A man by numbers

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What, after nearly nine decades, is the measure of a man? What does he leave behind? 261 assorted cables, coax, RCA, lightning, USB 1.0, 2.0, and up 69.5 dongles 22 power cords 1.68 TB total on 43 thumb drives, 99.1% empty, capacities 32 MB and up 15 sets of earbuds and headphones 5 mice 109 … Continued

Ad astra per aspera

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“How are you doing these days?” “Oh, I’m fine.” Liar. What was today like? Three hundred insults and injuries. The circuit breaker blew when you turned on the toaster. A twinge from your back. Looks like mice in the pantry again. The kid’s tantrum. Ugh, what a traffic jam. What’s that smell — is something … Continued

The cost of arrogance

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I was arrogant throughout my career. It based on a justifiable pride about my own capabilities. But it deprived me of something crucial: an appreciation for the best qualities of other people. How I became arrogant I’m going to tell you about me. It’s going to sound like bragging. But it’s all factual. I was … Continued

How we talk about dying

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People die. They don’t pass away. Here’s why I’m done with that euphemism. I had little opinion on this when I was younger. I was fortunate — other than grandparents who died when I was young, I’d not really experienced losses of people close to me. Since then I’ve had the chance to grieve people … Continued

Nichelle Nichols and the integration of the fans and nerds

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Nichelle Nichols, best known for playing Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek, died yesterday. Most of what you’ll read about her celebrates her rule as a trailblazer for Black actors on network television, and what that did for America’s perception of Black people. I’d like to talk about what her appearance meant for me, a sheltered … Continued

The pigeon

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I once had the chance to give a speech in Rome. It was almost a disaster — even if nobody in the room noticed. The client was a large industrial company in Europe. The venue was one of Rome’s fanciest hotels. The audience were a couple dozen senior executives at customers of the industrial client. … Continued

Is it worth it to study math?

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I was a math major and had ambitions to be a mathematician. That didn’t happen. Instead, I found myself in the business world. In contrast to writing, which I consider an essential skill for almost any job, advanced mathematical ability is not clearly necessary for most jobs. But as I look back at my career, … Continued