Specialization is for insects

Robert Heinlein’s Time Enough For Love has its lead character Lazarus Long* spouting:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Which is well in sync with my List Of Skills To Acquire Before I Grow Old. Well, all except for butchering hogs, which only a post-apocalyptic barren Earth might require me to engage in. And even then, with caution: Mutant hogs don’t make for ideal breakfast.

A few more specific additions to my LOSTABIGO, in no particular order:

  1. Hang a painting on a concrete wall.
  2. Analyze the Henon attractor.
  3. Paint: Both the painting, and three coats on the said wall.
  4. Map a city block. (Cartography is underrated.)
  5. Simulate a random walk. [DONE]
  6. Operate an eighteen wheeler.
  7. Pull myself onto ledges and overhangs.
  8. Compute a path integral. [DONE?]
  9. Cook at least three kinds of cuisine.
  10. Design a 4-bit CPU.
  11. Milk a member of the bovine species. [DONE]
  12. Solve the Euler equations for a thrown skittle.
  13. Run six miles in under an hour.
  14. Solve the other Euler equation. [DONE]
  15. Do the mayurasana.
  16. Listen to every Bach composition.
  17. Snap a long exposure photograph.
  18. Woo a member of the opposite sex.
  19. Make an 8-bit PC game.

I’m running out of time.

*via kottke.org


One comment

  1. Pingback: Skill #13 « Regexes For Life

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