From an early age, I have been accused of a lack of enthusiasm. It has always seemed strange to me that I have done so very well on objective tests of my abilities and so very poorly on ratings of me by my superiors, peers, and inferiors. That social valuation has happened to me virtually every time in essentially every situation. And yet it isn’t really true. For example, it doesn’t seem to be a lack of enthusiasm to have written 3,919 blog posts without missing a single one, does it? Nor does it seem that I lacked enthusiasm when I graduated tops in my USAF flight school class on all the objective measures, some 75% of my score, but last in my class in officer effectiveness, 25% of my score, because of perceived lack of enthusiasm.
Well, let that be. I could give many examples!
Tonight, in a conversation I finally realized, at age 82¾, what my enthusiasm really was, and still is, and why people never thought I had that god-like quality. TheFreeDictionary.com defines enthusiasm as, “Ecstasy arising from supposed possession by a god.” I haven’t been very enthused about gods, but that isn’t it. The reason was that I didn’t believe in the projects that were being presented to me. The easy one that ruined my life was deciding not to drop hydrogen bombs on people, or other bombs for that matter. At least since listening to the radio in September 1945 with my grandfather, where the broadcast was describing the end of World War Two with the destruction of two Japanese cities with atomic bombs, my goal became to somehow transcend that human insanity, and nothing I encountered in the meantime really satisfied that need, and so I lacked enthusiasm. Being captain of my softball team in grade school didn’t do it and I was accused of lack of enthusiasm; being a pilot in the Air Force didn’t do it; last year’s thoughts on how to save humanity from obesity weren’t enough to generate enthusiasm; there are a hundred other examples. But now I have found something I can be enthusiastic about. This will sound absurd, even crazy, and yet my goal is to transcend humanity by helping our species evolve into a new life-form.
My enthusiasm is to do what I can to bring a robot society into existence which will endure for billions of years.