Patrick was suggested by JB. Here is what JB has to say about Patrick.
I met Pat Welsh by pairing with him during the Agile 2003 conference. We instantly connected and in less than 2 years we had already taught several courses together for agile-minded programmers. Pat cares about improving working conditions for all programmers, helping them develop both technical and personal skills. Pat taught me to “release the outcome”, meaning don’t take responsibility for other peoples’ willingness to act on my advice. I am a much saner consultant because of what I’ve learned from Pat.
What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?
I have a regular contemplative practice: meditation and yoga. Without them I would not be able to maintain my mental and physical health, and they inform most of my world-view and metaphysics. They have brought me to value affection, compassion, kindness, courage, integrity, accountability, humor, and connection much more than I once did.
If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?
I would have been a horribly drug-addicted famous rock guitarist and songwriter.
What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?
Self corroboration; seeing, honoring, and crediting my considerable talents, skills, experience, and judgment. It is ridiculously difficult for me to routinely recognize my worth. This makes my hyper-aware of others’ insecurities, and helps me understand when Professional difficulties have more to do with emotional maturity or emotional issues than any other root cause.
What drives you ?
The need to learn, the need to help others learn, the need to help our currently miserable learning systems evolve into gloriously engaging, fulfilling, fun systems, rather than our current educational model (which is, in my judgment, shaming, punitive, and drives students mainly to conform and perform).
The need to connect with others. The need to speak and be heard. The need for everyday poetry – the inherently metaphoric nature of deep truth.
What is your biggest achievement?
My awesome two children, and awesome community of friends and collaborators.
What is the last book you have read?
What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?
- Here is what I know:
- the current world socio-economic fabric is coming apart at the seams, literally.
- It is predicated on crazy ideas like unlimited population growth, unlimited economic growth, perpetual inexpensive energy, and increasing concentration of more and more private wealth in fewer and fewer hands.
- The world economy, climate, and ecology are evolving at rapidly increasing rates. The first derivative is scary, and the second derivative is scarier. (Example: in less than 50 years, perhaps all of the antarctic ice sheets will be melted, and global sea levels will be 20 feet higher, and the thermo-haline circulation will have ceased)
- there will be drastic gradual, or drastic sudden change
- this will apply pressure on us to evolve our socio-economic models, rather as the 18th century political scene caused the Great Enlightenment, giving birth to Democracy and global capitalism.
– we are trying to evolve into something new. What is it? How it is different from our current situation? How might is be more advanced and progressive, rather as Democracy is superior to Tyranny? What will happen? Who will survive? How will they survive?
- So I have only hopes, fears, and vague hypotheses for you by way of answers.
My hope is that small is the new big : big governments and big corporations end up becoming ineffective compared to emerging small entities, like bio-regional governments, cities or city states, and small companies. My hope is that in the future, our service economies are largely global, and our product economies are largely local. My hope is that in the future, we spend more of our money and time on children than on beer, sports, and cars. My hope is that in the future, we work to live, but we do not live to work. My hope is that in the future, we learn the power of contemplative practice, and we learn the deep meaning of these kinds of Zen aphorisms and questions:
- “Don’t just do something, sit there!”
- “You are not what you think. You are not what you feel. You are not what you own. You are not your job. You are not your salary. You are not your family. What, indeed, are you? Who are you?”
- “What is the true nature of affection?”
- “Why are we so bad at relationships?”
- “Why does war exist?”
My fears are also many. I fear that at some point, the planetary ecosystem will reveal that it can only support less than a third of the current world population. So I fear that mass human die-offmight be inevitable.
My vague hypothesis is that a combination of economic collapse, disease, political change, war, and climate change will trigger Big Change. Essentially, I “predict” a violent Interregnum, followed by a global socio-economic reorganization.
Who do you think I should ask next?
If you like these answers, you might want to buy our book: who is agile