Every 10 Years
40 was complaining that there was no free will in the world. The fact that we had to come here every 10 years seemed to back that up. However, I always found it unsettling that 90 disagreed. What does he know that I don't? And why didn't 70 or 80 care?
We only had an hour together so I had to stick to the plan. We were sitting in a circle, ordered by age, 20 to my left, 40 to my right. It seemed like an AA meeting but with more lunacy. 20 was being pestered by 10 about lottery numbers the whole time so I had to try to keep him focused.
"Listen. Hey, listen. You have to be more assertive. Start learning Jiu Jitsu, okay? You don't have much time. And learn to become a better swimmer and focus more on your grades."
40 was trying to get my attention too, but to a lesser extent. He had obviously become shredded recently and looked successful so I thought I'd get by fine for the next few years. He spent most of the hour talking to 50 about some girl named "Jen". That wasn't my wife, so I'm not quite sure what the deal was. I asked 40 about it but he brushed off my question.
60 didn't speak much. He was the only one wearing flannel and suspenders. He also had a beard that went down all the way to his belly. He was the oddest looking one of us. But for some reason, 70, 80 and 90 didn't talk to him much. If they had the answers, shouldn't they be trying to fix him? He didn't try to talk to 50 either. Whatever the issue was, it was obviously going to be a rough one.
70, 80 and 90 were in their own clique. The other adults among us were trying to glance into their conversation at times but understood very little. From what I gathered, the Neuralink experiment was successful. Whatever that meant. The only advice they had for the rest of us was to enjoy our relationships and take care of others. I've heard that before.
20 had gone back to arguing with 10 about sports, Kony 2012 and Silicon Valley. I had to keep him on track. We had 5 minutes left. I took his glass of orange juice and poured it on his head. He turned around and looked like he was about to hit me, but quickly realized that he knew that was to come. He wasn't paying attention to 10 any more. In fact, both 10 and 20 were now fixated on me.
"Stop thinking about money. There are more important things to worry about. You need to start learning about algorithm design. The computers are going to come hard and nothing will matter."
They looked at me with blank faces.
"You know, Kalman filters, Kernel-based classification, that sort of thing."
I hadn't thought this through. That must have been the "K-words" I kept thinking about.
"Okay, listen. Just keep an eye on a company called Google. Drop all this racing nonsense and try to get into there. That way you'll be in control when it happens."
60 looked at us and laughed. I knew it was futile.