I have struggled with this blog over the years. In order to have a really good blog, you need a focus area, and I didn’t really have one. I started just blogging general stuff about my life here in Pittsburgh, did some fiction, then switched to book reviews. Lately, it’s been pretty much lists of books I have read.
I did the reviews as part of my being associated with the Matthew Ridgway Center for International Security Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. I would love to blog on International Security, but there are already so many good bloggers in that space (that’s not even half of them) and I didn’t feel I had anything to add. Coming from an engineering background, I also suffer from a lack of credentials.
In any case, my friend has been blogging about her experiences in training her horse (and herself) for international dressage and eventing competitions. It’s giving me the itch to blog again.
But that brings me right back to the first point – what to blog about?
Lately I’ve been working on picking up an associate’s degree in software development (to add to my already over-degreed self with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and my MBA). I’m doing this to make myself more employable, but also because…it interests me and I enjoy it.
I recently read David Kilcullen’s book Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla. It’s a fascinating book. Kilcullen basically notes that the future will be urban, coastal, and networked. Urbanization continues apace with more than half of the world’s population living in cities, and most of those cities on the coasts. With technology – especially mobile phones – more and more of them are becoming connected. This has huge implications for the future – and Kilcullen notes the effect it will have on warfare. We got a taste of this in Somalia back in the 90s (See: Black Hawk Down) and with the raid on Mumbai in the 00s.
So what, you ask, does that have to do with computer programming? Well, the short answer is, Smart Cities and Big Data. And the long answer will have to wait for the next blog post…