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Digger Nick

Sooo… this exists now

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The Snowball Effect

Experience, networking, resources, success, knowledge, opportunities…

You’ve heard of the ‘snowball effect.’ Something starts out small and starts to gain momentum to the point where it’s either unstoppable or out of control, or both. Fire is another good analogy for something that can start small and grow and grow and grow, but how often does something keep growing forever? I can’t really think of anything, which is why I like the snowball effect. You have to control fire to keep it from spreading. Fire spreads on it’s own and doesn’t take any effort. I’ve never seen an idea spread on it’s own. You need people to spread ideas and you need people to have ideas in the first place.

You can’t put an idea in a museum.

Think about a snowball. You scoop up snow from the ground and pack it into a ball. It takes some molding, shaping, and effort to pack it into a tight ball, because if you don’t it will fall apart. Now look at the ground. There’s a bare spot. You took that snow and turned it into something else. You used that resource, you took advantage of that opportunity, you gained experience, you made a connection, you learned something, you became stronger, you became more successful…

There’s still plenty of snow on the ground so you scoop up a few more handfuls and make your snowball bigger. It’s now big enough for you to push it along the ground and pick up more and more snow, constantly building and improving upon what you already have. You approach a hill and see someone at the bottom trying to gather as much snow as they can, too, by making snowball after snowball, perpetually starting and starting over. They use up all the snow around them and try to move to a new area to gather more snow, but they can’t carry all the snowballs. They can only take a few in their arms so they become removed from their snowballs as they must move to start over. You watch them repeat this cycle a few times until they’ve left piles and trails of snowballs showing where they’ve been, yet they only have a few snowballs in hand to show for it. They have as much snow as you–maybe even more–but they can’t do anything with it.

The beauty of the snowball effect is that you need help. You need people.

You push your snowball down the hill and it gains speed, picking up snow as it goes, growing into something too big for one person to manage, and it breaks under its own weight. It cracks and splits into several large pieces. You waive to the person you had been watching and they come over and start rounding out the rough edges and patching up your fractured snowballs with their little ones, filling in the holes until they are round again. Like them, you initially bit off more than you could chew. You carry on, both pushing your new snowballs along, gathering more and more until the load becomes too much and must be shared by yet another, and so on, and so on.

Keep building — experience, networking, resources, success, knowledge, opportunities — keep building upon what you have until you can’t build anymore, before the other part of the snowball effect takes over…

melting.

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What’s on your mind?

Every living creature dies alone. That sort of thing.

That’s not always true. I’ve heard sometimes big groups of people, like in cults, come together and have mass suicides, like a big suicide party–oh and don’t forget about natural disasters. Lots of people die together in those.

Thanks. I feel way better now.

Well don’t drag your shit onto me. I’m feeling pretty good right now and I don’t want to deal with your existential crisis. I’ll deal with it when I get depressed on my own accord.

You could have just said that first. You don’t have to be such a jerk about it.

I was starting to feel bad, so I had to knock you down a few pegs, which made me feel better I gotta say.

Haven’t you heard of sharing the load to make it lighter?

Haven’t you heard about turds in punch bowls? I don’t want your shit in my mouth.

But we never talk about this kind of stuff. No one does.

And for a reason. People want to feel good. Yeah, we all know we’re all going to die, but we’d rather just distract ourselves from it than spend time thinking about it and dealing with it. Why do you think people are always on their phones doing dumb shit when they could have a quiet moment to reflect? Why do you think we distract ourselves from thought in general?

Yeah. I guess we’ve kind of gotten soft. No one wants to do the hard mental work to find true satisfaction; they just want to play fucking candy crush and feel happy for beating the next level or watch some fucking cats doing cute cat things.

Well yeah, that’s just the way it is, so deal with it.

I’m trying.

Well you’re sucking at it. Try harder.

But if I just distract myself it won’t actually change anything.

…I’ll give you some advice that my great grandpa gave me before he died, as long as you promise to shut up.

Ok. Sure.

When you feel like you are going to die — don’t die; and you will survive.

He said that?

Well, I’m translating, but that’s the gist.

Bullshit.

Well it’s what he said. Now shut the fuck up and eat some ice cream.

There’s no way he said that.

He was on the forefront of wisdom, what do you want me to say?

How about what he actually said?

But that is what he said.

I object! You expect me to believe this ill-conceived hearsay?

Why not? Everything is hearsay anyways. You wouldn’t even know how old you are if someone didn’t tell you. Everything can be true or false; it just matters if you believe it. You see, there’s a certain point in life when you realize that you’re not the judge. You don’t decide what happens, so you try to be the lawyer for a while, arguing about why it happens and all the time-consuming, convoluted questions that go along with that. But then you realize that you’re a crappy lawyer and are only confusing yourself, so you take another step back. Your real job is to be the jury, and decide what you want to believe. Because believing is the only choice we have, and the only decision worth giving a damn about. So don’t tell me you’re going to die, and don’t ask me why it will happen; just tell me what you’re going to do about it.

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