Thursday, January 26

Lightness of being

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

Going lighter in the wilderness is more about perspective than it is pack weight. It represents a conscious decision on behalf of the hiker to adopt a simpler, less cluttered approach to one’s time outdoors.

Of all the lessons that we can learn from heading out into nature, this is one of the most important, because it is a lesson that is universally applicable. Irrespective of our geographical location, a diligent commitment to a simpler life is one of the surest ways I know to be happy.

And that’s not even the best part.

The sort of happiness I’m talking about is the enduring type. Because its foundation is based upon intangible assets. A source that comes from within, rather than without. Let’s call it an exercise in sustainable wealth. Basically Mother Nature showing us that we don’t need that much stuff to be content. Shelter over our heads, clothes on our backs and food in our bellies.

Next time you find yourself paring down gear for a hiking trip, take a moment to step back and contemplate the big picture. Think about what you are doing and what you can learn from it. Chances are it’s a lesson whose value will transcend how much weight you’ll be carrying on your back.

Saturday, January 21

Signs of life

A 2017 new years resolution / goal?

I am toying with the idea of restarting this blog. Have been for a while now. A lot has happened in the first years since i started blogging. Indeed a whole revolution in media.

Many have taken for granted that the web has become so mobile and media rich, but those of us whom have been here from the beginning remember the early days when everything was basic html, a jpeg and the amazing animated gif.

We have come a long way and I am happy to see the web living up to its potential for not only democratizing media, but truly changing the media paradigm from one of a few channels run by large companies to a true media space by, of and for the people.

For better or worse the paradigm has shifted. The old channels are still there but the center of all media is now the internet not radio, print, broadast/cable tv.  So called "social media" now dictates the discourse.

While everyone has a part in that discourse and no one can control it there are still major problems with manipulation as has so recently become apparent in politics. Traditional news media is just trying to keep up. No doubt many wish they could put a hand brake on social media but for better or worse pandora's box has been opened and the principal of equal vote has become equal voice even if it's not a perfectly equitable mediascape.

Who would have thought when we began toying with syndication and video that what we had a hand in creating would change the world so vastly and ubiquitously in the simultaneously short and long seeming 14 years since we began.

Now that ubiquitous bandwidth, mobility and video have taken over the web giving people the awesome and still somewhat scary power to instantly share their lives it is hard for most people to remember and recognize just how far we've come and how fast. Anyone in college now probably doesn't even remeber a time when the web wasn't media rich and everyone didn't have access to share their lives instantly straight from their phone. Talking about such things is like talking about rotary phones.

And yet the more things change the more they stay the same. Blogging and google's Blogger platform on which this blog runs should have died eons ago and yet facebook has not killed it. I think in many ways facebook has made those blogs which still exist as well as new blogs that are still being created more relevant then ever.

Facebook is ubiquitous and serves a purpose for billions but it is still to much of a walled garden. It is a little to constraining and a little to creepy in its acquisition of personal data on people and the lie that it perpetuates that that information you share on it and the information it collects on you are even in the slightest private.

If you share anything on facebook whether it be your phone number or a picture of your house and family you are fundamentally sharing it with the world NOT just your "friends" as facebook falsely perpetuates. That people need this warm fuzzy lie to feel free to share their thoughts in this big bad scary world is not suprising but it doesn't make it any less a lie. Twitter as the other 800lb gorilla in the social media landscape has in that respect been a much more honest platform.

In the long run we will see continued scandal after scandal of information leaked or outright stolen from these and other services, whether that be personal details and account information, photos, videos, posts. It doesn't take but a snap of the screen to capture anything you post no matter how personal or private to make it accessible to the whole world. People simply don't think their seemingly innocent posts on their life contain anything that can hurt them until they do escape facebooks false shroud of security and go spiralling across the internet for whatever reason. Ergo why I am thinking of restarting this blog.

Why blog? It is simply more honest and simpler to post directly to the big, bad, open, scary web then to deal with the ongoing sharade that is facebook. Blogging is in a sense, keeping it real.

Hello world!