The first month of 2021 is over. It seems as though so much has changed, and yet, nothing has changed. I have taken a few weeks to assemble my thoughts on how I want to proceed in this new year. As an important first step, I took stock of what I learned from 2020 and how those lessons might shape my approach to life going forward.
From the need for careful consumption, to an appreciation of fellow humans, to the importance of reevaluating success in human instead of fiscal terms, the pandemic experience has been deeply instructive. For me, one of the biggest revelations of the last year has been the pivotal role of creativity. If anything, stringing together words got me through the year of aloneness.
In the coming months, I intend to improve upon my approach to creative expression – specifically, I aim to be more intentional, more rigorous, and more regular in my cadence. Being disciplined about the act of creating is as important as creativity itself. I hope to carve out a few hours each day to focus on the two things I most enjoy: photography and writing. I also want to dedicate a greater portion of each day to the latter.
While both are solitary activities, there is a social upside to sharing the product of one’s labors. Doing so sparks conversations, which may lead to the productive exchange of ideas. This is how we collectively improve. Sadly, society has become less social. In our post-social world, we don’t converse as much as we scream past each other. Social media is nothing but a war for attention. Our media rewards — and is driven by — outrage and the cheap clicks it generates.
In 2021, I plan to write without succumbing to the outrage ecosystem. And I plan to maintain with a level-headed perspective and a clear-eyed view of our collective future. I’ll explore technology, the science behind it, and its business and social impacts. I will dive deeper into topics like the proliferation of GPUs, micro-attention media, sensory software, augmented intelligence, new materials, computational science, and the future of computing — from storage, to networks, to the next generation of cloud.
In my ideal world, I would share what I learn in the form of carefully crafted essays and insightful interviews. These longer pieces would be supplemented with links to articles that inform, educate, and excite me about the future. And hopefully, from this mix, some useful conversations would emerge.
That’s the goal. Of course, I know that making a New Year’s resolution is the easy part. It’s the sticking to it that’s hard. For that, it helps to have friends — and readers — who hold me accountable.
January 31, 2021, San Francisco