Over the holiday period, my mind tends to find its way out. Out as in, out of the rut and constraints of the life I have built around me. Out as in, out of these self-inflicted boundaries that keep me safe and stupid. I’m not good with either safe or stupid and it tends to drive me to seek a ledge to jump off from. Not to die on the pavement but to fly away to unknown horizons.
I was thinking about explorers and how extraordinary lucky these people are to have made seeking the edge of things their life’s story. Some of them die in the process when their wings of ambition don’t catch the air, but frankly every profession carries its risks. I’ve spent enough time, too much of it, in the corporate world to know that it too demands sacrifices that ends lives. But would you rather look back and regret your time in meetings or foraging for edible plants?
If you want to become a member of the venerable Explorers Club in New York, you need to visit the Mariana Trench in some novel way or be the first to set foot on Mars. The past and present members of this club are extraordinary people that earned their membership the hard way.
My whole life has been an exploration of a different kind and I’m guessing that this holds for many people. We all explore ourselves, our ambitions, our back yard, a career and a hobby or two.
Sometimes we get lucky and find our way to the edge of the known and take a first glimpse at the hitherto unknown. These are epiphanic explorational moments, knowing that you are the first human to set foot somewhere or to see something or to know something.
My research into genetic fractals started with such a moment, when I realized that life is a genetic fractal not just in a conceptual sense but in a mathematical and physical sense. Another such moment, three years of development later when I wrote the equation that underlies these genetic fractals. I tried to capture that in a post “A beautiful mind”.
What brings on these moments? It isn’t enough to do something that hasn’t been done before. For example, if you go to the top floor of the Eiffel Tower and sing “Let it be” whilst juggling potatoes with your name carved in them, you may be the first but you will not experience an epiphanic explorational moment.
It seems like there has to be a long road first. Years of preparation. A long journey that shows you everything there is to know about the domain you are in. You probably need failures along the way for a discovery to be meaningful. And there is no guarantee that you will get there. In fact, the odds are stacked against you: you are probably on the wrong track and will fail. But you push on because you believe that you are onto something. You believe it is possible. And because you believe it you will get there and have the explorers experience.
As I wrote this, I wondered why? What am I getting at? Getting this far I know why. This is a note-to-self-post. To remind myself that I am an explorer and that it is time to go past basecamp on a number of projects.
During my lunch break I drove out to one of the suburbs to change my environment and clear my thoughts. I wandered in a store and checked out their books to find a book by Sarah Marquis, “Wild by nature”. I recently “came across her”, an inspiring modern day adventurer who walked from Siberia to Australia, living of food and water that she found on the land, including the desert.
As I was reading the first page, an former colleague, “Freddy” sneaked up on me and we had a tea together. Within minutes we were lost in a typical Genetic Fractal discussion on the philosophy of beauty (which I should write a post about…). After we said our goodbyes, I realized that there is only one base camp I need to move from: “the application of Genetic Fractals”.
Oh, and that I need to post more on this blog here…!