Dancing on Titanic

  • Written by: Marko Samastur
  • Published on:
  • Category: Catchall

December is running out of days fast and I still haven’t written my annual review of things I planned or did, intentionally or otherwise. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but couldn’t find words to express myself. Finally I gave up. I don’t think I’ll succeed now, but I doubt more time would help.

For me this year has been absolutely wonderful. Coming to Zemanta meant I could work on interesting problems to improve a tool I use myself while collaborating with people I like and respect. I traveled to more conferences than ever before and generally learned a lot. I’m proud of my team’s achievements and of what we did as a company. It is indeed a privilege to have a gig like this.

I’ve also started a private project with a friend, which is coming along nicely. It shouldn’t be too long before we can show it to, well, everyone interested. Hopefully that means to many.

In all, 2008 was great for me and I don’t think 2009 will be worse.

Yet of late I’ve been feeling increasingly gloomy. This has remarkably little to do with economic crisis, influence of which we can already feel even if it’s yet to hit with full force. I won’t be traveling as much next year, but I planned to do less of it even before I knew there might be economic reasons to do so.

I’ve been worrying about the state of our planet for years. Things weren’t getting better as quickly as I thought they should. In fact, they aren’t getting better at all, but I hoped we would turn and do what needs to be done when given last chance.

There are many things that are deeply wrong in this world. Slavery is more widespread than probably ever. We know we should reduce the amount of CO 2 in atmosphere, yet we do opposite . Fisheries around world are rapidly collapsing taking whole ecosystems with them. Glaciers are receding with probably disastrous effect on water supplies for millions of people. Rising world population will continue to negate any progress we may have. I could go on , but this list is depressing enough.

After all it’s not the scale or number of challenges that is dispiriting . It’s our inability to act decisively. We prefer compromises that set targets too low and then fail to meet them. There are 6.5 billion of us, but we are still unable to face real probability that this may be too many. I sometimes wonder how lives looked like in last days of civilizations long gone, most of them disappearing precisely because they taxed their environment too much. I hope I’m wrong and never find out.

I wished to end this post on a positive note, but I’m clearly failing. I do sincerely wish everyone happy holidays and the best of luck in next year. I’m afraid we’ll need it.