I asked Mochi if I could profile him because I thought that it would be challenging to write about a multi-hyphenate who clearly possessed skills and talents not often listed on a resume. When I asked him to describe what he did, though, his answer was simply, “I’m Doori’s Dad.” Just like that. Which made writing about him challenging in a much better way. After recalibrating, I surveyed some other fathers and the consensus was that when your child is three, that’s the only really honest answer. To good dads, then, and incredibly lucky daughters:
When your daughter is three years old, you are a Dad. Even though you still do what you do every day, and even when you do it so well that you’re basically the reason that a group of technologically challenged creative types can effectively function, the thing that you really get excited about these days is that small person running around out there in the universe somewhere. The better you are at what you do everyday, the more time you get to spend in that corner of the world. The rush that you used to get from solving a complex information technology problem seems miles away, in perspective. John “Mochi” Park is the VP of technology for a mid-sized creative agency. For nearly 20 years, he has had direct hands-on technical involvement in all aspects of technology to assure that the agency’s IT solutions meet the goals of a modern business. Over the past couple of decades, he has made a lot of things happen. Enterprise servers. Computers that talk to each other. BIG data. Hundreds, if not thousands, of unique passwords. He’s seen plenty of wildfires. He’s the heroic retriever of BIG IDEAS seemingly lost to the digital abyss. These days though, the Gordian Knots of requirements and upgrades aren’t to be conquered, they are like sustenance. Each solution scales now as if by magic. Ok, maybe not. But he’ll find a solution. There is no doubt in his mind. Because now what John does is not for himself, it’s not even really for his employer, although by happy accident, he’s actually better at simplifying, solving, pacifying. Which, could also possibly because fatherhood has made him more aware, more patient, more agile. But this really doesn’t matter, either. All that matters is that there are new complications to be untangled, new platforms to be wrangled, that people keep losing things that are important to them. Because each file retrieved, each time he breathes life into a limping hard drive, John’s daughter benefits. That’s what’s exciting right now.
Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPheretothere
Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.
The goal this weekend is to capture creative photos and videos that explore the ways we get from place to place. Some tips to get you started:
- This project is all about going places, so don’t be afraid to go somewhere new! Ride a bus you’ve never taken before, hop on a ferry or borrow a bicycle.
- Transportation lends itself well to video. As starting points, try focusing on details likes motors or propellers or filming your surroundings as you move through them to create a sense of place. Think about all the ways you can tell the story of your trip.
- If you’re interested in taking photos of people, try introducing yourself to your driver or fellow passengers and sharing portraits with their stories.
PROJECT RULES: Please only add the #WHPheretothere hashtag to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own photographs and videos to the project. Any tagged image or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured Monday morning.
Andrew Solomon on Robin Williams:
“He played an alien so well because he was an alien in his own mind, permanently auditioning to be one of us. Suicide is a crime of loneliness, and adulated people can be frighteningly alone. Intelligence does not help in these circumstances; brilliance is almost always profoundly isolating.”
Above: Robin Williams, September 14, 1978. Photograph by Jim Britt/Getty
Jonathan May - La Vie, L’Amour, La Mort (2012)
"Mauritania is considered to be one of the least visited places in the world. The country’s only real exposure to photography is through journalism, and unfortunately after many Al-Qaeda kidnappings of tourists the media has ruined any potential travelers’ plans by painting it as an extremely dangerous place to visit. This in turn makes photography in the country extremely difficult. Journalists spreading fear have ruined the tourism industry, and many people’s livelihoods.
Chinguetti, established in the 13th century as a trans-Saharan trade route is considered to be the 7th holiest city of Islam. Sunni pilgrims en route to Mecca gathered here annually to trade, gossip, and say their prayers in the mosque built from stone. Desert caravans were the source of Chinguetti’s economic prosperity, with as many as 30,000 camels gathering there at the same time. The animals, which took refreshment at the oasis retreat, carried wool, barley, dates and millet to the south and returned with ivory, ostrich feathers, gold and slaves.
Today’s Chinguetti is a shadow of the prosperous metropolis it once was, and with the tourism industry basically dead the town and a lot of its workers have fled to larger cities like Nouakchott to survive.
When drinking tea with a nomad in the desert you must drink three glasses: the first glass is for life, the second glass is for love, and the third glass is for death.”