This is my very first post. It was suggested that I use this post to tell readers, i.e. you, why I started this blog and what I plan to do with it. So let me begin…
Upon completing my seventh decade on the planet nine months ago, I relinquished my appointed position at a university business school to pursue other interests. I have many of those. So I decided that I would spend the first six months “going back to school”, exploring various activities and different ways of pursuing them, trying to figure out what I really want to be when I grow up. Besides ramping up my reading and writing—mostly journaling but also some topical essays—I took advantage of learning opportunities on the web, including some proprietary courses and others labelled MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) from well recognized universities. From this interlude and my days in academia and in industry, I decided that what I most want to do right now is to continue to learn, to clarify my thinking on what I have already learned, and to create value by sharing my thoughts and experiences. Those all point to more reading and writing.
I love to read. I calculated recently that I have purchased on average more than one book per week since I graduated from college (soon to be 50 years ago). I can’t claim I actually read them all, although I do realize they are not like gym equipment which makes you fit just by owning it. I estimate I read roughly two thirds of them cover to cover; the rest I either still have on my to-read stack, or I extracted the relevant material and moved on. I’ve been trying to satisfy an insatiable curiosity.
I also like to write. I have always written during my career–memoranda to push projects forward, proposals to change course, personal reflections in a journal–but I published very little. In fact I think I can count on one hand the number of articles I got published and except for Business Week which accepted an opinion piece, you probably wouldn’t recognize any of the periodicals if I named them. During my time as a technology manager, I used to say I wanted to write a novel, but I just never really had the time. I finally conceded my behavior said what I really wanted was to be able to say I had written a novel.
But now I have time and I want to write. I want to write to learn, to clarify my thinking, to share my stories. I’ve recently read several writers who said recognition is nice, remuneration better, but even if no one read their material they would still continue to write. In fact, some learning materials on writing essays seem to imply such mentality is required to craft good essays? At this stage I am indifferent to money (from my writing activities), but if readers will devote that other scarcer resource–their time–to read and react to what I have written, then I will not only achieve my goals but can also be content that what I am doing is creating meaningful value. And I still have that need to justify my existence.
So what should you expect? The honest answer is I’m not sure. Here are some questions currently kicking around in my head:
- What would personal learning look like if I took full responsibility for it? Given my enculturation and the environment in which I live, is that even possible?
- How can I optimize my well being and continue to find meaning for the rest of my time here?
- How much of what I learned in my science education do I believe, and what kinds of experiments could I do to gain better insights?
- Which of those books still on my shelves do I cherish most, why, and can I share that value with my readers?
- What could business (busy-ness) look like if we started with the concept of commerce–the exchange of goods, services, ideas and experiences–and crafted a more humane economic approach?
- If I have lost my faith in science, where do I stand on theology, religion and spirituality?
I plan to look for answers in the books I have read, online searches, my own experiences, and feedback from you, my readers.