Thursday, July 30, 2015

random comment, related to chess, from scott adams' blog

random comment
I have two adult sons. One of them became an adult around the age of six. He followed the same life strategy from age six as Scott has outlined, and now enjoys great professional success and family satisfaction. Go figure. 
My other son joined the Army because he needed the challenge and structure to keep him out of trouble. If he makes it to his late twenties without going to jail or getting killed, I think he will have a good life. 
In my late twenties, while in graduate school, I joined my university chess team because I knew they would play the state penitentiary chess team, and I wanted to see the inside of a state penitentiary as a tourist and not as an inmate. As an unexpected additional player, I found myself playing against the prison chaplain instead of against an inmate. Looking around at the inmates, I said to the chaplain, "These guys look a lot like me." The chaplain said, "They look a lot like you, to me, too. Let me guess. You spent the last ten years in the Marine Corps." "Nine," I said. "If you had not spent the past nine years in the Marine Corps, you would have wound up here: at one time, young men like these, and like yourself, served society well; after all, Columbus needed sailors and Cortez needed conquistadores." 
Not everyone can play the odds as an adult. Some people have a prolonged childhood and adolescence, not of their own choosing. They deserve better than prison and homelessness. Scott Adams did not select his genetics, nor his parents, nor his birth situation, nor his early adult character. He only thinks he made the choices he made. In actuality, life made those decisions for him. He put in the work, but then, he could not NOT put in the work, and he now enjoys remarkable success. 
My older son has followed a path similar to that of Scott's, and I don't see that my son had any choice in the matter, either, except to act out what life had given him. In any event, I love and respect and admire both my son's; both the doctor and the soldier.