I love writing and I also love programming, but I am not very good at either. I’d say my skill level is fair. But who says one must be good at the things you love?
As one grows older, one experiences a growing unease, a loss of anchoring that makes for deep dissatisfaction. Having passed the usual thresholds of ambition and need, happiness comes not from being good at things, or better than others, but from doing what you love.
This simple realization came to me as I was taking a walk down Broadway in New York. My alter ego tapped me on the shoulder and asked why I did not indulge in writing and hacking? And the truth is, I don’t know. The truth is, I love writing and hacking, but have been distracted with stuff like Internet, TV, work. So maybe I need to be a “wracker” — someone who writes and hacks!
It’s an act of pure creation, unlike TV, Internet, and some sorts of work that are, in essence, mere consumption. So it seems, real satisfaction in life comes from producing cool new things, not just from consuming. But no economist knows this secret! That a large part of utility comes from the opposite of what goes into the mere consumption of things.
It’s easy to be a wracker nowadays since the internet makes both pursuits available easily, in the form of a blog. It’s like being able to be a short-order cook. So I plan to write my blog more often, but will also open up a new channel with annotated program code that I develop and post to my blog for others to use.
It’s a subtle thing, and fine balance, but when production displaces pure consumption, that’s when we have true satisfaction.