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Personal philosophy…

I sometimes hear or experience something that cements my way of thinking. Sort of a “eureka!” moment, I suppose, but on a personal “philosophical” level. I had one of those moments earlier this week.

Someone made a comment, a standard cliche heard in corporate circles all the time: If we aren’t growing, we are dying. Naturally, I’ve heard this comment before. And I’ve had a fundamental disagreement with it, but this time a bunch of thoughts came together at once for me.

I am a consumer. Not quite a BMW driving, Latte sipping, Armani wearing Yuppie, but sort of the techy equivalent. I don’t feel a need to apologize for my life. But in recent years, I’ve made some decisions regarding the balance between “more!” and “happy!”. I’ve jumped off the career fastpath, taken an effective pay cut, and started doing work I enjoy more. I haven’t gone to live in a sod hut, or stopped buying computer upgrades: but I’ve made some changes. So maybe that’s made me more sensitive to the extreme side of the capitalist/consumerist ethic.

So what bothered me about the “we gotta be growing or we’re dying” statement? Basically, its at the root of the dotcom bubble, and its part of the “evil” of the stock market.

Ten years ago I disagreed with this statement, when my employer at the time started laying people off because we “only” grew our profit by 10% that year. Years ago, you didn’t lay people off unless you were losing money. In the 90’s, it became normal to dump people just because you weren’t growing fast enough. But I didn’t really meld this into a personal philosophy.

I think a better personal statement for me would be “if you aren’t improving, you are dying”. I don’t think growth or expansion equals improvement. If it did, cancer would be the most successful form of life: it grows really well. An individual or a company that is becoming more efficient, that is learning and correcting its “bad habits”, that produces a better product, that delivers faster and provides a more satisfactory solution to its client, that is “happier”…that company is better than a company that simply gets bigger.

I’d like to think that what I’m saying here is just common sense. But it doesn’t seem to be that way. I still hear that cliche statement, and it continues to bother me…

Getting better, not necessarily richer… […]

Temporary Bachelor…

Irene left me!

Well, in truth, it is thankfully only temporary. After flexing her muscles with the cats for a while this Saturday morning, she boarded a plane for sunny Edmonton to visit some friends and family.

While waiting for Irene to clear security at the airport, I witnessed evidence of their new focus on security. X-rays of Irene’s carry on luggage were carefully examined, and the inspectors pulled Irene aside to inspect her luggage by hand. Inside, they found this weapon of mass destruction:

I’m pretty sure that humanity is now safer with these powerful weapons securely in my hands instead of Irene’s.

As usual, watching Irene board the plane was depressing. I’m not happy when she goes away. Its only been a day or so and I’m missing her already…

For anyone visiting my home in Irene’s absence, please respect my sadness. Dancing girls and video game delivery to the front door, booze and take out food to the back door, please… […]

Happy Birthday, Shane (June 13th)!

My nephew, Shane, is a great guy. He’s the sort of guy who, when his most geographically proximal Uncle forgets his birthday, would never be upset. In fact, he’d probably feel all good and warm, knowing that his Uncle eventually did remember his birthday…even if it was only after Shane mentioned eating birthday cake […]

New gallery items: Our day trip

Irene and I took a little day trip today up to Cultus Lake and the Columbia Valley. You can check out the photos if you like.

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Gollum’s acceptance speech

Gollum won an award on MTV’s Movie Awards for best CG character…and you have to check out Gollum’s acceptance speech.

Overheating…

My Linux server, the system that this website and several others run on, is hot. I don’t mean that its a really high performance computer (although its not bad): I mean its several degrees too warm.

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