THE UNDEFINED AND UNKNOWN - Christopher Calvin Govender

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Wear Out or Rust Out

The Internet – 1982

The PC – 1970

The Transistor -1947

Electricity – 1600’s

Copper –  8000 BC

Fire – 1 700 000 years ago

Stories – unknown

Curiosity – unknown


  1. able to be used for a practical purpose or in several ways.
    “aspirins are useful for headaches”
    synonyms: functional, practical, handy, neat, convenient, utilitarian, utility, helpful, applicable, serviceable, of use, of service;


We as humans survived because some of us built, discovered and did useful things. Those people are the heroes of our civilization. They are the reason we have thrived. They are the tinkerers, the curious, the founders, the inventors, the scientists, the creatives, the brave, and the bold. They were the crazy, the weird, the abnormal, the outcasts, and the ridiculous. Yes, it is ridiculous to think that you can change the world, that you could make it better, that you could make a difference and that you could do something that matters, but will you try anyway? 

An emergent property of revolutionary useful things is that it can be built upon. It can serve as the foundation for something greater, independent of the knowledge of what the greater thing could be. The most common examples are listed at the beginning of this post. They each served/serve as the foundation of something greater. Are you serving as the foundation of something greater?

There is a shift in the way the world works. If you noticed that a degree is no longer necessary to be a software developer, then you have seen an early impact of this shift. If you happened to notice the cryptocurrency hype, look past that. Have you seen it? Concepts like “proof of work” and “value to the network” are hints of this shift. The world is becoming more meritocratic. The ones who provide the most value get the most rewards. And the easiest way to provide more value than others is to start early, that is start now, but will you?

Will there be a time when robots may take your job? Will there be a time where your current skill set may be of no use, and of no economic value? If you project your life out for the next 10 years, will you be obsolete? If you considered your dreams and aspirations against a measure of usefulness, how would they compare? I know it is easier to be ignorant and to not do the hard thinking, but at what cost? One day soon, you may realize that if you are of no use, you might as well be dead.

So what are you going to do? It is survival of the most useful. We no longer have to outrun anyone. We have to provide more value, become more useful, and learn the meta-skills. Growth over comfort. Comfort is for the weak. Only the strong will win in the end.

“We must all either wear out or rust out, every one of us. My choice is to wear out.” -Theodore Roosevelt


Thoughts on Building Stuff

The Magic of the Small

Small things add up. Zero doesn’t. Big things are made up of small things and even if it stays small, it’s something to build on.

The Only Reason You Need

I can actually live the idea that the effort is all we have, and the results are extra. As it is said in the Bhagavad Gita, “You are only entitled to the action, never to its fruits.” Better, don’t even need the fruits because the action is the only part that doesn’t really suck. 
-Ryan Holiday, The Key to Happiness is to Realize that Everything Sucks
Do an activity for the activity itself. No other reason necessary or required. In fact any other reason and you may not do it or enjoy it because, you have this expectation of it to provide you with something else than what it is meant for. No activity is meant for secondary effects. Learn for the sake of learning. Read for the sake of reading. Practice for the sake of practice. Exercise for the sake of exercise. Eat for the sake of eating. No conditions. No requisites. No further expectations than for the act to be but itself.

“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. 

-Chuck Close, American artist who achieved fame as a photorealist through massive-scale portraits

10 years, Really?
What if I told you I had a system to make you X ( X could be anything. A guitar player, or a programmer, or a physicist) but it will only pay off in 10 years? Would you take it? Would you follow that system, and for 10 years? Or would you rather continue to do what you are doing now? Wouldn’t you agree that 10 years is a short time in hindsight of your entire life?
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Pantsless Sarcasm

A dear friend once asked me, how me not wearing pants and sarcasm are related. I have spent much time in thought about this. 

As I write this pantsless, unafraid, knowing full well that my fate is uncertain, my hope is that you see the mystery plain and airy.

And this is the mystery: There’s a link between pantslessness and sarcasm.

Trust me.

I believe in you.

You will believe in me.

You are on a journey with me.

I’m taking you places.

Here we go.

Sarcasm and pantslessness.

They are related through their unrelatedness. You see, that though their bonds are strongly held disconnected, they remain together totally apart. Pantslessness gives one the freedom to understand sarcasm sarcastically. Think Free Willy meets Mona Lisa, Willy Wonka meets Billy Bob, and Santa Claus meets Jesus. I know. It’s deep. Let that float in. The truth will set you free.

Now that you know this and the mystery has been revealed, I charge you. Let go of pants. Embrace the air brace. Rise to the challenge and enter the chasm of sarcasm.

The age of bottomless has begun.

To my friend: May your bottoms be free, and your irony strong 🙂