Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Move beyond the comfort zone

Recently I stopped blogging in Japanese. Why? Maybe, my Japanese blog has too many readers for me to express something very personal :-). It might sound absurd, but when your blog get too much attention from the public, it will turn into a kind of "media" rather than mere personal records.

I am sick and tired with the Japanese blogsphere. Many of them are too much of inward-looking...whenever I read something in Japanese, I feel it too domestic and Japan-specific. It lacks universality which I adore.

I started programming at the age of 13. I have been a professional software engineer in the past 15 years. I am a native computer user. I am very familiar with the way digital devices work. Actually, it is so natural to me that I often forget the fact that a bunch of people still have difficulty in using computers.

Unfortunately, I could not find any computer job that is very interesting for me in Japan. The IT industry of Japan is not tech oriented. It is rather sales oriented. That is, IT companies don't pay attention to technology itself. As long as they can get enough amount of work from big corporations, they are happy with it and don't make a serious effort to improve their technical skills. This seemingly mysterious behavior has to do with the hierarchical industrial structure of Japanese IT industry. It runs deep.

When I was younger, I was more tech oriented. That's why I could not find any interesting IT company in Japan. More accurately, I was more innovation oriented. There are a plenty of tech guys who are exclusively interested in IT itself. However, most of them are not interested in innovation, which is a process where technology transforms the society. Technical people are not interested in social issues in Japan.

I am interested in both technology and the society. More precisely, I am only interested in the interface between them. I am very curious about the dynamic process where technology creates a new society. I am not so interested in subtle technicalities of information technology.

One small problem that bothers me is that I am so accustomed to be self-employed or bohemian that I am stuck in a rut. If I wish to engage in some more interesting business activities, I have to give up some part of freedom I am enjoying now. I have to sacrifice some part of my current lifestyle for a more valuable cause. Something inside me resists the change.

To judge it objectively, my current life is comfortable but somewhat boring. It is easy but doesn't help me grow. I can't keep on doing this forever. It is just not right. I must move beyond my "comfort zone" to enter another growing phase. Today we are all obliged to keep learning and growing until we die. Otherwise, we can't rationalize our long life for young people. We are not supposed to be just burden to them when we become old.

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