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I have a troubling relationship with time (randomactsofsentience.com)
95 points by KimberleyScott on Sept 16, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

President John Tyler was born in 1790; his grandsons are still alive:


Thanks for all the comments. And I hear all of you.

I lost my step-kids due to my "transition" some 15 years ago and being "the end of the line" so to speak, I was feeling a little maudlin when I wrote it. (The wine helped)

And now I'm over the almost loss of my mother recently I'll be working hard on documenting my memories and code and...

On a side note, I am working on a "diary" of my transition from 1956 to the present. If it works out I'll be making an eBook of it. Hopefully that will add something to "His^h^h^hOurstory."

People sometimes need to be reminded of perspective.

The truth is that we all play parts in a grand, millennium spanning conversation of all of humanity.

Writing and contributing to that conversation in the best way we can is probably the most compelling driver for me personally.

You'll contribute far more by participating in the conversation (releasing code, or papers that describe how things work) than trying to keep everything to yourself.

First, I find that every time I want to share the knowledge in my head, someone else has done it "better" (more eloquently, whatever.) Next, I have the most difficult time attempting to put my personal understanding into words that work for other people.

Perhaps my (self-described) unique perspective could be valuable to some future archaeologist, but my motivation, like so many of my contemporaries, comes from my environment. Therefore, it is hard to get motivated to contribute to the millennial conversation. Further, it's hard to think that I, individually, should even be motivated to contribute.

I feel similarly.

I find that every time I want to share the knowledge in my head, someone else has done it "better"

The trick with that is:

1) It doesn't matter to your readers. In other words, the "better" version only matters to someone who comes across your page if they've already seen it.

2) If someone else's work is truly better, then it's fine to quote directly from it. For example I will never surpass the quality of Feynman's lectures, but there are still plenty of people who haven't been exposed to his work. The solution is to organize and cross-reference his explanations in ways that are more accessible for those who want to understand more on those topics. It's more important to explain something well than to come up with an original explanation.

I think ultimately it comes down to us worrying too much about being wrong, or somehow inadequate/ineloquent, or simply feeling like what we care about doesn't really matter to most people. But there are seven billion of us now. Even if what we say is irrelevant to the people in our environment, it may be a gem for someone else.

I'm going to try "writing to my younger self" or "writing to people of the future". It seems like a good method of boiling away passing fads and other irrelevancies.

I found that explaining concepts that I think I understand well to other people in a way that is easy for them to understand makes me either realize I don't understand it as well as I thought I did or I figure out something new in the process. Couple that with the fact that you're spreading knowledge that might be new to others and/or possibly stimulating some kind of intellectual conversation with others who already know the subject matter and it's a win-win. So don't let the fear of looking dumb next to an expert in some field demotivate you from contributing.

For what it's worth, I appreciate your casual comment right here. Thanks for thinking out loud. I can relate.

Nothing troubling about it. Enjoyable :)

It's going to be interesting to see how future generations' memories now that everything is being documented in such detail with the internet.

Oh. And while I think of it, I have added a bunch of memories in the "Interesting Stuff about Kim" page.

Time is the fire in which we al burn.

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