Sail Away from the Safe Harbor

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.”

—Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Your brain is lazy. Well, biochemically, it’s designed to work efficiently—wired to expend the least amount of energy necessary to complete a task. Think about your first time behind the wheel. It used to take every neuron firing at full blast just to keep the car rubber-side down—now you can drive 90 while texting, eating a chalupa, and singing along to Top 40 garbage.

Cognitive efficiency applies to everything—most notably your job. Laughing at the new guy is always fun, because you could do his work with your eyes closed. You don’t even have to think anymore—which is essentially what your brain wants. Maximum efficiency with minimum cognition. You’re done learning, but you still deposit a salary every two weeks, which is as comforting as standing in a bear trap at a buffet: your basic human needs are met, but you’re not going anywhere. And you’re slowly bleeding to death.

Too many friends, acquaintances, and loved ones have stumbled into the sneering metal jaws of comfortable living and steady paychecks, unwilling to chew their leg off, tourniquet the wound, and keep marching forward into the unknown. You could write their obituary tomorrow and not a word would change. Maybe I’ve read Fight Club too many times, but this kind of resignation—denying the manifest destiny inherent in the human spirit—makes my eyes leak.

With that, this issue will be my last at Outside Bozeman, bringing to an end nearly five years of irreverence, adventure, humor, wisdom, and serial commas. Thanks for reading.

But enough of that crap. Onward and upward. A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, someone once told me, or what’s a heaven for?