This evening, I was asked in class, “what are you going to do when you get out?” I haven’t heard this question since I was in the military, but the young woman was asking about what I would do after I had finished my undergraduate studies. The question implies a sort of restriction, imprisonment. I responded, “I’m not sure if I plan to.”

Recently, I’ve had a shift in interest from wanting to work with financial markets as an economist to focusing more on research of developing nations. Development can include their financial markets as well, but it encompasses much more and can be used, especially, in impoverished nations to do good.

Since changing my major last semester to economics with a quantitative emphasis (read: math), I’ve known I would have to get a PhD to work with anything like I wanted to, but I wasn’t sure (and am still not) what principle of economics I want to focus on.

The girl also asked why I quit my job after I described that I was a pilot for a defense company. My answer, “Because I was a pilot for a defense company.” It made me think of how I started college.

My focus was on getting a skill in anything that wasn’t defense related that paid at least and hopefully more than my old job. I started with a double major in finance and accounting with a minor in economics. Stuff that makes good money for the sake of making good money, but with economics in the background as my real desire. I avoided economics because I saw the route and knew it to be a long one. Math? Could I do math? The answer, surprisingly to me, turned out to be yes.

I was speaking with a a few finance majors and noticed a continuous theme, money (duh). The focus of each of these students was the attainment of money for the sake of having lots of money. I had a job like that and I hated it. I still think about it and it disgusts me. Money became an end, not a means.

Back to the girl’s question of why I quit my job. I thought about the similar mindset these finance students shared with my old coworkers. They were focused solely on the accrual of money for no reason than just to have some. To create a business just to create a business. To not really accomplish anything, but generate money. Buy a new BMW, buy a new house, buy a plane but not have the time to learn how to fly, consumption for consumption’s sake.

I haven’t used the word wealth once and there’s a reason for that. Wealth is about using money as a means. Not letting money be the end. The degree I am pursuing is certainly remunerative, there is little question about that. However, more than a money maker, it’s a way to make change. A way to help. A way to answer questions and not just fill a bottom line.

I hope that as I continue on in my education that I can remember that money is a means of doing, not the end of doing. I don’t want to think of this in terms of “getting out”. I want to do something I never want to be out of.


Taking a break from late night calculus (sounds like the title of a bad radio show on light.fm). I love these women.

This is two years old now. So, in terms of buzz, it’s buried and eulogized I guess.

"Leave no ass unfucked."


I’m really happy to see the direction that the Godzilla franchise has taken with this new film. Granted, I love all of the films, but it’s been a long time since Godzilla had substance.


"People like to justify to themselves that the work they are doing is valid and it seems natural to use words to tell yourself that what you are doing is important and meaningful. But it’s important to not to too narrowly define what you’re doing through the use of language. People want to feel like they have a grip on things and so using words to make sense of what you’re doing might provide a feeling of relief and control but be careful you don’t make your project less interesting by having it fit neatly into a scheme of words. Images have a power that is different from the power of words and they communicate in ways that words cannot. In today’s culture, words dominate our thinking and, used in a lazy manner, they help sustain a spectrum of fundamentalist thought. Being able to accept ambiguity leads to a better quality of life and better work."

Source: magnificentruin.com

Monday, I head back to school. It’s been a good break.

  • A: What does it sound like?
  • Me: A tiny person on a tiny motorcycle driving on my motherboard.


On Friday, an Afghan policeman opened fire on a car carrying the journalists Anja Niedringhaus and Kathy Gannon, of the Associated Press, in Khost province. Niedringhaus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, was killed in the attack. These pictures, all taken in the past few weeks, showcase some of her work from Afghanistan: http://nyr.kr/1i8EQWk

Above: An Afghan girl helps her brother down from a security barrier set up outside the Independent Election Commission office in Khost.

Source: newyorker.com