I stepped out of my climate-controlled house and into the pre-dawn Miami soup. It is already over 80°F and the sun is barely up — just another torrid day in the subtropics. Colonel Hoppy got up from his terracotta pot, stretched in that completely self-absorbed fashion that only cats can execute properly, and ambled over to me for some breakfast and a little affection. While he was eating I checked the condition of my alien garden. A bit withered in places from the heat, but nothing dire.
Last night I attended a Miami “blogger” meeting, organized on behalf of some digital movers and shakers passing through town. It was a pleasant affair, if a bit chaotic, and meeting people in the flesh — I won’t be quite so retro as to say “in meatspace” — is nearly always a good thing. There were at least a couple of people there I wouldn’t mind chatting with again, in a less crowded and noisy setting.
But as is often the case, I felt a bit out of place. While I work in technology, I’m no longer a developer or coder, and if I feel the need to self-identify, I flatter myself that I’m a writer. So when I’m in a room full of people discussing the merits of Ruby on Rails versus other rapid development platforms, or tips and tricks for gaming Google’s PageRank algorithm, or just plans for digital domination, I don’t have a lot to add. This is not to say I don’t understand what they are talking about, because I do. The dirty little secret of geekdom is that the arcane language is a deliberate barrier to entry, much as performing Mass in Latin puts the laity in a position of deference to priests. Pick up the concepts and you can follow along, although executing the described tasks is still a matter of considerable skill.
But this morning as I stood on the porch, drinking coffee among the plants while the Colonel ate his kibble, I found myself wondering for the thousandth time what I am doing involved in this business. If you are waiting for me to describe the epiphany where it all becomes clear to me, don’t bother; there isn’t one.
This time there’s no deadline for the punchline.