This is not a “Goodbye Cruel World” post.
I try to keep busy. I like what most people call “working”. I get up every day excited to sit down at my keyboard to code and create. I love programming. Debugging a program, refactoring poorly written code (often my own), making code faster are some of my absolute favorite things to do. When I’m done with my “day job”, I sit down at my keyboard again to learn new languages, work on my own programs. Sometimes I’ll take a break to play some video games. My wife, Kelly, and I love going to drive-in. We pack two containers full of popcorn, a cooler filled with drinks, and take ourselves and our littlest dogs to the closest drive-in for a double feature. I love reading Michael Crichton novels. Every July, I make my way to Las Vegas for The Amazing Meeting and geek out for a few day with amazingly smart people. I chow down on great vegan food. This is all fun. I love to do these things, and I will continue to have fun doing all of them.
I’m not having as much fun following the skeptic community as a whole. People are trying to destroy the event that has meant so much to me. People are just being awful to each other, not in the name of fighting injustice, but in the name of fighting for power and prestige. The skepticism is lost.
As I was reading the live blog of today’s WWDC and catching some tech coverage, I just had it with tech tribalism and tech news. Reading all these articles written by writers way less qualified than I am to comment on, reading all these stupid technological religious arguments, I became fed up. I took a deep breath, and thought to myself, “What the fuck are you doing?”.
Not having fun following two communities that I spend a lot of time following or investing in. What to do?
To solve my tech news dissatisfaction, I deleted all my tech podcasts, all my tech blog feeds from everywhere. I’m done with it. I will have to find a new source to keep abreast of new apps that come out since that is my day job, but for now, all the old sources gone and deleted. Instead of listening to the same five kinds of podcasts every week, I’ll be replacing all that with music, audiobooks, new science, new skeptic podcasts, etc. I’ve also decided to go deep with my tech writing and practice, practice until I am the kind of tech writer I want everyone to be. I don’t need to read what passes for tech news now to generate my own high quality work.
Noticed I mentioned skeptic podcasts in the last paragraph? That’s because I’m not letting petty people annoy me out of the general community of critical thinking and science. Fuck that, I’m not going anywhere. I looked at all the new people I’ve “met” virtually this year, that I didn’t know last year. I see all the new skeptic podcasts I wasn’t listening to last year. There are too many good people, too many things to support, too many things to learn for me to turn tail. But how do I make it “fun” again? I will focus on learning and stop being so behind in my reading. I will focus on supporting skeptic institutions whether that be financial, moral, or a helping hand. I won’t be as quiet, afraid to be labeled by people who don’t matter.
I said this last night, and I’m quite happy with it, but it’s also very true. To adapt it to a broader meaning:
I only have 35-40 years left on this planet, and I don’t have a spare 5 minutes to waste on certain people.