David Scott Brown

Technology: My Fickle Friend

Mar
14

I’ve been writing about technology for a couple of years now. The money is trickling in, but I’d still rather write about it than sit at a desk as a Tier 2 implementation engineer. I never went through the rigors of study to be a top engineer, and I rode the wave of technical innovation, but now it seems that connectivity has become a commodity and most network engineers have been put out to pasture. Why build a network from scratch when you can create a virtual one with a few clicks of the mouse?

After all these years, I find technology a fickle friend. She’s fine when there’s a new infrastructure to roll out, but once it’s going any college grad can do the work for a lot less. Nowadays I’m happy just being a user and hoping she gives me no trouble.

I’m reading Hemingway’s memoir “A Moveable Feast”. He quit journalism to write stories and wrote about how hungry he became. An advantage of fiction — as opposed to dry technology journalism — is that the author can include the quirks of his own personality. He tells a friend in the book, “I know. I can write them. But nobody will buy them. There is no money coming in since I quit journalism.”

Well, I quit technology. But to quit technology journalism would be a clear sign that I’m fed up with her and want something more. A technology career can be a cumbersome life for a creative soul.

Finding Purpose in the Writing Profession

Feb
09

Money isn’t everything.  When I tell people that, I imagine what goes through their heads. There he goes again, this impractical dreamer. Perhaps they’re right. But I like to think that there is some justification for my fantastic visions.

As a telecommunications professional, I have worked with many of the biggest firms in the world. I would sit at a desk and perform network configuration, monitoring, and maintenance tasks sent to me from on high. I am happy that I have had a part in connecting people through technology, and I have been a part of the industry since the 1990s.  I am still involved, writing about cutting edge technologies for Techopedia and other clients.

But I look for something more. My readings take me back thousands of years. I study ancient religions and cultures, and I study at the feet of Greek philosophers. I hope for a chance to make my own contribution to the world, whether through fiction or non-fiction writings. I feel that is both my passion and my mission.

Performing music for elder care residents has been a vocation of mine. I enjoy bringing them back to the times of their youth, stirring up memories of the songs they grew up with. I also feel a sense of mission in this endeavor.

Finding the right combination of activities to achieve purpose has been a life-long struggle. Some activities seem to pull me from what I should be doing. Chasing money to the neglect of passionately serving others has sometimes been frustrating.

There is a sweet spot somewhere. I keep trying to find it.