industries, governments, bureaucracies, populations at large, nations, and the world – that shape our lives in all manners. Beneath every entity is a slew of individuals built to work in certain social ways. Understanding this not only makes sense of our complex world (and selves), but also provides the means to better these systems.

How can we establish a society that betters human life?

The Natural – Living Vitally

on Jan 13, 2010

The very things we do every day – what we eat, where we work, how much we play and sleep, and who we spend time with – have profound impacts on our bodies and minds. In our complex world, we often forget that our most important asset is our own wellbeing. Life should be constructive. Life should be enjoyed. Life should be an incredible journey.

How can we arrange each day to build truly meaningful lives?