“Open to me, so that I may open. Provide me with your inspiration. So that I may see mine.”
This quote spoke to me, so I thought I might write this post.
More fundamentally, though, I’ve not really dwelt on what inspires me. Now taking the chance to reflect on that, since my youth I’ve always been curious about how things work. And that curiosity has inspired me to study, take things apart, find out how they tick.
That same curiosity, I guess, has driven me to make things. From Meccano, Lego, Airfix and Hornby, through analog and digital electronics, R/C aircraft, helicopters, tanks and boats, to real cars and motorcycles, carpentry, and food. And software, of course. Making things – and fixing things – helps me understand the fundamentals, and satisfy my curiosity.
Early in my career I made some small speciality out of fixing or upgrading software systems where all documentation – and often, source code – had been lost. And from time to time, taking research or prototype systems, again absent documentation or original authors, and turning them into commercial products. Even these days I find a certain self-indulgent catharsis in that kind of work.
And for the longest time, or so it seems, I’ve found inspiration in trying to understand social systems and how they work. Which in no small measure involves trying to understand people. At least, en masse.
And, I guess, I’ve sometime found much inspiration in exploring things together. With other folks who share my curiosity.
I’d love to hear about what inspires you. Would you be willing to share?