Re: The Vision Thing

baubleOooh! I’ve been tagged for the first time. All those hours deciding who I’d invite to dinner and what my last words would be and what animal I’d be … wasted!

And the tagger in question is Paul, who is bringing up the dirty “V” word in The Vision Thing. The poor love sounds a bit jaded doesn’t he? How anyone could possibly be jaded with all these shiny web2.0 baubles to play with is beyond me (and the pale) but here’s my response…

I Feel Your Vision Pain Brother. At times, probably more often that I’d like to admit, everything to do with computers just makes me sigh so deeply that the shelves rattle. I wonder “Is it me or is all of this just complete crap?” and feel very alone and lonely. At times I am astonished at what other people find any good, but then I’m still working out if Delicious and Twitter have any real value at all. And this internet thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either.

What is Vision anyway? Most of the stuff peddled as vision nowadays is no such thing. Most of Web2.0 vision is actually about assumptions, the assumption that we can create a scalable video hosting site easily, the assumption that users generate content, the assumption that Google will buy our last techno-whim.

What’s My Vision Thing? Well, you did ask, kinda. I’m very fortunate cursed with a butterfly mind. I can be easily distracted or if you were being generous you might say I am very inquiring and experimental. What this means is that whilst traveling through times in which Vision is scarce, I can busy myself with The Next Best Thing knowing that, when I least expect it, something so new and fab it hurts will blow my socks off. It’s a waiting game in which you might as well spend the boring bits at least trying to make it interesting. You never know.
On the subject of experimentation and research, I’ve got to tell you that yesterday was a break-through day for me. One of those days when three or four tinkering strands came together in a spume of code. It’s early days but its a mashup of data-mining, natural language processing, visualisation and crispy bacon (it’s still in alpha). I was so excited about this thing I’d made that I gibbered. And here’s the rub, I stumbled across this whilst doing real work, you know, the dull stuff.

In the past I’ve done the Vision thing so many times and I’ve never created a meme… and worse than that, I’ve found myself banging on about something for years and then someone else creates the term that defines it and I then waste my time wearing my best “I told you so hat”.

So my Vision for next few years is, as ever, that there will be more of the same (only slightly better) and loads of crap that becomes a success despite my disregard. Mark my words, this one will come true!

Do Something Else… Quick!

So, in true bloke style, rather than simply listening I’m going to try and find a solution to your current Vision predicament with some handy hints for beating the ennui..

  • Take a break. You sound like you need a holiday. People need holidays. I need a holiday. The internet will still be there when you get back, only slower.
  • Do something very different on your computer, something meaty. For me it was playing with natural language processing and visualisation that opened the doors of excitement again. What were you tinkering with five years ago that you never quite finished? You are older and wiser now. Now you might crack it.
  • Do a very boring job. There’s nothing like drudgery to set the mind a-wandering.
  • Dig out your old heroes. Go watch the Doug Englebart videos and imagine how he must feel having created software in 1960 that is still unparelled in today’s Web2.0 loveliness. And then Tommy Cooper.
  • Learn the ukulele
  • Get out more. I find that other people never fail to inspire me. Let’s have a pint soon! I’ll do the best I can on the inspiration front.

You’ve given me an idea there. Us geeks, especially the self-employed ones really should have supervisors/mentors. Someone to talk to about work. Sure GeekUp is great but I mean something more, well, selfish and less social. A bit like professional technological therapy to stop us all going mad or strange.

Your first session is free.

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