Saturday, August 16, 2003

Christopher Ireland was inspired by Chuq von Rospach's bio. In turn, it inspired me to have a cut at mine, done in that fashion:

I'm middle-aged, male, and in the no-man's land between being a geek and a wonk. The most successful part of my career was passing exams in high school. The application of the generalized Peter's Principle led to a graduate degree in physics, and the realization that I wasn't any good at same.

At this point I was both over- and under-qualified for any real job. An entrepreneurial start-up fund manager took pity on my, and I worked for five years in what was at that time Britain's largest seed capital fund. The strangest thing is that I'm older now than he was then, and I still feel that I have some time to go before I have to have achieved as much as he had.

I ended up with some savings and the realization that I didn't want to do this kind of work - but no sense of what I did want to do. That much hasn't changed over all these years. I'm still from time to time assailed with doubt over my current job: Is not having anything better to do, an excuse not to change?

Three quarters of the way towards graduating with a BA in sculpture I ended up moving to the US to work for a software company. My only qualification seemed to be that I could think on my feet, and string jargon together in plausible sequences.

Like most people around me, I agonize about the fact that I "work too hard" and "don't have a life." In fact I seldom work much more than sixty hours a week, and I live a charmed life. I have a wonderful partner, a nice house, and the time to study learn Spanish and do tai chi. I prefer non-fiction to the heavy stuff; my favorite magazine is New Scientist.

I don't have a philosophy of life. I've never been able to do anything other than rather timidly put one foot in front of the other. I've been lucky to find myself in interesting places as a result. As a lower middle class kid who's made it to the upper middle, I live in constant fear that something will suddenly take away the good life I've been blessed with.

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