By GREG MAFFETT
Published: November 23, 2010
I can see the future quite clearly. Clearly in the sense that I know for a fact what I'll be seeing will be a hazy blur. And in this blur I'll be stumbling around going "Now where did I leave my scarf?"
It will be right in front of me, but I won't see it. One of the nifty features of my INTP personality type is that anything that doesn't move for a period of time becomes invisible. Basically the haze just grows and grows around an item over time and then, poof! It's gone.
This is the problem presented by the hat that went with the scarf that my brother knat. (I know knat is not the past tense of knit, but its the rhyming poetic license here vice my usual.) So this package had a big build up from back east. It was sent with delivery confirmation. There were concerns that the neighbors might poach the package. And there was the assurance that once I'd opened it I'd go WTF was the big deal?
All that was accurate. The pacakge was unmolested. I brought it in after work, but I was famished, so I grabbed some grub. Then this being CA and it being a bitter cold 63 degrees here, I grabbed some hot tub. After that I remembered, "oh yeah" the package.
I open it to find the hat and scarf. I figure "oh, mom". I snap a pic and send proof of life to my brother and kudos to Mom. Ok, I hear it wasn't mom...
I go out and have a couple beers, come back and take a closer look at the hat. Huh, I says. There are letters in the hat. GM. Now GM I know. Then the other stuff, TWMF. It seems vaguely familiar, but I've had a couple high gravity ale and a single malt and I have to say that my IQ was plummeting just like the thermometer.
Plus, it's been a long week. I taught my heavy math class last week. That class just kills me. I usually sleep 3-4 hours a night. The weekend after that class I sleep 10-12 hours a night. I'm a shell afterwards, because I'm really putting in 20 hour days as far as mental activity goes. By Friday, there is not much left and when I go down, I go down hard.
In fact, in that class I teach my "Three R's" of contracting it goes like this
1. Risk. This is where everyone starts. There is a risk that your approach will get what you want or not.\
2. Reason or Remember. The second R determines how you solve the problem. Do you remember some pithy rule? Or do you reason from first principles? I teach Reason as the second R, but realize that many go down the automaton route.
3. Responsible. This is where you want to end up, making a sound decision. You can be sure of the outcome, but if you have reasoned soundly, you stand a good chance of making a responible decision.
I really teach them Reason, even though they often scream loudly when it is time to apply that. Apparently Reason is really painful for some folks and they prefer to Remember.
I'm not one of those people, by and large. I Reason my way out of stuff. Mostly that is due to having a really good reasoning engine in my head, and an equally bad remembering engine. I have the memory I mentioned earlier, the one that makes things go invisible.
So anyway, my brother says he is going to post the story about the knitwear and figure "OK" the TWMF thing will be in there and I'll get the reference when I read the piece. He doesn't post it, he emails it. I get halfway through reading it and see it is segueing and I go "Oh here it comes!" But it doesn't.
I should probably mention that we are editing our 7th book now. I remembered it was our 7th book. On the cover page, my brother indicates it is our 6th effort. See I got the number one right, being the math guy. And my brother struggled with the math, being the man of letters.
Anyway, now my reasoning kicks in. If he didn't explain those TWMF letters, he figures I knew them. I start trying to reverse engineer the acronym. The White Man Flails? The Weird Maffett Family? The Whole Manly Fiesta? OK, I had nothing.
But those letters really were familiar. Really and since he expected me to know them that could only mean one thing. I created them. I now know that I not only should know this, but authored this. Ah, you know. I do remember some things. I remember creating a couple kids. Seven books. About 30 paintings. Hundreds of memorable golf shots. All that I can access. But these letters?
They were eluding me. It had been well over 12 hours since I fully locked in on those letters. Then finally at 8:24 AM (based on the clock over my stove) the memory kicks in. I flash back to a time before I started the humbling life of a teacher. Back when I was not simply G or the brother of G or the son of G...no I had to go way back to the day when I was
The Word Made Flesh.