Critical Section

the power of babies

Thursday,  03/05/09  11:05 PM

I have a good friend whose sister delivered a baby girl today (congratulations!).  She emailed pictures, and as I'm looking at this teeny little being I was overcome by emotion.  There is something amazingly powerful about babies.  Of course we are all hardwired for reacting to babies; evolution has seen to it that we think they're cute and want to care for them.  Babies hit us at a deep level.

But the emotion I felt wasn't just about the baby girl, it was about the parents, and my friend, and me, and everyone whose lives were touched by this event.  (Maybe about you, too, reading this blog post!)  It brings us all back to what's important.  These are weird times, wherein it's been possible to lose all the material things you've worked hard to gain over ten+ years in six months.  Which makes you wonder, what's the point?  And then you consider this baby girl, and you think about the paths that led to her existence, and the road ahead for her - paved with the unknown, as Tolkein says - and you realize what's really important, and it isn't your big house or your fancy car, it's your family and your friends.

This ties in pretty nicely with the philosophy of Johan Bruyneel, who advocates focusing relentlessly on the things which matter, and with the tongue-in-cheek-but-really-good Tyranny Antidote, which includes pruning away the things which don't.  I think I'm going to go spend a few minutes with my daughter :)

this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained