Cubicool And Your Mortality 2016-10-19
Lately I have been grinding through the documenatry list at TDF and today I came across the video below. It is an hour long collection of footage from the late 90's about Netscape's release of its Communicator source code in an attempt to step up their competition with Microsoft in the browser market. As I was watching it, I had a bit of a revelation about "geek culture"...
I have been [intentionally] out of the work force for a few years now, and as I was watching the video I found myself recognizing the way some of the Netscape employees really cherished the less-mature parts of their job. Things like playing with silly toys, lame jokes, dressing unprofessionally, not being at their desk when they should be, and bragging about knowing something other people don't know. At the same time, many of them also seemed to be bragging about their fat salaries and additional perks. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of not behaving like an adult, but I'm not convinced these folks are doing it for the right reasons. I think many of them are doing it [at least partially] because they are afriad to die.
Now hold on a minute, that sounds like a bit of a stretch eh? Well maybe not. I think a lot of people [Netscape or otherwise] simply don't take the time to consider their own mortality and come to peace with it. A lot of people just don't want to admit that every single one of us is food and that one day our dreams will stop. Forever. The toys, the chest puffing, the accumulation of crap, and the polite pissing match are all just ways of making people feel like their life is not a futile waste of time. I think their/your life is not a waste of time, but not because they/you have cool stuff.
I also think that a lot of this applies to the current day desire to be a "geek". In days gone by, being a geek was an undesirable thing, but today it seems to be all the rage. Everyone has a fancy cell phone these days, and many people cling to their phone like a fuzzy cuddly blankie that keeps them safe and free from monsters at night. Folks examine the minute details of electronic gadgets when they buy them, and they have to get the next awesome release of their gadget to make sure they don't fall behind in the war of digital cocksmanship. Is anyone really going to find themselves on their death bed, whispering in someone's ear "Boy, I'm sure glad I got every generation of iPad that was ever released. Now I can die knowing that I didn't piss my life away."? I hope not, that would be really sad.
Having said all that, I might suggest that the negligible list of riff raff that actually reads this far should take the time to consider their mortality. Stop and think about whether that silly toy or fat salary is going to really make you any happier. Who knows, maybe people are generally shallow enough that it will in fact make them happy to just have more stuff than other people, even if it does come at the expense of someone they'll never meet. I hope it isn't that bad... I really do.