Current goings-on in my corner of the world, combined with a question posed by Margaret Weis this morning in Facebook, have combined to get me thinking about the idea of the hard reset. Holding down the power button and counting slowly to ten and then powering back on. The technological nuclear option.
I think about the need, sometimes, to hard-reset a creative project. Margaret Weis’s question this morning was about writer’s block – when does it happen, what do you do about it, etc. I realized that writer’s block happens for me sometimes (often?) because I am avoiding the fact that what I’m doing is going nowhere and a big chunk of work has to be tossed. On a few projects, this has meant completely re-writing the whole thing, starting over essentially from scratch (Epic is definitely one of those, and continues to be). Other times, a project dies on the vine because I am not willing, or ready, to prune as drastically as is required.
Ironically, I have just recently had to hard reset this very blog. It was hacked, and had was registering with Google as spyware. My RSS was spamming and soon. So I migrated, brought my posts over with me, and restarted. I have no idea if this will work out – we’ll see.
I’m part of a number of institutions, one of which is the Presbyterian Church (USA). I honestly believe that this institution, if it is to return to functionality and meaning, is going to have to hard reset. One good example – of the students who graduate from seminary (which is graduate school for ministers), only 20% of them have any hope of getting a job in the thing for which they just spent tens of thousands of dollars and 4+ years training. There are only jobs accepting first-time pastors for 20% of the people looking for those jobs each year.
Life is kind of a roller-coaster sometimes. Imagine if a roller-coaster cost $40,000, not counting cost of living (you still had to pay rent and get groceries while in line), and the line lasted 4 years, and then once you got on, there was a 80% chance the ride would break down.
We would rightly shut down that roller-coaster, fire everyone involved in building it, and apologize to everyone who has ever ridden on that disaster.
For those following along at home, the roller-coaster is the PC(USA) ordination system, and among other things in the denomination, it is time for a hard reboot.