Archive for July, 2008

Who Am I?

Posted in future, history on July 20, 2008 by screamingdefiance

Restarting this blog, I think it’s appropriate to introduce myself.

I am a student.  In the conventional terms, I am a junior at Oberlin College, where I am a major in History, and tentatively Middle East & North African Studies.  In the more abstract, I am a student of ideas about our past and future.  History fascinates me, as I think that understanding the human past is crucial not only to understand the world that we live in today, but more importantly, because it shows the power of thoughts and actions over time.  The sum of the choices of individuals over time and across time are what we regard now as history.  As for the future…well, that outlook can be rather gloomy, but what is important is to crystallize and spread the principles that will continue the progress of the human mind, with particular concern for the looming environmental crisis that we face as a species.  Books, conversation, formal education–each of these is a crucial part of learning as a whole, and I consider the thirst for knowledge to be a central part of the essence of my being.

I am a gambler.  Everything about life is a risk, from the first time that we tentatively ask someone on a date, to the chances that we may be struck in the street by a car.  Money is one of the most powerful yet meaningless social constructions that has ever been devised–what better thing is there with which to take chances?  I gamble not because it is profitable, but because there is something supremely potent about taking a chance on the roll of a die or turn of a card, with pure chance determining the fate of something that is both utterly irrelevant and massively important.

I am a visionary.  Rather than simply dealing with ideas, I want to effect change in the world.  The multitude of problems that we face on every scale is daunting, but I have faith in human ingenuity.  It’s not impossible to dream of a better future, and to hope that through the hard work of my generation it may be realized.

I hope to use this blog to record some of my thoughts.  Whether or not anyone reads it, I think it’s important simply to write.  Too often, I have interesting ideas, but have no outlet for expressing the thoughts streaming from my mind.