Month: August 2012

It’s a Magical World, Hobbes

Exciting times. A couple weeks ago I finished my BSc, surely the most arduous intellectual task I have ever undertook. Next week I will be leaving Jerusalem, which has been my (surprisingly homely) home for the last three years, and my job of two years at NDS/Cisco. I hope to get some writing done on both topics, sometime. A week after that, I am going traveling abroad to Central America – Costa Rica, Cuba, and Guatemala. All of that trip will be with Limor, and parts with my family. A long ways away from cool evenings in the quieter neighborhoods of J-M, the endless papers and tests, the familiar faces of my undergrad experience. Limor and I will be coming back in late October for Orr & Kira’s wedding; after that – who knows? We’ve been discussing (read: negotiating) where to live. (Hopefully, the US.) What to do. I’ll likely want to go on another trip. Maybe Southeast Asia. Maybe Eastern Europe, or Colombia. Perhaps teach English in Nepal or bus dishes in Italy. Or maybe we should use this welcome free time to work on our marketable skills; join a start-up? Found a start-up? (See my last post on that one.)

One of my favorite comic strips is Calvin & Hobbes, which is known for its subtle philosophy/social criticism, as well as old-fashioned kitsch. The strip’s ending was famously bitter-sweet for its crowds, but Watterson (the author) tried to let go with an optimistic nod (below) towards how much left there is to see and to do.

A common psychological bias is to over-estimate your various alternatives by mistakenly combining different possibilities into a single illusory future, the sum-of-all-advantages, even those mutually exclusive. Eventually you will take one path, and only one path – the others doomed to remain dreamy ‘what-ifs’. But that does not take away the magic of not knowing; the thrill of standing before uncharted territories with no map and no compass and really, no destination in mind. It’s a magical world; let’s go exploring.

it’s a magical world