There are somethings I guess no one can explain. 20 years ago no one knew what the Internet might become. It was built a page at a time. Websites going up and down, popular and abandoned. The rate of physical and functional growth of computing and the Internet in particular is astonishing. Among other thing the Internet has made the world a much smaller place. Arming humanity with devices enable us to update the internet instantly and communicate across the global without a losing a second. The Internet provides us with the ability to create information and an infinite supply of information, but that is not knowledge and information is not always true (or valuable). Just because someone else did it on YouTube does not mean you can do it. Or maybe it does?
One of the notable Internet trends has been in social networks. Social sharing sites are at the core of the Internet and are the most visited websites. Google+, Facebook, Tweeter, Linkedin. The list goes on and on. We have somehow grown accustom of hearing these names. We also learned to associate a different functionality with each service. One is for friends, the other for strangers. Some are for professional work other for large corporation communication. Each with their own unique traits, they still have at least one thing in common. They each enable us to share a part of our personality with others. “We all wear masks” is something everyone has to agree to at some point in their life. One does not act the same way with their friends as the act with their parents. For good or for worse, we all have an idea of what privacy means to us. Some like to share more than others, but we share based on context and who sees it, or more precise who might see it.
There are many more things the Internet is good for. The 2 things that are going to stick around is memory and searching. The Internet “remembers”. Everything. I am not sure if it is a good or bad thing, but once something “goes viral”, there is no ‘taksies backsies’. Since the Internet size is enormous, search engines are the only way to find something. I remember when I had a list of website I went to each time I was looking for something. Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, LexisNexis and other search sites allows us to sift through the ‘mist’ and locate what we are looking for. Remember this, if someone wants to know about you, they will search your name. Whether it is an employer, parent, lover, teacher, a random person, etc. They will find you, and everything you ever did or put online. Be careful, the Internet “remembers”.
With all this in mind, it is easy to lose where ones self begins and ends. This is why I blog. This blog gives me the ability keep a journal of me. I have come to terms long ago that there are many parts of me. This blog represent who I perceive myself to be as a scientist. It is my belief that the term scientist has been somewhat lost and replaced with ‘I googled it’. Just the other day I was talking to one of my younger professors who was telling me he wished he could Google something in their office. I told him they are working on it. To me it is sad that experimentation has been replaced with search. Innovation is turning into modification. We are falling behind. The idea of the inventor, researcher, scientist is being lost. That is what I am trying to bring back.
To not be a hypocrite, I do use Google. A lot. There is nothing wrong with looking up information. It is what you do with the information. There is a distinct difference between information and knowledge. There is also a difference between fragile knowledge and concrete knowledge. I use search result to build knowledge. To build a solution. I look for a problem. I look for things others might have missed. I look for things that might have been lost to time. I take it back to try to move forward. I am a scientist, regardless of computer. What drives me is exploration, not exploitation.
In effort to stay true to my cause, I have started this blog. Maybe I started to late. For the past 5 years I have been in a constant research. I still am. I have a ton of information that I want to explore and some free time at the moment. This blog give me a chance to try to make some order in the chaos that is in my mind. Maybe then I can see the light. There are 2 goals in my mind that make a scientist solid. The first is the ability to transpose information. The second is to convey it. This blog is to suffice the latter. I can go through information on my own in my spare time. But without a log, without a journal, what is the point. Is the journey not the best part? Is the path not more interesting than the goal? In this blog I try to describe my journey and share it so others might learn. There are many thing that bring joy to my life. Teaching others and engaging minds is one I value more the others.
Inspired by Why keep a blog?
This is the 1st version of the Captain’s Manifesto.