Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Portfolio of Passions

Today I found a new website called "Academic Earth." As far as I can tell it's a collection of videos from university websites, with some of which I am already familiar (MIT's Open Course Ware, Stanford's eCorner). It's an interesting aggregation, and one I may find myself frequenting. I'm already becoming sucked into the TED phenomenon, as I got sucked into MIT World several years ago.

One of the videos I watched was Randy Komisar talking at Stanford about finding your passion. His main point was that the question "What is my passion?" will paralyze you, as will the question "What's the end goal?" Instead, he said, you should ask yourself about your "portfolio of passions" and your next step.

With that in mind, I made a list today of my passions. It may not be exhaustive, and it's in no particular order.

1. Science - the scientific method, the scientific community, and the process of creating knowledge.

2. Engineering - designing useful things, especially with a human interaction-centered approach.

3. Nanotechnology

4. Architecture/Urban Planning - a similar concept to 2. but on a much larger scale. The way people interact with their surroundings has an even bigger impact on their lives than the way they interact with their "things."

5. Education - I strongly believe the system (US public schools) is far from ideal. I have no idea how to fix it, but Woodie Flowers has some good ideas. Google him.

6. Post-industrialism - The Information Age is only beginning, my friends. I hope to elaborate greatly on this in the future.

Now I just have to figure out how to synthesize these passions into a meaningful direction. Suggestions appreciated.