Everybody needs “a thing”. This mine. I think.
Now that I’m sick — yes, I’m a man-child, and a simple cold can knock me out quite significantly — I’ve used my downtime to catch up on remittance: Medium articles, YouTube videos, podcasts, etc.
I’m not claiming to be anywhere near figuring things out, but I’ve definitely noticed certain trends regarding what interests me and what I enjoy. And trends being trends, they’re all pointing to a certain direction.
Everyone needs a “shtick”.
Mine was, I always thought, to be interested in everything. That’s why I moved around in college from one major to the other, that’s why I found being a digital nomad comfortable and fun, and why I — despite the occasional urge to score something long-term — like being a freelancer with a wide variety of clients.
It’s also an asset — being interested in virtually everything gave me a lot of knowledge I can utilize when dealing with clients: from education to cloud technology, from digital marketing to the politics and legal questions of the internet.
I’m known to bookmark things way faster than I can process them. I have a backlog of stuff I want to read/watch/listen to, and I need to get better at pushing myself to utilize idle moments. One step toward that is switching almost entirely to listening to podcasts instead of music. (The only exception being when I’m writing.)
In my fiction writing, I’m writing the kind of book I would like to read but can’t find anywhere. It means reading a lot of science non-fiction, particularly as it pertains to space exploration and technology, and technology as it connects to our evolution as a species. I’m a Transhumanist, as I noted before.
Transhumanism, in its essence, can be — and indeed should be — viewed as an ongoing discussion and not a doctrine.medium.com
I’m more interested, having started out as a Philosophy major in college, in the vision of the future, not necessarily the execution of it. I’m not a coder, nor a scientist. I won’t invent or develop an Artificial Intelligence; but I can talk about AI on a theoretical level. Same with any other topics within the wide berth of futurism.
At this point in thinking about myself, and my strengths (again, shout-out to Gary Vaynerchuk for drilling the thought into my head) and how to double down on those, that it hit me.
I’m the guy with a vision.
Maybe not “the” vision, but a vision nonetheless.
As we are coming to terms with our present — which is yesterday’s future — and deciding where we go from here, we need a vision. Something bigger than politics. There are people like Elon Musk who have this kind of longer vision, coupled with the means to execute on it. I’m no Elon Musk, sadly, but I do have a vision and that can be my thing.
Increasingly we see art influencing life. This first articulated for me in a meaningful way when then-President Barack Obama casually referenced Iron Man. The science-fiction writers are not only not on the fringe of culture any more, but downright at the helm of shaping the vision for humanity.
I want to be in that position. I want to entertain people, for sure, and of course there’s the “fiction” part of sci-fi wherein I operate. At the same time, I feel there isn’t enough — although there are more and more, thankfully — approaches to sci-fi from this background. Not enough people are acknowledging, and even less are welcoming or embracing, the awesome impact science-fiction visions can have on our future.
I want to be one of those who shape that future.
Maybe I’ll end up becoming the guy whose vision is constantly off and wrong. But from where I stand it doesn’t matter: as long as I’m willing to put it out there, to follow where today’s innovation can lead us, what implications they may invoke, I’m good.
This is why creating in a single shared fictional universe makes sense. My brains works this way already, but even more importantly only a single shared vision can be complete enough to work.
I’m jotting down a lot of ideas to write and talk about. Once I get my voice back, that is, and the ability to concentrate on a single thing for more than four minutes. That’d be great. Like I said, man-child.