To me, the only good reason to take a risk is that there’s a decent possibility of a reward that outweighs the hazard. Exploring the edge of the universe and pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and capability strike me as pretty significant rewards, so I accept the risks of being an astronaut, but with an abundance of caution: I want to understand them, manage them and reduce them as much as possible.
Chris Hadfield, An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth
Last Sunday night, I was offered an opportunity at The Stix: becoming a forum moderator. This would mean that I’d be able to recommend mashups for Frontpaging and do the Frontpaging myself. I confess that the possibility of being offered this position crossed my mind a few times, but since I haven’t been at The Stix for six months, I didn’t think it would actually happen.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m risk-averse. This hasn’t always been a good trait for me, though. It’s caused me to miss out on a few wonderful opportunities, like being Jully Black‘s photographer and the boyfriend of a woman I cared about very much. Still, despite the risk of getting chewed up by people who disagree with my assessment of their work, there was no way I was going to turn this offer down.
That hazard is massively outweighed by the rewards, which are mutually beneficial. The Stix mod team gains someone who can give valuable feedback and produce the mashups to back it up. In turn, I gain the opportunity to help The Stix in its mission to showcase high-quality mashups and help other producers in their quest to improve their work. I also gain a bit more curiosity for my own mashups from others; like it or not, they will inevitably want to know if I live up to my own standards.
This is nothing I haven’t done before. While I was a drum ‘n bass producer (Charlie Van Pelt), I frequented a website called dnbscene. I listened to other producers’ tracks and reviewed them…a lot. I eventually gained a repuation as a tough, but fair, reviewer. I also eventually (and unexpectedly) became a mod after a few years. Many years after my time there, I still look back upon it very fondly.
Earlier this year, I read Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent‘s autobiography, Next. I don’t remember everything about it, but I do remember one thing in particular: what he did almost every time he encountered an opportunity. In his words: “I said yes”. Since I saw no reason to turn down the opportunity in front of me, I did the same thing.
I said yes.