Wed Dec 02 20
There is no such thing as a mistake in life.
One way to view the nature of existence is to see ourselves as time travelers. Each individual on the planet, from the baby to the wizened gentleman to the drug dealer to the judge. All are traveling through time. The only way that we are able to experience each other and this society is through the fact that we are all traveling at the same speed through time, experiencing each second and each minute together. Surely while I was spending several of my precious minutes in the creation and administration of this blog, others spent their time playing video games, doing drugs, working and dancing.
The minutes we have are inevitably in short supply. In fact a napkin calculation tells me that I only have about 31,557,600 left that I will experience while alive. This is the optimistic case where I'm not crushed by a falling piano. As such every minute which is spent on learning a new software framework is a minute which I am not spending with my family, a minute I am not spending enriching myself or a minute I am spending not becoming a world-class pastry chef. In light of this thought experiment, I am tempted to rephrase my bold assertion above: "There is no such thing as a mistake in life, only poorly invested minutes."
But what counts as a poorly invested minute is subject for discussion. Surely working overtime and investing my precious minutes in a corporation is wasting said minutes, correct? But on the other hand, how is this different to investing money in Amazon or Apple? Money is simply an expression of minutes which created economic value at some point. Whether or not you directly caused the economic value is irrelevant, the only way to get money is if economic activity happened and your contribution was valuable. This applies in the abstract to everything, from robbery to selling baked goods. The pertinent question then, is "Are the minutes that I've invested in revamping my Ruby-On-Rails Meme blog to a .Net 5 Blazor SPA minutes well-spent or poorly invested?"
Taking economics out of the equation, I will probably not economically benefit from revamping my blogging software. Training myself to write an SPA on the other hand was investment in the self. Surely this is better than several alternatives. I could have spent this time drinking or carousing which some people would find more valuable than what I did. I have, however become enlightened on many topics in software development while taking this arduous journey. And so we come to a value equation.
Ultimately I don't believe in mistakes. Everyone has a journey and everyone has a story. The 31.5 million minutes I have left were preceded by 15.5 million minutes that I spent arriving here. Human misery and human achievement continues, the world not even blinking at the existence or lack thereof of a small blog in this (my) corner of the internet.
It is curious though that my first thought of "what do I write about" was "Are computers a mistake?"