A scary but pleasant sense of the size of my life…and of yours

March 8, 2018 by  

I remember life in the early 70s. The whole world was so very different then – more than any 70’s movie could explain.

I was/am a factory-worker’s son. Mom was mostly work-at-home. Houses were much smaller and much less pretentious.

Buddy Holly’s music was only 15 years old, but Zeppelin was on the shelf.

There were no computers, no cell phones. I’d never even heard of a university.

I was a Sunday church regular. We didn’t have much money: I wore my aunt’s hand-me-down jeans. I desperately wanted to have an electric guitar…cried when I got one for Christmas in ’78: tears of joy…none of my buddies believed me when I told them what I’d gotten for Christmas…none of them. It was a fairy tale.

Dad found some excellent opportunities to become a tradesman at GM (~1982) and to fly helicopter for the Forces…I didn’t follow either of those courses…I wanted to be a rock guitarist. I practiced something like 8 hours per day, knew most of the Van Halen and Randy Rhoads guitar solos.

We all lived in fear of the Russians, and the atomic bomb. Got a job and lived the life of a life-guard (just like in those 80s movies, but with more debauchery).

Decided to go to university for all of the wrong reasons (well: one wrong reason). Met a sociopath. Lost god.

Operated a garbage truck, and a jackhammer.

Witnessed the fall of the Wall…followed by the War in Iraq (#1).

Found moral subjectivism. Programmed neural nets. Found AI, robotics, and transhumanism.

Did cognitive science research at the Ph.D. level (not completed). Got a law degree. Entered the rolls of the court.

Found law and constitutionalism. Lost respect for the law (or, at least, my naivete about it). Lost constitutionalism. Found Austrian economics, discovered its limited contribution to politics. Found Rand: lost moral subjectivism.

Found love. Found fatherhood. Found responsibility. Found business.

Endured 9/11. Accepted leadership responsibilities. Embraced a mammoth undertaking.

Found success. Found out how little I cared about winning a political battle that involved losing a political war.

Found self-esteem. Found disappointment about the world around me. Found disregard for the evil around me, and love for the good to be found in the world.

Found myself behind the wheel of a 455hp vehicle, and found myself right back in love with guitars.

None of the above captures it…it especially doesn’t capture the time involved, or any of the texture of the innumerable events that make up the fabric of a person’s life. But the emotional sum – albeit personal, and not really communicable – enormous.

And, at the same time: I think that, if anyone looks back upon his or her own 52 year old life…really thinks about all of the changes…one will be struck with its enormity. We tend to forget just how big the whole experience has been. That’s my point.


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