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Friday, October 16, 2015

Social Media

Dartmouth Engineering
I am supposed to be looking for a job, but getting myself in the right frame of mind is very difficult. Most of my experience with looking for a job has been negative. Get myself psyched up, comb my hair, show up on time, mind my manners (keep the cursing to a minimum), have a conversation, possibly pleasant, possibly boring, odds are about even, and then a week later I hear . . . no. Fine. Their decision, but after a few of these, especially when the interviews seem to go very well, I begin to think 'why bother'?

Military Photos dot net shut down a year or so ago. They were my best and most stimulating source of blog fodder. I really haven't found a good replacement. I have my correspondents, my A-list of bloggers, and the bits and pieces I generate on my own, but I don't feel like I am really in touch with what's going on. Occasionally something will pop up on the news, but the news is basically just entertainment, and its relation to what's going on in the world is less than what is coming out of Hollywood.

So I've been visiting Facebook and Google+. I can usually count on Facebook for a good laugh. Earlier this week I posted some serious stuff on there and the humor seems to have fallen off. It could be just a coincidence, or it could be my attitude is has slid down the scale from cheerful to grumpy. I mean a couple of posts by me aren't going to chill all my 'friends', are they?

Google+ seems to offer more serious discussions. At least there are channels which have topics. I know there are forums of all sorts all over the net, but it is rare that I find any worth reading, and as for comments, well, forget that. Sometimes you will luck into a semi-literate discussion, but most of them are drivel.

So, Facebook for fun, Google+ for anything serious. Meanwhile, I still need a job. By the time I got out of high school I was thoroughly sick of school. I didn't want to spend any more time sitting and listening to people rattle on about god knows what, I wanted to make some money. All my life (when I was paying attention) I had heard stories about people without-any-education-to-speak-of who had made fortunes. If they can do it, why can't I? So I set out to make my fortune. Eight years later I finally realized that my old man was right and I should go back to college and get a degree.

I don't recall what I was thinking when I chose Computer Science, but that's what I chose. I stuck with it and got a degree. So now I've got a ticket to big money, or so I thought. I spent 25 years, more or less pushing bits around and it paid pretty well. I managed to raise three kids and put them through college, so I've done my bit to keep our civilization rolling on. But I never made the really big money that some people made. I only have one house, and it has a mortgage. I don't drive a Ferrari or even a big Audi, and I certainly don't have my own jet airplane.

I think I finally understand what makes me tick, and it isn't money. Oh, money is nice, and it is infinitely better than no money, but it doesn't really turn my crank. I remember hearing a discussion (lecture? diatribe?) by someone (a promotional speaker maybe?) about getting what you want. The gist of it is that if you want something that is difficult to obtain, you really have to want it. You have to want it to the exclusion of everything else. Now you might be able to hold on to a few other things besides your one goal, but there will be times when you will have to choose, and every time you choose something else over your goal, your goal is going to slip further and further away. Eventually time will run out and you will be stuck with the choices you made. It might be friends or family or being high or having a good time, or money, but it is unlikely to include all of the above. Unless you are very lucky.

What I finally figured out is that what I like to do is to put machines together, machines that will do something. It may do something useful, or it may simply be entertaining, but it has to do something. That maybe why I don't draw pictures much anymore. They can useful for communicating an idea or an emotion, but they don't really do anything by themselves. Now it happens that our civilization loves machinery, and so I have been able to make a living by working on machines (computers are just esoteric machines, but still just machines). But that was my choice. Money is nice, but it isn't interesting. In fact, for me it's rather boring and tedious. Necessary but dull, kind of like houses.

I'm looking for a job again and I realized all the programming jobs I have seen advertised are crap. I don't want to do web pages and forms and games. I want to work on something serious, so I Google for 'scientific programming jobs', something I had never before thought to look for, and, lo and behold, there are actually some jobs out there that fit this description. Guess I better get my resume in order.

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