You need to read less and think more!

This blog is about getting stoked and getting worthwhile things done. There is a sea of useless information bombarding you, and this is a desert island where you beach your boat and build a hut. There are also some clever little construction tricks to be presented.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

wonderfully meaningless/the real reason why

Previously, I shared how my "wasted youth" of skateboarding taught me 3 great things.  In this moment, I am thankful you are reading the quick 4 chapters that have lead me to the real plot of my story.  I have not written this out of vanity:  my intent is for you to find enough of yourself here to be pulled up by something immeasurably bigger than you or I.  

After really realizing how deeply and delightfully pointlessness playing with a skateboard was, the 18 year old Cory was confronted with a Southern California economy that had almost no interest in my midwestern work ethic.  After some 100 or so man hours earnestly spent seeking entry level employment, I was forced to either take a very corny straight-commission-sales job, seek a life of crime, or suffer malnourishment.  So I learned to sell.  This begat a love of hustling for money which soon proved as hollow as skateboarding (though I still appreciate the art of both).

From money, I went to seeking knowledge.  Feeling like I missed the boat to college,  I voraciously read independently to sate my curiosity and insecurity.  Later, I enrolled in college and outworked anyone I met.  This all seemed like progress:  prosperity is generally regarded higher than skateboarding, and it's hard to argue chasing money over seeking knowledge.

Seeking knowledge alone makes one pretty douchey, though.  Once you realize you are the "Cliff Clavin" of the room enough times, you start seeking other forms of growth. Then,  you realize that the grow without contribution is pretty hollow, too.

The point of this little biography is that I found that with each deeper pursuit, I found wisdom from the previous, but fell more quickly into doubt that it would soon fall flat.  Business is a better lifetime sport than skating, but it truly isn't much more meaningful.  Knowledge is of greater value than money, but if it becomes your god you become increasingly austere, prideful, and un-fun to be around.  Relationships suffer.  Growing as much as you can to contribute as much as you can to humanity is clearly better than just making yourself into the ultimate game show contestant.  It's easy to see in hindsight the progression and laughable to think it all started with skateboarding.  However,  the problem with this is you end up becoming your own God, and you are lead to choices where your values are in conflict with what you know at your core is really right.  I came to one conclusion from two different fronts.  Here I will describe the so-called left brain front, and maybe share the other later.  It's hard to write about the flavor of carrots, though.

The Math department at UNLV was rich in students of a type of discreet mathematics called game theory.  As I began to understand the work of John von Neumann, Oskar Morgenstern, and the work of Kurt Goedel that made that possible, I began to understand the nature of this world more deeply than I could easily describe today.  I also began to realize the mathematical necessity of an element of the this big, crazy system of decision makers (humanity) that is both entirely of this system and outside of this system.

This gets pretty deep, but the fact is there really seems to be a vast intelligence behind the good of this world.  There is something twisting and perverting those good things into bad things, and there is something inside us that knows it.  Deep down, when we are really honest, we know and confess that is just not enough within us to right it all.  If we seek Truth long enough, we come to an uncomfortable truth.  Mathematically it is alluded to in Goedel's incompleteness theorem (summarized as the fact that any system, at least as sophisticated as arithmetic, must have exactly one axiomatic element that is at once of the system and outside of the system, on which the entire system is based).  Anthropologically it is found in the curious existence of an internal rulebook that varies surprisingly little among very disparate people groups.  Sociologically and economically it works itself out in this balance all leaders face between the potential greatness of the individual and their curious inclination towards depravity.  

Any idea what I am alluding to? 

I fear that flag waving attracts enemy attacks, and the most precious allied princes and princesses may find themselves in the fray without training.  So I invite the spiritually inclined (anywhere on the confused/weak to certain/strong spectrum) into discussion.  I'm just a man, but in Christ I have found some irrefutable answers.  I realize this is a long and heady post, and I applaud and thank you for your time and attention.  I sincerely appreciate you.