When I was just a boy I was imminently close to successfully bending space and time.
Sitting in the basement of my mothers Northern California home I had all of the essential ingredients. My workshop smelled of freshly cut wood and had dissected electronics strewn about the floor. I was likely seated Indian style inside of my spaceship - a full-size refrigerator box wired to the bleeding edge of what was technologically possible for the curious mind of 7 yearold. The internals were illuminated by strands of christmas tree lights. A keyboard sat in front of me, dissected motors, fans, and switches of all types and sizes carefully embedded in the cardboard walls. I would sit down there for hours. Imagining. Dreaming. A daily rush of possibilities and excitement seemingly in endless supply.
Then one day, building RC cars became cool and girls no longer had cooties. Over time my workshop collected dust, and the inventions of my childhood were disassembled and discarded. Life went on.
The feeling of unbridled curiosity and the belief that nearly anything was possible fell by the wayside and was replaced over time with “reality” - a boxed up justification for rules, growing cynicism, and explanations for why things are the way they are, not the curiosity as to why they’re not, or what they could be.
A few months ago I stumbled across a blog post by Braintree founder Bryan Johnson containing a few lines that (within the context of the rest of his article) shook my world, and momentarily transported me back to my glowing refrigerator-box time machine.
"The United States space program of the 1960’s captured the imaginations of an entire generation. How many children from that era dreamed of becoming astronauts when they grew up?
What will today’s children dream of becoming?"
Read his entire article here. It’s well worth the six minutes.
What will today's children dream of becoming? My scribbles here and elsewhere are dedicated to exploring the limitless possibilities and exciting times we face today as technologists and practitioners both in software and hardware enabled fields. An attempt to re-ignite for me and hopefully for others, the type of thinking and action, however small or large, that we once explored without bounds as curious, hopeful, and ever optimistic children flipping switches in our refrigerator-box time machines.