The holidays are over and the New Year has arrived, so it’s time to get back into serious blogging. No doubt, given the weight of the topic of my last post, you may have already figured that out, but there is a slight difference. I have tried to restrict myself mostly to subjects closest to my vocation (which seems to have chosen me): project management in general, but also information theory and systems, risk, the physical nature of complex adaptive systems of a particular kind, and related topics. All of these posts are related to issues that I’ve encountered, read about, or are actively working in the discipline. Some are reintroductions, reconsiderations, and extensions of academic work that I completed. But I’ve also attempted to mix it up and brought in other areas of interest, some of which provide insight into life and everything else.
A little over a month ago I wrote the post The Report of My Death Was An Exaggeration and many colleagues, followers, and friends (and a few detractors–haters gonna hate) speculated and asked what it was all about. I’m a bit old fashioned in this tell-all plugged-in society on personal matters. I compartmentalize my public and business personas, and separate them from my personal life. As a U.S. Naval officer I learned to do this a long time ago and considered it an essential means of meeting my professional responsibilities. My position as a commissioned officer was a public trust, that is, I had a duty, and as a public trust my personal preferences, prejudices, opinions, etc. were walled off from what the job demanded. To be effective one has to militate against one’s ego. After all, the office is more important than the individual who fills it. But I opened the door and now that we are no longer in the moment I will spill the beans.
Well I had a bit of a cancer scare and had to go through a battery of tests, one of which was particularly painful. The verdict delivered by my doctor pretty well followed in tenor if not in the details the Woody Allen snippet that I provided from the movie Hannah and Her Sisters–both in my imagination and what turned out to be the good news of reality. Even if the news had gone the other way I’m sure I could have found a humorous snippet to match it: there can never be enough gallows humor. Much as in the case of Allen’s character, this caused a reassessment on my part. It’s not a first. This was, after all, not the first time that I considered and had to contemplate my mortality under trying or frightening circumstances. In the end, after a bit of a hiatus, my conclusion was that it’s time to get back to work, which had been the same conclusion after those other events. For those still searching for the “meaning” of life, here one perspective from this small voice: the purpose of life is to live it; and to do so in the words of Mark Twain, “to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”
From the blogging perspective what this means is that there will occasionally be more posts on other topics apart from project management, like the last one, which, I think, are essential to understanding our times. My thirst for knowledge and understanding is expansive, and so this blog is part of my exploration. Some of my posts are extensions of my formal education in business, contract, and project management, literature, political science, and history. But others are subjects in which I am not as strong, where my formal education was limited and where I am largely self-taught. In this latter category my limitations are the same as others who have engaged in self-education outside of the university, and so this blog is an attempt to overcome them. I promise to try to keep it interesting, informative, well researched, current, and essential. I write to test out ideas and to share my exploration of the way the world works both at the macro and micro level on topics of interest. It is my conversation with the world. So don’t expect perfection or the rigor of a peer-reviewed paper. Also, don’t expect this to be advertisement or marketing for my commercial pursuits–those worlds are separate.
Okay, now back to business.