I don’t care if a single soul ever reads these pages. Occasionally, I’ll send someone a link to a certain writing, but mostly this is for me.
One of my driving desires for doing this is to try and put down all of my thoughts on paper, mostly for my son someday. I was 29 when my father died, and part of me feels like maybe if I passed away next week/next year that my son will have grown up not knowing ME. He’s my everything…and I want to sort of build a whole repository of things that reflect who I am and in the event that I’m gone someday, he will have a litany of my thoughts/ideas. My father was a rather unique soul, and was a published poet, song writer, musician, artist, hobbyist, cook, welder, gamesman – so many things he brought to me. I only have a few of his poems in his book, two hand written poems in calligraphy I need to frame, and model cars we built together as any evidence he ever existed. One interest my brother and I had was tracing our lineage through Ancestry.com. I’ll write a post on that soon, but what’s interest is our family came over to Philadelphia in 1733 from a wealthy German family. I saw a lot of names on our family tree, but what was missing was WHO THEY ARE as people. This is sort of sad. I could see that in the 1800s, maybe on the census one of my ancestors was a farmer, but I don’t have any idea who he was…maybe he loved to play chess and that was passed down over the generations. My last name used to be Fischer, and it would be of interest to find a common ancestor between me and Bobby Fischer, the best chess player who ever lived. While I was on a decent path as a teenager to maybe get to those elite levels, it could be extremely interesting to see if there was a relation, where the split was, etc. All of this is interesting, but wouldn’t it also be interesting if 5 generations from now, my descendants could read about who I was?
I’m not a religious man. Tried that, didn’t work out for me. Part of me feels like heaven IS earth, and what we should be doing is striving to be the best people we can possibly become. Maybe through hard work, success, how we treat people, how we try and form our legacy, maybe then we can possibly live on for generations and surpass the utility of our physical form. Perhaps hell is reserved for people who are thought of with infamy, such as Hitler, John Wilkes Booth, etc. Those people will be in the history books for hundreds of years for all of the wrong reasons. I’m no Gutenberg, who invented the printing press…I’m not going to be president of the United States. What evidence 100 years from now will exist that I even existed in the world? What traces of myself can I pass down to future generations? Maybe, perhaps through writing I can tell a story of a person, one fragment at a time.
Today, writing blogs are out of favor for the video blogs. These people make millions essentially doing nothing – but they are entertaining people in the process. I’m not here to entertain but a few people in my life I have close to me, and if others, by chance, stumble upon my reading and find it entertaining, so be it. This isn’t so much of a journal as it is an imprint of who I am.
In my line of work, I deal a lot with risk. Not so much like bungee jumping type of risk, but risk of threats. As math interests me highly, there is a statistical chance that every single day will be your last day on earth. Different factors can increase those risks. How does someone like me deal with risk? You have some options:
1) Avoid – you want to avoid lung cancer, so you avoid cigarettes and tobacco products.
2) Accept – death will happen someday, I have to accept that.
3) Transfer – I might have a car accident someday that costs me a lot of money. By purchasing insurance, you transfer the risk to the insurance company.
4) Mitigate – If I live in a flood area, I can move to the mountains. I can “fix” the issue.
So, what is the risk with death? Ultimately, if you think about it, it’s loss of information. I don’t mean to sound like a cold, heartless bastard, but look at my family tree. These people are names that appear on birth certificates and death certificates. I feel like I might even have a business in information preservation someday which could hook into a service like ancestry so descendants 50, 100, 150 years from now will have archives on who the people were who were their ancestors.
Since there is a risk of death daily, we have to take some chances that options we pick will bring us happiness, but also be careful that a chance is faulty and causes us injury. With my writings here, I feel like I’m mitigating the risk of loss of information by preserving it online. Maybe someday a service exists to then take the information I present here, archive it, print it out, etc. Or….could my digital footprint be erased someday with me?