Bad, vile and meaningless: Traits that separate us from Alan's clob

Despite this article's title, it's actual message is exactly the opposite. When I was reading the latest essay from Paul Graham, widely linked, about the reception of his book, it occured to me to imagine this person, what he were like. In my mind, he seems like a curious, bright child, who has a desire or need to reach out, somewhere far beyond himself.

I fear that he may have raised hackerdom almost too high away, somewhere of an oasis or ideal, and somehow this faith it incites is almost like a religious fervour, nearly too appealing because it's something you'd want to believe. Always be doubly cautious about things that you find yourself wanting to believe, lest you close your eyes, and become even blinder and stupider than at present.

It occured to me also that the things which we find ourselves respected for, admired for, and even desired for, tend to be very weak, nearly insubstantial kind of things. They might manifest occasionally. (I am painfully aware of the difficulties I face in putting this kind of thoughts into words.) My bottom line in that realizing is that those differences are slight. You are just you, but then there's this little breeze that passes through you, and it makes you a real wonder.

Strangely, I've found that in people that I love, I occasionally pick up one of these slight traits, and I realize something profound about the person. I'm of course not sure that what I perceive of them is real, but I'm nearly sure that it is fair to say that they could live up to the potential of my realizing. Whether that bears any meaning in real world is, of course, a wholly other matter.

When we start out in life, we believe to change the world. But instead of seeing myself to introduce a change, to steer, to guide, to even offer a friendly advice or whisper, I've started to realize the firmness of the reality around myself, and instead of smoothing its terrain and wrinkles, I have rather blended into it. Instead of great things, the reality is a 7-hour workday, few weeks holiday each year, and getting fatter and observing the body's slow decay as it passes its prime time.

Still, I can't find myself longing too much into the past, towards youthhood, or much even wanting to make different choices. If anything, I might say that life is a painful ordeal and the way you deal with it and get rid of it, in its slow pace and ups and downs, is just fine as it already is. Wouldn't want to change it, but don't know what the upsetting part of it all is, either.

Possibly it is just change. Most likely it is that I miss the companionship of some of my friends who I've let fall completely out of touch.