Of Iridium Integration
Published on April 28, 2007 By Dan Kaschel In Life
Some things just stick with me. Words and phrases strike with such force that they compress the stuff of my mind around them. Others are simply received, as if I was born with a crater just the size and shape of that idea. Usually it is serious. I remember being very young and very furious with my mother. She had done something to offend me, and she was apologizing. In self-righteous fury, I turned to her and said, "sometimes sorry just isn't good enough." She replied, "sorry will always be good enough for me." Other times, it is funny or even silly. I saw a commercial today for a TV show and heard the line: "You are hereby sentenced to live in New York City for seven days... as a bush." I cracked up. Much more than the line was worth.

Those words aren't always driven in by their own merit. Music is notorious for the inertia it can give; emotionally-charged situations can do the same thing. In other words, you can never be entirely sure what foreign object will lodge in your brain on any given day. It makes me think of something else that deals with precisely the same predicament.

Imagine being planet Earth. Earth, which, assaulted daily by thousands of space objects, incinerates or deflects nearly all intruders with an atmosphere only twenty mile thick. But even so, sufficient mass and correct trajectory can be just the ticket for a hurtling asteroid to bury itself in terrestrial soil. And what happens? Well, at first there is a crater, wholesale destruction, and a big cloud of dust. But eventually the alien is assimilated, and once again there is only... Earth. But an Earth with a slightly different composition. An Earth infused not only with alien substance, but with alien possibility.

I'm not the only person who has suffered through the realization that I am not a conventional genius. I wasn't playing Mozart when I was three; I wasn't doing differential equations in my head at age eight. I'm only twenty years old, and already my opportunity to be a protege is dead and gone. And, though I have my own, unique potential--the potential to live a life that nobody else could live--I still have a desire to rise above my own potential. But how is that possible?

Meteors are rich in iridium, an element that is very rare in the earth's crust. Foremost among iridium's unique properties is the fact that it extremely corrosion-resistant; it can even withstand aqua regia (Latin for "royal water"), a harsh combination of nitric and hydrochloric acid, used to dissolve gold and platinum. I know this metaphor will break apart if I stress it too heavily, so I'll expound now: while the unexpected integration of ideas can be disconcerting, I think that it has allowed me to develop strengths that I never could have had, unalloyed.

I can think of no reason that this concept should be restricted to language. Imagine what ideas and concepts and characteristics and strengths... and fears and insecurities and weaknesses... can be absorbed from the world around me!

This last bit goes without saying: doesn't it make sense to stay close to those that not only motivate me to improve, but also help me to develop the strengths that define them?

My situation is basically unchanged since the last time I wrote, but I think that my next update will be somewhat more substantial. In the meanwhile, I'd be curious to know; is this something you relate to?


on Apr 30, 2007
Fascinating look at the world.  But I detect a bit of borg in your writings.  Have you been assimilated?  Or just assimilating?