Say something that will surprise people and be useful

I've been writing this blog since ~2009, and the reason I write has both changed and stayed the same over that period.

As I understand it, there are just certain things in my life that I can't stop doing. I've been writing in some fashion since I was 12. Writing seems to be an experience that is growing richer and I appear to be improving. There are other things in my life though which follow the same pattern- despite having every reason in the world to stop... I just can't stop doing.

I'll pause and highlight athletics for the sake of brevity. For most of my life, I have been sporting some sort of injury that is in the process of healing. Right now my nose is still healing from a stray elbow in a basketball game. This has been a constant in my life. I've broken my nose, a rib, ruptured a tendon in my ankle, greyed out a tooth, and a bunch of other inuries... but for whatever reason... I can't stop playing sports. Entrepreneurship, drinking, music, et cetera are all the same deal- I would have a lot less suffering if I would just retire, but for whatever reason my soul won't let me do it.

Setting that reason aside, why write?

These days I just want to say something that will surprise people and be useful.

At a high level, these two things are debatably the foundation of Western culture... but the thing I realized is that it doesn't need to be grandiose. Nor do you need to surprise everyone or be overly useful. Just a little bit still makes the world a better place.

As an example, a thing I recently learned: Porches are American. Is it surprising? A little bit but not overly surprising. When I first heard this concept I was reading a book about architecture, and it made me pause. I could reason that this was most likely true, but it's sort of weird that it never was emphasized. Why would that be? Americans take a lot of pride in American culture (Rock and Roll, Blues, BBQ, Football, etc) why are porches off that list?

This has led me to believe that the fact that porches are American is probably useful too... Many of my interactions with my neighbors and community have come from being on a porch or a deck. If you think about how Americans use porches, the country would probably be improved if there were more porches, and if we highlighted and shared that they are prime American culture.

This is why I write. Even being just a little surprising, and/or a little useful is something worth sharing. I think people should do more of it.

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