First Post

I’ve tried blogging in the past, but in each case I didn’t have any kind of enthusiasm for it.  I was just trying to do what all the cool kids were doing.  I think that may have changed on this go.

About 1 month ago, after a prolonged series of “what do I want to do” crises, I finally justified to myself that enjoying life, enjoying how you spend the majority of your days or at least having a passion for the goals toward which you spend the majority of your time working, is rationally the most fundamental rule one can hold on to even in the midst of absolute uncertainty about anything and everything else.  Inherent in the “enjoy life” rule is a compatibility with every school of thought that I am aware of, whether it be religious, atheistic, economic, etc.  I suppose you have to add in there a certain awareness that ”long-term” enjoyment will generally yield better results than “short term” enjoyment.

I think the tipping point, as it were, came when I read “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, and incidentally, I think everyone should read this in high school.  The premise is that we tend to describe ourselves in terms of negations and abnormalities:  “I’m not good at sports.”  “That person is agoraphobic.”  “I have a problem with math.”  As a result of this negative-based vocabulary, in general we have developed an ability for astute identification of weaknesses, and that skill, combined with the ideal of the “Renaissance Man”, brings us to focus on our weaknesses and how to improve them.  The problem with this “weakness-fixing” is that we tend to ignore our strengths.  The theory goes that by the time you’re around 16 your brain has largely “wired” itself, and as part of that “wiring” process it has pared down the diversity of neural pathways to a handful of primary ones, around 5.  Those primary neural pathways entail the easiest and quickest ways your brain can process information, implying that when presented with information that needs processing your brain tends to send it down one of those 5 processing pipelines.  Combined with the fact that endorphines are released when neural connections are executed, use of these pipelines allows for quite a lot of “feeling good”.  In short, the book says each of us has around 5 of the roughly 34 known “innate talents”, and instead of trying to develop new ones, which physiologically won’t happen after your brain has finished “wiring” itself, we need to identify these innate talents and play to those strengths.  Then, you can take their “Strengths Finder” test that will help you identify your specific set of strengths.

All that to say I finally have a good reason to fully embrace design.  It’s something I have tended towards since I was quite little, but until now I have resisted it out of some misguided sense that I should keep “improving my weaknesses”.  Specifically, I’m into virtual world design.  The context within which players exist inside an MMORPG.  And I’m not talking about cursory ideas, I want to dig deep, considering every possible angle on how to appropriately simulate reality.