10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won’t Tell You

6. Read obituaries. They are just like biographies, only shorter. They remind us that interesting, successful people rarely lead orderly, linear lives.

7. Your parents don’t want what is best for you. They want what is good for you, which isn’t always the same thing. There is a natural instinct to protect our children from risk and discomfort, and therefore to urge safe choices.

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won’t Tell You

I’m not terribly interested in whether real, brain-chemically-defined Asperger’s is over- or underdiagnosed, or whether it exists at all except as a metaphor. I’m interested in how vital the description feels lately. Is there any chance the Aspergerian retreat from affective risk, in favor of the role of alienated scientist-observer, might be an increasingly “popular” coping stance in a world where corporations, machines, and products flourish within their own ungovernable systems?

I am angry and curious. These two things propel me forward. I come from the minimum-wage working world. I have no illusions as to where I should have ended up. I have really nothing to lose, and so I go.

Should you stay up all night gambling in Vegas? – Barking up the wrong tree

The powers that be in Las Vegas figured out something long before neuroscientists at two Duke University medical schools confirmed their ideas this week: Trying to make decisions while sleep-deprived can lead to a case of optimism.

Add in the usual required dose of skepticism required for science journalism, sure. I still think this is interesting and the risk-taking aspect seems to tie into both 1) late-night bouts of creativity and 2) survival situations. Both of which can make you feel a little psychotic in the moment and can be kind of horrifying in hindsight after you’ve regained your right mind.

Should you stay up all night gambling in Vegas? – Barking up the wrong tree

We recognize our sexual desire by the fact that once again–once again, after childhood–we feel our safety and our excitement are in conflict with each other. When we feel we are taking a risk, or are at risk, there is always an object of desire in the vicinity.

The real risk is in not changing. I have to feel that I’m after something. If I make money, fine. But I’d rather be striving. It’s the striving, man, it’s that I want.

John Coltrane, quoted in Paul D. Zimmerman’s “Death of a Jazz Man”, Newsweek, July 31, 1967.