Category Archives: Life Journal

Transhuman

There’s a new term that I expect will soon become a regular topic of conversation – transhuman. It sounds like a new gender category, but it isn’t. It’s far from it.

Transhuman is the integration of technology into humans. It’s similar to genetic and cell technologies like CRISPR or stem cell therapies but much more invasive. A transhuman refers to someone who has integrated technology into their body in a way that substantially augments either their mental or physical capabilities, or in many cases both. Perhaps you’re more familiar with the term cyborg, the mix of man and machine, although becoming transhuman doesn’t necessarily require embedding a machine in one’s body.

While it sounds like an amazing thing to happen, and in some ways it can be, it’s also quite scary. Here are some of the benefits that could result from being transhuman and why I also thing it could be a cause for alarm.

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And then there was one

Gregg and Courtney Borodaty at her graduation get together

Earlier this month, Courtney completed her coursework and officially became a graduate of the University of California, Davis. The event would normally have resulted in a gathering of family members in Davis to celebrate her accomplishments over the last four years. But with the pandemic and restrictions imposed on large gatherings, she had to settle for an online ceremony and small get together at our house. So instead of having pictures around campus in all of her graduation regalia, we had to settle for a less subdued picture in our family room.

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Memories: June 1977

Raymond and Debbie Castner wedding photo - June 1977

My Aunt Debbie and Uncle Raymond celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary this month. Somehow, some way, a picture of their wedding party made its way to me.

Yellow tuxedos, fat bow ties, bridesmaids hats, plenty of hair. Yup, it was the seventies all right.

I was the ring bearer, front and center, and my sister, 5 years younger than me, is the flower girl on the far left. My mom and dad were also a part of the wedding party – bonus points if you can pick them out!

Congratulations on 43 years Aunt Debbie and Uncle Raymond! Thanks for including me in your special day – and don’t look back, Lisa and I are only 16 years behind you!

Strive for excellence, don’t demand perfection

I used to believe that perfection was the goal in life. Everything had to be done just right with no room for error, no time for mistakes.

Maybe I’m getting older, or maybe just more experienced. I certainly have the gray hairs to prove it. Either way, one thing I’ve learned on my journey through life is the difference between excellence and perfection. While these two words seem so similar, they could not be more different. And understanding the difference between the two is critically important if we want to grow and move forward.

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Discovering light in the darkness

If the first half of this year is a sign of what’s to come, 2020 is shaping up to be a difficult year. While it feels like the challenges we face are unique, it’s not the first time in our country’s history that we’ve encountered tough times, nor will it be our last. And while it may seem like this time will never end, there’s reason for hope – that we can, and will, discover light in the darkness.

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Rebooting Startup Lessons

I set a goal five years ago to blog regularly about my day job running a software company. I setup the Startup Lessons category and managed a handful of posts that year before things stalled. Since then, most of my Startup Lessons have been about related books or riffs on interesting posts.

So after a lengthy hiatus, I’ve decided to reboot Startup Lessons. My (new) goal is to write at least one post a month sharing what I’ve learned running a business over the past 15 years.

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To us, it was home

A couple of years ago, our church had a guest pastor who told an interesting story about his childhood. He was an older gentleman, probably in his late seventies or early eighties. He said that in the neighborhood where he grew up, people left their doors unlocked because there wasn’t anything inside worth stealing. The families worked hard and often relied on each other to make ends meet. While it would be considered a poor neighborhood by today’s standards, he and his friends didn’t see it that way. They played games in the streets and in each other’s yards. If he was considered poor, he didn’t know it. In fact, as he put it, “I didn’t know I lived in the ‘hood until I started watching TV. To us it was home.”

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Change

Calls for change are a regular refrain these days. Maybe it’s because we all have a voice via social media and the internet. Maybe it’s because it’s an election year. Maybe it’s the effects of being quarantined for the last 6 weeks.

Whatever the case may be, there’s no shortage of calls to change our current attitudes, behaviors, and/or laws to stem the effects of climate change, improve the safety of public places, provide access to health care, reduce the number of homeless, and the list goes on.

When calling for change, we (which includes me) ask questions like why aren’t people doing more? Why aren’t our community leaders and government officials responding to calls for action? Why aren’t businesses, both big and small, stepping up to support and improve the communities they do business in?

While these and others are all great questions, perhaps the questions we should be asking is how can I effect change? How can I influence things? How can I become part of the solution?

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