Rants and Ravings: The exercise

Here I want to explain what this little exercise is of posting my rants and ravings on the Internet. This seems like a strangely sad thing to do especially since I have no target audience and nobody to profit from rants directly. However as I am sure it will be beneficial to me, and given that I am a challenge driven individual with a history of self-indulgence, I thought this might not be a bad idea.

I am a nerd. I was raised a nerd, I was happy being one and I chose to make “nerding” it up my hobby 🙂 Thankfully this worked out well as I have a successful career and a great job which is solely based on my technical brain, logical though patterns and desire for challenges. I’m not going to go into any specifics of my job but I want to emphasize 2 key points that should explain better how I think and why I think that way.

Key Points: Curiosity

I’m a highly logical person with a curious engineers mind. If I hear a squeaky noise from my chair it bugs me as the noise is clearly not a design feature, therefore there are only 2 other major possibilities that explain the noise. – Humor me here……

1- A part in the chair is broken
2- Someone’s been messing with my chair.

Now I am happy to exclude the ideas of multidimensional travel & alternate universes as they chances of this are close to 0% and I utterly reject the idea of simply accepting the noise (this acquiescence is prominent in most people who I meet but you won’t find it in me).

So now that we have the 2 potential answers I simply must examine them further. Lets take part 2 first as once more it is the least likely of the 2.

Malice. The possibility exists that someone has taken my chair, my house mate for example could in fact have swapped my chair with his given that the squeaking noise may have annoyed him too. So to believe this I have to be in a position to believe that my house mate is capable of this Malice. As I do not believe this to be true its likelihood has dropped and I am less likely to accept this answer. Second to this he would have to already own the same chair, which he doesn’t but lets proceed under the impression that he does, and I would have to have failed to notice this noise to date. Again this seems more unlikely as the smallest noises can trigger off my inquisitive brain, which i will come to later, resulting in me definitely querying what that noise was. So again the point of malice in my friend, and a failure of my part to notice the noise drop the chances of this being the answer.

It’s not malice, the house mate is excused

Finally: I will point that there are a multitude more threads that could explain my inability to notice the noise ex. it just happened today, he figured a way to sit in it without squeaking and my hearing is not what it used to be. However as we are getting further and further from the original theory its likelihood has decreased to a low <5% chance.

Now moving back to point 1. A part in the chair is broken. As before I could simply accept this noise as “part of the way the chair is”, however this is just not in my nature, as a curious and inquisitive person simply dropping a puzzle or unknown and writing off with a shrug of the shoulder is a contradiction to my nature. So now I have established that the chair is faulty, breaking or perhaps in need of maintenance. I would then proceed to isolate the noise to the section of the chair, for my example I’ve chosen the hydraulic cylinder that raises and lowers the chair as the source of the noise. Upon further investigation I also noticed in this example scenario that the movement of the chair is restricted and doesn’t move as easily as I seemed to recall it being (always be careful about using memory recall as a point of fact, it’s never 100% correct). As the parts in the cylinder appear to be metal I decide to apply some WD-40 or Spray grease to the section of the cylinder that meets the piston (these may not be the correct terms). Thankfully this removed the noise and gave me the benefit of a more freely moving chair.

WD-40 & Duct tape solve all problems

Key Points: Challenges

So at the end of this what have I established? I hope to show that I have an inquisitive mind that once peaked cannot be brushed aside with excuse or misdirection. This key insight is my core, in “Rise of the Guardians” each Guardian has a core and curiosity is mine. In the chair example above I accepted that I didn’t know anything about hydraulics but I took it on as a challenge to fix it. I am not arrogant enough to believe 100% that I could fix the chair but I proceeded to attempt to. This combined with my engineers mind allows me to accomplish things without learning about them first from another person, without reading it in any book or text and even without abstract understanding of what I am looking at. When i was you I relished the chance to play with the electrics, plumbing, woodwork and metalwork of my house, skateboard, roller blades, bicycle and any electrical appliance. As I got older this lead to dissecting VCR’s, DVD players, Computers and even more recently an entire motorbike stripped and re-assembled. So it’s not surprising that I would maintain 2 or 3 motorcycles and my car with only a Haynes manual to guide me 😉

Failure is always an option, once the attempt was made in earnest

In my life I assign myself challenges and never accept a failure to attempt the challenge, however this is not to be confused with accepting failure in performing the task as failure is proof that not enough preparation was done prior to the task or that decisions made during the undertaking were wrong. Either way this failure teaches me something so that next time I don’t make the same mistake – hopefully 🙂 and no matter what the task is, chances are I will need that knowledge again.

Fixing a squeaky chair or a leaky carburetor begin initially with the curiosity, the questioning of the way a thing is in the now and wondering if this is how it should be. Abraham Lincoln on slavery and Steve Jobs on consumer devices both asked the same question.

Is this how it is supposed to be?

This is the question I put to everything I do, touch and influence.

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