Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Three Things In Life


My father told me that there are three things to consider in life.  Only three things that you should remember.  No, four things.  Someday you will die so you have to consider: (1) When you will die,  (2) where you will die and (3) how you will die.  You can't control any of these.  Not normally.  Not unless you commit suicide.  Not the normal way out.  The fourth you can control.  What happens between the time you are born and the time that you die.  Or, between the time that you read this blog and the time that you die.

If we knew the time, place and the circumstances of our death, we probably would lead a completely different life.  Most would live a life of abandon until the final year when they realized the futility of what they had done.  Some would actually live a life worth having been lived.  Me?  I have no idea.  I'm just glad that I don't know.  I actually never thought that I would live to be over forty or fifty and really didn't plan to be this old.  It's nice, but I didn't plan on it.  G-d has been nice to me but I've been ready for many years now.  Only recently did I realize how totally unprepared that I was actually to die and move on so, I thank Him that he let me live this long.

And you?  Well, what are you doing to prepare for your final destination?  What kind of memory will you leave behind?  After all, most of us will leave some kind of legacy behind for some kind of brief period.  Some longer than others.  Abraham left quite a long legacy.  Beethoven left a long legacy.  Will I leave anything like George Washington or Thomas Jefferson?  Not bloody likely.  Mine will probably last 30 years - 40 at most.  Just about as long as my youngest son.  See, I don't have any grandchildren to continue my legacy so it won't last much longer.  Not my fault, it just is.

Again, how about you?  Will your writings last beyond your lifetime?  How about your work?  Your grandchildren?  Great-grandchildren?  On the other hand, does it really matter?  Does the fourth question really matter after all?  Probably not.  But I like to think that, like Steve Jobs, that I did make a small dent in the universe.  Just not so big a dent as he made.  I didn't help invent the iPhone, the MacIntosh, the iPad nor any of the other cool Apple products.

But, along with Mark Procter of Drools (and Greg Barton and Rolando Hernandez of Biz Rules) I did get October Rules Fest started back in 2008 in Dallas, Texas.  (Why is another story.)  We did it again in 2009.  Then in 2010 I turned it over to a friend of mine and it moved to California.  Then it morphed into IntelliFest 2012 and that became the greatest AI event in the world so far.  It features a reunion of the infamous CMU Gang of Three (so far).  So, if you don't do anything else, help make my small legacy the greatest event the world had seen this year.  (This is completely shameless!!)  Come out to San Diego this October and pay us a visit.  Hang out with Forgy, Miranker, Grossman, Riley, Berlioz-Matignon, Ceranno-Morales, Feldman, Saint Marie, Laun, Lenat, Raden, Vincent, Fry and all the rest of the AI, medical, and business greats.  Three Days Of Total AI Glory!!!  Number FIVE is ALIVE !!!


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