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Being Anti-obsessive

There are moments when a bit of obsessive compulsive disorder creeps into my day. Easily sensed when it happens, such occurrences are repulsive and hilarious in the same instant. It's excitingly strange to experience these two feelings simultaneously, so intensely; and I sometimes consider going total OCD just for the fun of it. Aside from personal satisfaction derived when exercising my OCD while living alone–safely in hermit mode–it has provided a bit of off-kilter entertainment for others while living in close, judgmental proximity. I've watched them react to the OCD things I do. It is certainly amusing from this side of the lens.

But it will probably never come to that unless senility is my destiny in old age and I am somehow trapped and caged by others convinced they know what is best for a crazy old hermit. Most everything in life has eventually become boring to me. Shifting into some new path of exploration and discovery as boredom creeps into whatever I’m up to at the moment is how I have always experienced elevated excitement, especially when leveraging fresh knowledge and skills in a completely new endeavor. Absolutely nothing, though, has ever been so compelling as to induce deep personal drive to obsess over it above all other . . . its.

This may be why I’ve never achieved great wealth or fame, too flighty to maintain focus long enough to build a following. More likely, though, is how quickly money and its acquisition became so mind-numbingly boring. By age fourteen I was engaging in heated debate with public school teachers on the subject, to great amusement of classmates. In college I immediately dropped an advanced mathematics course when the professor spent the entire first lecture preaching of the need for us to learn to do just one thing masterfully, preferably something in mathematics. His presumption that he knew best what life courses others should take made me nauseous. So, no rewards of acclaim or fortune were ever achieved.

Regardless, this method of free-range exploratory living has served me well, equipping me for facing any real-world challenge requiring acquisition of specific knowledge, tools use and exercising of skills adequately honed for solution of pressing, practical problems. It has been satisfying to carry on as such for more than six pleasantly memorable decades of this life.

Occasionally–infrequently–I think of what life might have been like if I had accepted invitation to do post-graduate work pursuing a single obsession, perhaps earning an advanced degree and then doing research in massively parallel computing after Danny Hillis somehow sparked intense interest in the subject. But such fleeting bouts of pondering always pass painlessly with no twinge of regret, having already satisfied my curiosity enough.

For this crazy old hermit, nothing isn’t worth delving into, up to a point. And there is an infinity of stuff in the universe to turn eager, ravenous attention to when boredom inevitably creeps up to kill the thrill of current explorations, keeping my life happily interesting enough.

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