MNiC New Year Thumb

Resolve and the New Year 7


Happy New Year

Here it is, a week into the New Year and I’ve published nothing on either of my blogs. Better jump on this. It’s been an interesting couple weeks. Which is good. I like interesting.

Went to a wedding about a week ago, and that was interesting. Lots of people who are friends of mine Pretty much only friends read this blog, so I don’t really want to get into how or why. The big thing is that it was fantastic for the people who matter (the two who were getting hitched) and pretty much everyone had a great time. Everything else is subplot, and don’t you forget it.

Serious, not staged.

Serious, not staged.

My mom was in Prescott, babysitting my second cousins for my aunt and uncle so that they could take some time off to rest and recharge, so I got to see her today. We grabbed lunch together in the surprisingly charming town of Wickenburg.

Workouts were slightly on hold while I recovered from a brief bout with a cold (which I won). It’s amazing what sleeping for two days straight can do for the ol’ immune system. Just as a side note, holding your wedding on the weekend after Christmas is a perfect storm of contagious germs. Tomorrow, Gin and I are going to run through the full workout routine, to see if he’s up to pass the PAST. I suspect he’s got it, aside from the run.

New Years Resolutions

MNiC New Year Thumb

I don’t really do resolutions.

Or at least I don’t do them arbitrarily at New Years. I think that’s just a great way to never get anything done. Instead, I like to identify things I would like to change or fix whenever I can, all year ’round. I’m not pointing a finger at any of you who do go in for New Years resolutions. I figure I just have more than the average person that needs fixing, so I can’t wait around for the calendar to roll over to get a jump on things.

That said, if I can recommend a single resolution, it’s this: Resolve to resolve things more often. That’s what resolve is, as it happens: A consistent affirmation of a change. You can’t just resolve things at 00:00:01 on 01/01/XX and call it good. Not if you actually want to change anything. You have to resolve again at 00:00:02, and about lunch time, and on 01/02/XX and at 02/01/XX and so on, and so on.

I’m a firm believer in the power of habit. Not only do changes get easier if you practice them consistently, but consistently practicing things becomes a habit. . . if you practice it consistently.

Easier said than done, I know. But you only get one short life, so why not put in the full 100% while you’re in the game?

I’m planning on doing more or less what I did last year in the general sense: Go places, do things, make money writing books, and divide my time between the people I care about, and the places that are maximally far from everyone.

As for the specifics, well, who knows? We live in an Age of Wonders. We live in a world where nearly anything is possible, and yet challenges still abound. Some days it all seems so out of control, and others I find myself stunned by the sheer.  . . magnitude of it all.

Person-Hours and Complexity

I was watching, while stuck in traffic in a construction zone the other day, some guy breaking up asphalt and cement roadway with a jackhammer, and I got to wondering, How many man hours went into making that single moment possible? Is it even possible that we might add them up? The brief list, and remember each of these things is the end result of both a production and design chain, with the designers and builders the products of educational chains, and the constituent pieces the end of their own production chains: Jackhammers, safety equipment, clothing, tools, gasoline, lighting, traffic control, surveying equipment, planning and zoning, and tack on to that everything needed to lay the replacement roadway.  . .

I sat there thinking about it, and came to the sobering realization that everything around us that doesn’t grow from a seed (and in many cases those as well) are the end result of certainly-thousands-probably-millions-of person-hours of labor and thought. If you were to add up the amount of human time invested in more complex things, like a car, or the computer you’re working on, it might well approach the total lifetime of the universe in absolute invested time–luckily the billions of us can process in parallel and divide our labor in semi-intelligent fashion.

Anyway, it’s just a thought. I may look into expanding on it, but I suspect the calculations and research involved in a quantitative answer would be less “blog topic” and more “doctoral thesis” in nature.

I’m sure you’ve heard this song a million times by now, but it strikes as just the right song for heading into 2014:

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About Connor Rickett

My name is Connor Rickett. I started out in the sciences, but left grad school to follow a dream of writing and traveling. Since then I have done a fair bit of both, visiting forty-five states and several provinces, and making a living (more or less) as a freelancer and ghostwriter. Feel free to swing by my business site, CitiesoftheMind.com


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