The Things You Learn About People

Every friday I ride my motorcycle over to the coast, stopping in at a local bar for much needed refreshments along the way. Over the years I have gotten to know the locals and have bonded with one fellow in particular.

I knew that my friend is a veteran and yesterday he revealed that he was in the Marine Corps for 5 years. Here’s how that conversation went:

Me: “so where were you based?”

Him: “I did basic in San Diego and moved around, eventually spending 2 years in Washington D.C.”

Me: “DC huh, what did you do there?”

Him: “I was attached to the White House detail.”

Me: “Really… that’s pretty damn interesting. So you were one of the Marines in full dress blues standing guard at the White House and at Marine One and Air Force One?”

Him: “yeah, pretty much… it’s surprising how well you get to know the President when you do that for a couple of years.”

Over the course of our conversation I learned that he lives in a large yurt on 40 acres of land and has camels, alpacas, goats (miniature fainting goats no less), sheep, about 40 chickens and a contingent of very large turkeys.

For the rest of my ride I could not help but be reminded that you can learn fascinating details about people when you simply talk to them. For all of the technical gizmos that our industry takes great pride in, nothing can replace the texture of real face to face interactions, what Stowe Boyd aptly calls the meatspace.

Darth Vader spoke volumes when he opineddon’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed; the ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.