70 And Still Hacking It

February 2, 2016 § Leave a comment

An old man came to a meeting I attended at work today. He said he’d turned 70 yesterday. He had only one question for an important technologist we were meeting, who was evangelizing his company’s cognitive systems tech.

It was a question the rest of us, mostly half his age or less hadn’t thought about – will we be able to hold our own in this new frontier, will our countrymen benefit, or will we have to pay through our noses for this new tech?

We don’t know the answer, and I’m naive enough to believe that new business leaders are emerging world over who are less avaricious than their forefathers. I’ve little proof and only the naive belief, perhaps because to think of worse alternatives is to be scared of the world that will be when my little son will be an adult.

My other thought was, will I still be able to stand up and hack it, as this old man at 70. Will I even be alive. I knew him from earlier, and during his youth and middle years, he wasn’t necessarily the best role model. He was a bit pompous and certainly not beneath abusing his position to thwart those of us junior to him, but eager to prove ourselves.

But he worked hard then, and he’s working hard now. He doesn’t really need the money, but he’s still working hard, he still has curiosity, still wants to learn and is unafraid to ask a “dumb” question. If one day, my grown son thought such thoughts about me, I won’t have been an entire failure.

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