Steve Yegge talks about how there exists an interview anti-loop interview anti-loop at Google. For every person, there exists a person that will ruin their chances to get a job at Google if you see them in an onsite interview. My belief is that you can generalize this out to life as well.
From my life experience so far, I feel that there exists a set of people, that if we were waves, we’d always cancel each other out. ME + THEM = 0. For whatever reason, two of us never really click. We have to force ourselves to get along. There’s some discrepancy, that no matter how much we talk or how long we hang out, we wouldn’t become close friends. Maybe even friends. I felt like I’ve seen this happen in multiple times. Sometimes, you just don’t get along. I can’t really put my finger on it - is it a personality difference? Were we sworn enemies in our past lives? Biochemistry? Whatever it is, we just don’t seem to mesh well together. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me? Whatever it is, there’s a disconnect. But maybe I’m wrong.
Conversely, despite knowing one another for only a few days, with some people I feel like I could be lifelong friends. The strongest I’ve ever felt this instance is when I met one of my best friends in college. It was like a dejavu kind of feeling - when I met him, I felt a sense of familiarity that I saw him somewhere before. We ended up getting along extremely well. and we had a good run during our undergrad days. We even have our own lingo. Oh snapadoodles… XD.
What triggered this thought is that a friend asked me to wait another 2 minutes to sing happy birthday to a person, for whatever reason, despite all the opportunities to talk to for the past 12 weeks, we never clicked, or talked. I’m not quite sure why. I said nope, I’m not singing. I’m out. I was disappointed that we never got to truly connect and talk when we had the chance, and I questioned whether I would truly be uttering words of happy birthday. Would be a lie on my conscience?
I’m still thinking whether this was the right decision. Out of the courtesy for my friend, should I have stayed? But isn’t it a violation of my moral code if I sang along singing words that I don’t mean? To me, happy birthday means, hey, I’m glad it’s your birthday, and that you’re alive. I’m happy you’re here with me on this wild ride called life. But if I don’t mean it with my heart, should I say these words? Do I really feel happy, or wish someone else that I have zero information, a happy birthday?
Similarly, I think about overused words. Words tend to use punchiness and flavor when it’s commonly used. If you say “Good morning” - it must have meant something more than a greeting. For example, what it really could mean is - damn it’s another fine morning. I live to fight another day. Or - SWEET. The rays of the sun are all over the wimpy grass and trees are gently swinging with the wind. A damn fine good morning to get shit done.
I’m wondering if happy birthday is left with the same caliber. Since we’ve used it so many times…
This also reminds me of Pascal’s Wager, Pascal argues that you should believe in Christianity regardless of the outcome. Reasoning: - if you believe and there exists a hell, you avoid it. If you believe and there isn’t a hell then there is no loss on your end. Congratulations! you’ve avoided hell. People quote me this ALL the time, or use it in evangelistic settings, and it drive me nuts. This is also a misquoted version, by the way. Pascal’s argument is grounded on expected value.
My thought is this - taking on Pascal’s wager is worse than not becoming a Christian if you’re not convinced by the Christian faith. Essentially you’re lying to yourself if you accept the wager - you don’t sincerely believe in Christianity from the depths of your soul. Let’s say you believe because you don’t want to go to hell, and profess your faith just off the basis of this fact. But if you believe because you don’t want to go to hell and lie your way through how you feel God’s love, then your worse than a person who flat out rejects Christianity. At least that person is honest to himself.
In Dante’s Inferno, the deepest layer of hell is reserved for people who commit suicide. This is the worst sin according to Dante because by killing yourself is the ultimate betrayal of yourself, who, you could argue is the most important being in your life. Isn’t lying to yourself a similar line of betrayal? To yourself?
At the end of the day this puts me in this situation: be sincere and be careful with your words, and really mean what you say, and be true to yourself. People have built in lie detectors, and unfortunately most of us don’t have superb memories to track all the lies we’ve said. By being sincere, and at least meaning what we say, we can simplify our lives, build stronger relationships, and not worry about keeping track of bullshit.
Conclusion: Unless I mean happy birthday, even to a stranger, I shouldn’t be saying it.
Edit history and other notes that make no sense
This blog post is a compilation of a birthday in the first half of the year, and another birthday of a friend’s friend(who I guess is now a friend!;D) in July in Boston.
Friends who would plan elaborate pranks.
Friends who would bake for you.
overlapping until so people become more evil(???)