expressing things that matter; an old story

I was touched by this story in today’s Boston Globe.

I liked the human crafstmanship in the telling, and deeply moved by the dramatic yet universal tale of the failure to live up to our potential.

So I gave it to my 11 year old daughter to read. I asked her why she thought I wanted her to read it. “So I won’t take drugs. Duh.”

I said, “something like that, but there’s something else….” But she had already left the room, singing Avril Lavigne.

About Stearns

Howard Stearns works at High Fidelity, Inc., creating the metaverse. Mr. Stearns has a quarter century experience in systems engineering, applications consulting, and management of advanced software technologies. He was the technical lead of University of Wisconsin's Croquet project, an ambitious project convened by computing pioneer Alan Kay to transform collaboration through 3D graphics and real-time, persistent shared spaces. The CAD integration products Mr. Stearns created for expert system pioneer ICAD set the market standard through IPO and acquisition by Oracle. The embedded systems he wrote helped transform the industrial diamond market. In the early 2000s, Mr. Stearns was named Technology Strategist for Curl, the only startup founded by WWW pioneer Tim Berners-Lee. An expert on programming languages and operating systems, Mr. Stearns created the Eclipse commercial Common Lisp programming implementation. Mr. Stearns has two degrees from M.I.T., and has directed family businesses in early childhood education and publishing.

One Comment

  1. Man, that is Shakespearian. I read the original story that reported his death, which was then listed as “cause unkown.” This story also reminds me of the story, which I don’t remember exactly, of the friend of one of Robert Kennedy’s children who had a heroin problem. This friend went “into the hole with him in order to lead him out of it” and ended up dying of an overdoase.

    I went to a military high school in New York City. Those who got “second honors” — a B+ average with no grade lower than B — wore a blue braid on their uniform for the next academic quarter. I wore the blue braid about 3 times in 4 years. One of my best friends, Nicholas Fascina, wore the gold braid –A average, no grade lower than A — every quarter for four years. At my school that was a very, very difficult accomplishment. He was from a rough neighborhood with a complicated family background. He was dead of an overdose before the end of summer in the year we graduated. As was another classmate of mine, Tim Moffet, also from a rough neighborhood (in Newark, NJ). Moffet was a lousy student and often in trouble, but he also was a gifted athelete. In fact, in his junior year he was named best quarterback in NYC by both the Times and the Daily News.

    As for your daughter’s comments: some things are impossible for young people to understand. That’s what makes being a parent so scary.

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