I believe in life it is important to have goals. And I also believe that everyone has them, even if unconsciously. For some it is goals such as having certain career ideas or wanting to have five children by a certain age. For example, I have a good friend who wants to have traveled to every continent by the time he's 30.
For me, I have decided somehow, and this sounds terribly cheesy, do-gooder and naive, to leave a positive footprint on this world.
Something that helps humanity as much as possible and that they will remember even when I'm no longer there.
Ideally, of course, this would be all of humanity, or approximately so.
For example, almost everyone knows Einstein and his achievements. Of course, I don't want to compare myself to Einstein here and it's very likely that not nearly as many people will remember me or my actions as they do this gentleman. But he and his achievements are a good example or role model.
As far as my goal is concerned, there are a few companies that go in a similar direction with their mission statements as I would like to. A company's mission statement describes the framework conditions under which they want to achieve their goals and, above all, what their actual goal is.
In Google's mission statement, for example, you can find the sentence "Google's goal is to organize the world's information and make it accessible and usable for everyone at all times."
Wikipedia's mission statement goes in a similar direction "The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and encourage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to effectively and distribute worldwide...”
Both companies have made it their mission to distribute knowledge. I think that's a good idea.
But at the same time I have to say that there is one aspect that is being neglected.
There are situations where it is not enough just to have this knowledge available. It is also important to know how to use it.
A small example:
[Scene from the Big Bang Theory series:
Lenard: “Does anyone know how an internal combustion engine works?”
Group: Unanimously: “Of course!”
Lenard: “Can someone fix an internal combustion engine?”
Group: *unintelligible mumble*=Everyone has to meekly admit that they can't do it.]
It is one thing to understand the function of something but another thing to work with it practically.
I would like to try to close this gap. Not only to impart knowledge, but also to make it practically applicable. There are countless cookbooks that explain step by step how to “assemble” food. I would like to transfer this concept to all other areas of life (with a technical bias, of course).
And (now we come back to the do-gooder part) I believe that this can solve other problems quite incidentally. For example, if you can repair your television yourself, you won't buy a new one. So he or she contributes to environmental protection. If you build something completely new from existing but useless components, you save money. This makes technology accessible to people who otherwise couldn't afford it.
Skills as tools
Furthermore, and this is almost my favorite “problem” that could be solved along the way: these newly learned skills are like a tool. These newly learned skills expand the possibilities of your own creativity.
Just imagine what subsequent inventions have become possible because someone invented the screwdriver. I believe that knowledge and the resulting skills, just like the screwdriver, can lead to new inventions that are currently unthinkable.
The more people have as many “tools” as possible at their disposal, the more people can let their creativity run wild and invent new inventions.
Now you can of course ask: “How?” Do you want to write repair instructions for everything in the world now?” Of course I don't want that. I think that's impossible.
But I also think that once knowledge in one area is practically applicable and you have practiced it, then it is easy to apply these new skills in other areas.
In my opinion, open source technology is a good example of the problems mentioned above but also of the resulting opportunities. The technology is there. However, it is not always easy to use. Firstly, you need time to get used to it and often a certain amount of prior knowledge. Both can make use significantly more difficult or even impossible.
I would like to change this in the future by explaining various open source projects in detail and in small steps.
I hope that over time this page will be filled with lots of practical “technology cookbooks”.