As I get older, I start to see what I’m good at, and more importantly, what I’m not good at. What is that Neal Stephenson quote? “Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.”
In the movie Training Day, a seasoned narc (narcotics officer) takes a rookie cop on a ride along, and the rookie soon sees that the world is not all black and white. The narc makes a number of choices that make the rookie uncomfortable, but the narc insists it’s all necessary in order to do their job. “To protect the sheep you gotta catch the wolf, and it takes a wolf to catch a wolf.”
At one crucial point, after the narcs have done multiple questionable things, the rookie is in shock about it all, and tries to talk some black and white sense to the narc. The narc clues the rookie into the real gray world and says “the sh*t’s chess, it ain’t checkers”. The world isn’t simple, it’s complicated. If you want to survive, you need to think steps ahead. Plan your moves.
Life is chess, not checkers. Politics is chess, not checkers.
The week is for sitting, slouching with horrible posture in a chair, trying to find the motivation to get some work done
The weekend is for reconstituting who you are and doing what you want, even if that means doing nothing
A book is for taking you away to far away places and forgetting where you are