One of the songs from Ludacris’ latest album, released last week, is called “Beast Mode.” It just so happens that Ludarcis is the performer I am most looking forward to seeing at Domopalooza in a couple of days. I wanted to sample some lyrics to show Ludacris in beast mode, but the song lives up to its name and there isn’t much in the lyrics that is edifying or worth sharing. What is worth sharing is the tone of the song, though. One of the lamentable aspects of rap culture is the way in which many rappers feel it necessary to behave in an aggressive posture towards other rappers. Although there is a lot of collaboration in rap, something I appreciate and that brings variety to many songs, there is also a lot of peacocking and aggressive displays of machismo, with braggadocio about sleeping with someone’s wife or girlfriend. I’m not really into that. I’d like a woman of my own, and I’m not inclined to wish to dishonor other men by being involved with their wives or girlfriends or wishing merely to see women as the pawns in some kind of ego trip for dominance. I understand it’s a part of the rap game, but it’s not my game.
As it happens, one of the more interesting aspects of Domo, and one I hope to master a bit better during Domopalooza, is something called beast mode. In Domo’s version of Beast Mode, without giving too much away, one has greater analytics capacity but simultaneously it requires a better grasp of queries and data flows. That is expertise I aim to get, especially as my own company is making a notable shift from depending on ever-increasingly large excel files to databases that provide more flexibility in report design and more up-to-date data but which also require greater programming expertise. As the quest for competence and growth are major aspects of my own personal journey, it is a trend I am willing to support with my blood, sweat, and toil, or at least as much as one can bleed and sweat in front of a computer staring at data and seeking to understand it all day.
For me, though, beast mode is not a term that tends to come with a lot of pleasure. My first image of beast mode is something like this . It is, of course, the image of some kind of satanic dragon seeking domination and rule over the entire earth. I will own to having ambitions of being lord of the data, of having a rule over numbers and developing the wisdom to divine the mysteries or the arcane knowledge of using data to see trends and to make more intelligent decisions. I figure that given my own track record in life, anything that will help me make more intelligent decisions than I make on my own is something to be encouraged and supported. I do not wish to use data to control others, but any information I can acquire that helps me better understand someone, their motivations, their goals and aims, and what sort of common ground we can agree on and develop meaningful connections on is something to acquire with relish.
That said, there are certain things that put me into beast mode, in many senses of the term. For one, I am prone to drawing parallels and making connections from disparate data points and bringing them into a pattern, and then acting on that pattern in the sense of a detective hunting clues as well as the identity of guilty parties in offenses and outrages. There are matters which may appear small to others, but which strike very sensitive chords and therefore prompt me to become deeply upset, because of the larger symbolic meaning of an action that was done perhaps heedlessly and thoughtlessly, but in the context of my life takes on a larger importance than would seem the case without that context. How is one to draw the right conclusions from life, to follow the right clues, to neither be turned astray from the truth by false hope nor despair? Clearly, one requires wisdom that one does not possess without help from another place, or skill that one does not have on one’s own. To get that help and to acquire that skill, then, becomes a part of the larger quest to live well in such dark times as we inhabit.