The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? 

I was always interested in computers. I was lucky enough to have early exposure to them, and some in my family thought that's always what I wanted to do. Not so. Of course there were the early years when I wanted to be a paleontologist, and for a while I had the typical childhood astronaut fantasies.

In high school I tossed around the idea of being a chemist. Actually, I was offered a summer job in a chemistry lab titrating by one of my chemistry lab professors at MSOE. I always enjoyed chemistry, and was actually very frustrated by MSOE's track which had only 2 trimesters of Chemistry, and something like 6 trimesters of Physics (which I hated). I turned it down however... having pretty much made up my mind on what I was doing to do by then. Besides, who wants to titrate for 8 hours a day? Granted I'm a little anal retentive (which made me good at titrating), but I'm also not psycho.

For a while I thought about being a lawyer too. I was a debater in high school, and always had a big mouth (and yes I obviously still do), and thought it would be a constructive way to put it to use. But I wasn't too keen on the number of years it would take to get a law degree, and the prospects of doing well in that field seemed rather slim given how many lawyers there are in this country. I reconsidered it briefly in college again... this time with the idea of becoming a patent lawyer. Patent law is actually pretty lucrative, especially if you have an engineering background. But then I realized I'd rather drill holes in my head then do something so tedious and boring day in and day out.

As I look back on that particular career track, I realize that I find the law very dissatisfying. As I look at what my beliefs are today, I can't imagine wanting to be in a profession where your job is to help determine what people can and can't do with their lives. Maybe it's my engineering degree, but I also can't imagine being in a profession where maintaining precedent is more highly valued than correcting a previous mistake. As I look back now, I can't imagine being a lawyer.

With all that said, some lawyers are trying to decide what can and can't be said on a blog. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has put together this legal guide for Bloggers in response (thanks to Boing Boing for the link). It has various FAQ's concerning copyright law, labor and election law, as well as defamation law and other laws as they pertain to bloggers. Good luck wading through it all.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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