I have been going through the “blahs” lately. Some of it is rather deep-seated stuff that I’ve been struggling to understand. One thing I realized was that I’ve felt for years like I cheated myself by never completing a university degree. For the last four or five years I’ve subconsciously come to realize that it is too late- short of a massive life change like winning a million dollars, it is simply not feasible to take four or five years off to go and get a degree.
Today, though, as I contemplated the universe and my very limited place within it, I decided that what I really wanted was knowledge, not the piece of paper- although there are plenty of times I wish I had the paper as well, it isn’t my main regret. And so I’ve decided to take some more specific steps to educate myself. And of course, given my nature, that means a healthy dose of gadgetry.
I’m a technical worker. I think that the more generic term for my kind of work is “knowledge worker”, but whatever you call it, my stock in trade is generated by my gray matter.
I am not a genius: far from it, in fact. Every complex thing I figure out takes a tremendous amount of effort on my part. I’m good at seeing correlations: logical interactions or the like. But that doesn’t mean that I just pick up a book and instantly understand something. I really wish I did.
Part of my work involves designing and writing computer software. I come from an era when it was actually possible to understand a programming language more or less completely. I develop in several language frameworks these days, but even the simplest of them seems to me to be beyond the capabilities of one person to truly understand.