Saturday, February 19, 2022

Data Driven - Data Drowsy


Early indications point not only to a cancelled spring training season, but possibly no regular season for Major League Baseball.  A "lockout" with no easy solutions is given as the reason. Instead of live baseball, a favorite movie about baseball, "A League of Their Own" will be added to my watch list. A Women's League which was formed during World War II is the basis of this movie. Of the memorable characters, Coach Jimmy Dugan (played by Tom Hanks) says to Dottie (played by Geena Davis), "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great."

We live in a society driven by data. Every time we browse the internet, fill out a survey, scan a loyalty card, order online, or use a streaming service data is collected about our habits. We are enticed to turn over our information for the sake of financial incentives or the promise that our lives will be easier and more seamless in the future. Precious time will be freed up because our decisions are already made. All we have to do is touch the button on the screen. It is that easy!

Tracking Device
According to one of the definitions for the word "adventure" can be, "a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome." On numerous occasions I have described my life as an adventure. I believe life is lived when the outcome of an opportunity is uncertain. Yes, the final outcome is certain, but there are ample opportunities for adventure prior to that point. However, as more devices, more data, and more buttons orbit the hours of my days the reality of adventure is dwindling. Long gone are the hours of outdoor activity without a communication tool. I used to mute the notifications on my phone. Recent circumstances have changed that option. "You never know what may happen," echos through my mind. This has been etched on my psyche from many sources. I realize those individuals, as well as organizations are concerned for my well being. Yet with all of the data, all the connectivity, and the ease of assistance and escape I feel the reality of adventure has lost its meaning. Coach Dugan was accurate in saying, "If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it." It now seems like everyone wants the experience of adventure without the inherent risk which defines it. Everyone wants easy!

Tracker with messaging
Has the ease of life and/or lack of adventure made us drowsy? We rely upon data and algorithms to solve our problems, direct us to our destinations, make our decisions, and free our time. However, we are freed to do what? Are we seeking adventure but unwilling to assume the risk? Is success so important that we are fearful of learning from failure? If so, is that being free?  Data collected over years of life directs me to believe life is best encountered in what we cannot control. Individual characteristics are developed, as well as personalities chiseled as we confront aspects of life with our full attention. We all have unique and important aspects of our lives which cannot be honed by pressing the "Easy Button."

"The hard is what makes it great." These words of Coach Dugan came after he stopped numbing his life with alcohol and encountered the multiple dynamics of the team. For him it was a season of adventure, a leap into the unknown which was not driven by data. There may not be Major League Baseball this summer. The national pastime may not capture some of our time. Instead each of us can create individual adventures which will develop and enhance our souls and spirits. Such actions will make it a great season for our lives! 



  1. Even though everyone's description of an adventure is different, I totally agree that it is becoming more difficult to have an adventure. My definition is becoming much smaller, mostly because of other human's concern for me. Sometimes it makes me feel like I'm imprisoned, but I have to remind myself of the joy that there are folks out there concerned for me.

  2. I understand how adventure looks different to all of us, as well as to those who are for us. Keep finding adventure in each day!