Nicks Octopress Blog

A blogging framework for hackers.

Thoughts on Clarity

“That’s why stories appeal to us. They give us the clarity and simplicity our real lives lack” - Patrick Rothfuss. Since I love stories, whether they are from books or movies or tv… this quote struck me. However, I think that the hunt for clarity and simplicity applies beyond stories to everything that I love, to all the hobbies that I enjoy. I do not expect to ever understand life enough that I might claim that it is simple. However, I will certainly try. I feel that my best chance is to pick small pockets of life as hobbies and over a lifetime of learning, achieve a high level of understanding (or clarity).

I have always loved clarity. When I played hockey in high school, I loved starting a rush up the ice, all the possibilities laid bare before me. Or studying for a final as I could feel all the information consolidating, seeing how interconnected all the details were and understanding the flow of the subject matter. Thus, I loved games, learning their inner workings and obsessing over them until I could see several steps ahead. I loved learning because if you studied hard enough and read deep enough into the subject then there was no need to memorize, it would become natural and simply make sense.

But games come and go. The one constant has become programming, it is the ultimate hobby since I can get paid for doing it and spend my next 30-40 years exploring its nuisances under the guise of a career. I’ll be surrounded with others who have spent decades studying and learn from them. There will be no slacking since I’ll be disciplined to spending 40 hours a week. And yes, I will balance it with my personal life and other hobbies. Ultimately though, I see it as my greatest hope for achieving clarity.