My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

This is your brain. This is your brain on books.

Every day I find myself becoming more of an autodidact whose primary goal is to propagate knowledge. Seems like a pretty worthy goal for a set of self-replicating DNA, no? After all, that's all we--everything in the universe--are: information, in one form or another.

My thirst for knowledge is perhaps my most consistent trait as far back as I can remember. I loved and continue to love to read. When I first got MSN (because I was jealous of my younger brother), the next step I took was to learn HTML so I could create my own website. From there it ... sort of snowballed :fear: (as this site evidences). The Internet is an autodidact's dream: a nearly limitless, ever-updating source of information. Thanks to Google, Wikipedia, and the Oxford English Dictionary, I can learn the answer to most questions or the definition of a word (still not sure about that whole group of groundhogs issue, however). I read sites like Lifehacker regularly, learning about subjects as varied as technology to productivity to cooking. The Internet's vast potential for education is enough to make me love it, despite of its drawbacks that some critics use to declare technology a destructive social mechanism.

And yes, asking about groundhogs was very weird. That's me though. I ask weird questions because something comes up, and I want to learn it. I wouldn't do well on a trivia show. Although I don't consider any piece of knowledge trivial, my retention and recall just doesn't work that way. It'd be cool if it did.

Yes, I love learning. I was the guy who always sat in the front of the class and wanted the rest of the class to stop talking so the teacher could continue. I was the guy who always had an answer--or question--and put his hand up, so eventually the teacher would say, "Does anyone know the answer--anyone except Ben?"

I've changed my mind about buying books, too. Originally I borrowed the vast majority of my books from the library. I seldom read a book more than once unless I really enjoyed it. Now, because I've got a job and the money that goes with it, I enjoy buying books. I like giving them to people or lending them. I don't care if that person reads the book. While I try to select books that I think my friends will like, ultimately, the act of giving is the crucial part. Even if my friend doesn't read the book, maybe someone else will. If my friend does enjoy the book, and tells me, then that's great.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is ... every day, I am more inclined to read and learn. I can't slow down. The clock is ticking until I die, and I have so much to know!

(P.S. Laura, I realize that this is the second time in two entries that I've made you think during the summer. I'd apologize, but you'd just tell me I didn't mean it again. And you're right. We only have so long to learn things, so go out there and think!)