Author Archives: foosayer

About foosayer

I am a retired software engineer living in the Pacific NW. My current day job continues to involve my life's roles as husband, father, grandfather, citizen. By choosing to surrender my 43 year role as employee, there is now more time to enjoy writing, fixing stuff, further developing musical skill, and exploring the many interesting facets of my world that I stumble upon. My writing habit is expressed through my blogs. I blog notes to myself, mostly in the style of a discourse with my Generalized Other, talking us through various subjects that interest us. Perceptive readers will see existential challenges here: maintaining social presence with family and acquaintances, while being involved in often solitary activities; avoiding catastrophe (e.g. elder dude on bicycle at speed); resisting entropy that pushes harder on us as the years pile on and internal energy wanes. Factoid: The first computer game I played was Spacewar on a PDP-1 in 1963. Factoid: In spite of having no brand loyalty inclination whatsoever, I have managed to remain exclusively a consumer of Nikon, Audi, and Apple products for over 30 years. No real contradiction, however, for this is consistent with my philosophy of 'buy the best for my needs, no matter where it's made'. Factoid: My favorite instance of re-purposing is the conversion of old railroad right-of-way into bicycle trails through forest and field. Factoid: Bucket lists filled with experiential gratification make no sense to me. I am more of a macher-type. My bucket will hold a list of things to create. And knowing me well, I will live for the process; reaching the goal is secondary. While gainful employment was never compatible with such an attitude, retirement blissfully accommodates it!

Just Write About It

A great complex of evolved and invented machinery enriches our rocky planet, presenting an endless space to explore. By machinery is meant not only our evolved biological life forms and invented physical devices, but also the evolved metaphysical constructs imagined by human brains, including mathematics and art. I explore by writing, hoping to unearth artifacts of cognition. Welcome to my dig.

I dig for insight, a state of awareness that is bliss for the analytical mind. On a less pretentious note (deep insight having escaped me as yet), aging necessitates writing stuff down, the practical imperative. Inevitably, the old noodle’s memory space grows smaller every year, so external memory becomes increasingly valued.

I also dig for health. Years lived in ‘same old’ routine tend to vanish from memory, psychologically shortening  lifespan. William James noted that such a span devolves “to a contentless unit, and the years grow hollow and collapse”. Active digging keeps an aging brain stimulated while installing landmarks, memory cues to resist the hollowing of years.

The locus of explored topics is reflected in my dig’s menu hierarchy. My topics are visited cyclically or whenever, integrating things learned. It keeps me freshly interested, iterating in such circles, enhancing cognition through repetition and emendation.

While more capable minds might only need one cycle per topic, my mind needs information in small bites, so is destined to cycle around a few times to get in touch with a complex topic. Small insights incite more exploring, eventuating insight into the whole.

This is the goal, integration of atomic knowledge into my overall conceptual and intuitive framework, in which physics becomes more than its experiments and equations,  music more than its notes, a machine more than its parts, art more than the sum of its criticisms.