Here is what's on my mind on this New Year's Day.
The Future Is Now
My favorite movies of all time are the Back to the Future movies. I've watched them countless times, and always get completely engrossed with the story. The ideas of time travel, destiny, redoing the past, and what the future could hold are things I think about a lot. I'm not sure if I think about these things because I've watched these movies so many times, or if I've watched these movies so many times because I think about these things so often.
Anyways, the year 2015 has been etched into my mind as being the year that best represents the future. I have to say, now that we are here in "the future", I'm a bit disappointed. As Peter Thiel put it, "We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters". On the other hand, the internet, and smartphones are pretty great - both of which didn't appear in the movies. So, now that 2015 is the present (and soon to be the past), I need a new mental model of what the future is.
The Singularity Is Near?
This brings me to the topic of the singularity. Ray Kurzweil, has predicted that it will occur in 2045. This obviously may or may not happen, but if Kurzweil is correct this means that I'm now just half of my life away from seeing this event (or dying from it, if it happens Skynet style). When I first found out about the singularity, I got depressed. I started asking myself questions like "if everything is just going to get invented by AI in the future, why even bother doing trying to make any of my ideas happen now?". I have come to realize how faulty this thinking is. The singularity, and technological progress in general, isn't something that is inevitable. Each and every day people have to wake up, and work on creating new things that don't exist. If that innovation and invention stops, then so does progress, and the singularity never happens. Therefore it is actually imperative for everyone to pursue their ideas, and not worry about a distant future that may or may not even happen. To quote Doc Brown, "Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one".
I'm In a Good Position
Getting back down to the present, and thinking about what I want to create, and fulfilling my aspirations, things are looking bright. I've looked back at where I was on January 1st of every year since I graduated college, and am in the the best position heading into a new year yet. The financial crisis, among other things, introduced a lot of chaos into my life, which lead to lots of change, uncertainty, and starting over. But I've now been creating software at startups for many years, been getting really good at coding, work with some great people at my job, and am living in an amazing city. I have enough security and stability to begin to tackle some of my larger goals that have been deferred for years. This makes me very, very excited.