THE UNDEFINED AND UNKNOWN - Christopher Calvin Govender

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