Do you care that what you create won't be here in the next ten to twenty years?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by spinnaker, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. spinnaker

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    Oct 29, 2009
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    The recent death of my friend made me think about my own mortality and the mortality of the things I create.

    In addition to my friends death, I recently had my own brush with the reality of how long people and things exist (be it not as tragic as a death of a friend). It still is a death in some respect, of something I created.

    I am the designer and programmer of one of the oldest Lotus Notes applications at my place of work. An invoicing system that processes hundreds of thousands of dollars of invoices per month. It was a great success for over ten years. But we have grown at an unbelievable pace and the system can no longer support the huge size of our company. It will be replaced by a new off the shelf system designed specifically for the legal industry.

    It made me think that after I am gone, all of my work will have gone to bit dust and become long forgotten. No legacy, no one will remember

    When you look at places like Asia and Europe you see buildings from hundreds sometimes thousands of years ago. While their names in many cases may have been long forgotten the work they put into these things lives on most likely for many generations to come.

    About the only profession I can think of where the work lives on is building and bridge engineers. But in the modern world many of those things don't last long either. Our city recently tore down a very unique area complete with a dome that opens up. It was an engineering marvel and a significant landmark for Pittsburgh. Now it is gone to to make way for a new parking lot.

    Seems nothing lasts forever. So does it bother you that the work you do may be forgotten in a short period of time?
     
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  2. mbohuntr

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    Not Really, as I get older, I am realizing my mortality. I have my name on things I have welded that should last for another 30 years or so, Built houses and remodeled some that might last for another 100 and built some stone walls that might last for several hundred.

    That being said, I see people around me that spend their whole lives building or creating nothing, only living to please their immediate needs.

    We all end up in some cemetary under a headstone that serves as the only evidence of our even have existed. So, I guess my answer is to live each day as your last, don't waste a moment worrying about those things beyond your control and try to enjoy yourself. After all, in the end, those headstones just sit there forgotten because all the people who loved them have passed as well. Perhaps this life is just a stepping stone in a longer journey through time because we all agree that energy cannot be destroyed, only change state and the things that make me unique will continue on beyond my physical self. Merry Christmas! and god bless. (That was the longest run-on sentence I have ever written!) *cringes* :)
     
  3. spinnaker

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    Yeah I guess the best thing we can build that we will be remembered is a family. Sadly I never had that chance.

    But you are right about those that exist only to please themselves. Or worse cheat or even kill others to satisfy their own greed. Doesn't matter if it is for money, power, religion. I just can't figure it out. Life is so short and you are going to spend it trying to control others. Doesn't make any sense to me.
     
  4. mbohuntr

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    You don't have to be related to be family, Many years ago, a young hunter stopped at a rural dairy farm to ask permission to hunt. The farmer was so impressed that the two became good friends. Each year, I stop at the farm (which is more than a quick drive) to say hi, and again ask permission. Sometimes his firewood gets cut, sometimes turkeys magically appear in his garage freezer. He is more like an uncle to me. He is retiring next year at 81. It is better to remember a friend fondly, and make some new ones than shut yourself away. I am closer to some of my friends than I ever was to some of my family. Merry Christmas Spinnaker! You have some friends here....:)
     
  5. Wendy

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    I think you are missing something important, the families we create, the loves, they continue, from generation to the next, and the next. My nephew, who is like my son, has many years after him, and he will in turn pass on what I have taught to his son. Life is a circle, not an end.
     
  6. spinnaker

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    That is very nice of you to help out that way. You will remember your friend and when he passes, I'm sure he will think of you.

    I have been thinking of getting involved with habitat for humanity in a segment that helps disabled vets. While I might still be one of the nameless throng, at least the work I do will make a real difference in someones life and at least hopefully be remembered in that person's life.


    And Merry Christmas to you! Yes I know there are friends here. It is one of the great things about this forum. And talk about someone that will be remembered, it will be beenthere. And in time so many others on this forum that have been so helpful. Sadly many of them will sort of just drop away and we won't know what happened but that does not make their contribution any less memorable.
     
  7. spinnaker

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    Indeed the most valuable legacy. As I said Sadly I have no family other than my parents and my brother. I have a niece I have not seen in 15 years. But maybe I can make a difference in someone else's life that will be remembered.
     
  8. Wendy

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    You don't have to have genetic family, the values you teach are also your legacy. Be a mentor and a friend. Many young people just need someone to listen to them. When they find that someone, they also listen.

    Indeed, that is part of Bill Bennet's legacy (BeenThere).
     
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  9. tracecom

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    The answer to that question largely depends on one's religious views, but forum rules prevent me from being more explicit.

    A more earthly response is that there are very few people that do anything truly worth remembering in their work. Once, I had a vacation to a tropical island planned; I had plane tickets, hotel reservations, fishing, and scuba diving planned. But something came up at work that I thought was important enough to cancel my vacation for; today, I don't remember what it was, but I do remember that I missed my trip. Don't take your job too seriously.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  10. spinnaker

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    I wasn't talking about someone remembering me, just something I did or participated in lasting. For example mbohuntr mentioned he has built stone walls. Something simple but his work could last for a couple of hundred years or more. No one is going to remember that mbohuntr built the wall but people will walk by and might think as to what the people were like the built the wall.

    I know I often think about the people that built things. We have a huge stone wall on a road into the city. It is remarkable and I often think about those that built it. Likewise when I ride on my bike down the Great Allegheny Passage and see all the wonderful tunnels and bridges built by someone. Or the people that moved tons of earth to build a railroad line.
     
  11. GetDeviceInfo

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    I can't help thinking that material goods service a personal need, and that may lead to satisfaction, but at the same time, I look around and see many people that are challanged in aquiring the most basic needs, let alone a 'legacy'. For those individuals, a simple 'Hi', or a moment of conversation, can provide them with a feeling of community. If one works at stepping outside thier comfort zone and prejudices to explore what others around them are feeling, that they aquire a deeper understanding of themselves. Be a servant to society, by offering your skills and experiences to those in need. Your legacy will live long.
     
  12. loosewire

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    If you haven,t made wikipedia, forget it.
     
  13. tindel

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    I've been fortunate career-wise to work in an industry where we make history almost daily. Not me specifically, but as a group. I like to think that my work is advancing humanity is some sense. Though none of my work or designs will probably ever be remembered I take heart in the thought that the work I have done will blaze the trail for the next person to be in my position.

    Another aspect that keeps me going is the fact that my work is government contracted. So, even though I never served in the military I see it as my way of giving back to my country. This is not to take anything from the soldiers that risk their life for my country - their service is infinitely more noble than my own.

    I was once asked to change industries to do PLC design. I couldn't because I wanted to work to advance human understanding. I don't know if it was the right decision long-term, but it certainly was at the time. I might reconsider these days - as I feel like I have been fortunate enough to have played my part in human history. In fact, I'm passively looking for a new job, wanting a new challenge I guess.

    What truly scares me is to this point in human history, we are the only planet with an abundance of life that we know of. And one button press could start a nuclear war that could end all of life as we know it - then all of the knowledge that we as a human race have obtained will be of no value. I pray that day never comes.

    Merry Christmas!
     
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  14. JoeJester

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    Isn't wikipedia user generated where anyone can edit or create?
     
  15. loosewire

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    Wikipedia has standards everyone don't make lt.
     
  16. spinnaker

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    Yep scares me too. Along with all the other senseless violence to further what ever cause you might have in mind power, religion, hate.

    I just don't understand it. You get what maybe 50-60 years at best where you are in a position of some kind of power over others and you are going to spend that time killing or screwing people over. Why not just live your life the best you can and let others do the same.

    So much energy and resources wasted for nothing.
     
  17. mbohuntr

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    You know, you could pick one of those things that you pass on the way to work, and do some historical research on it, find some of the people who worked on it and honor their skill by looking up their lives or visiting their graves. I have picked a random, but interesting headstone and done that. Kinda cool.
     
  18. strantor

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    Good ideas last longer than good bridges.
     
  19. maxpower097

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    Tell that to my dead beat step kids.
     
  20. loosewire

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    Troubled waters,by the bay....tough memories....Its to easy to tell you to cheer up.

    That won't help very much,I just hope you had a good day.

    We all have our mandal to go to,our problems are there with yours.
     
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