Friday, November 16, 2007

Some Guy Just Died

And I'm depressed. Well, more like somewhat sad. Well, let's say sobered. Momentarily.

He was either someone I went to high school with or someone I worked with at NASA. I check a blog maintained by my high school graduating class, and the only posts on it concern the latest classmate to die. I'm also on a mailing list from my old workgroup at NASA, and those e-mails also are entirely, or mostly, about someone going into a hospice or into a cemetery.

That's depressing enough. What's worse is that I never remember the person. Or maybe it would be worse if I did. No, maybe what's worse is that so many of them are around my age. Keerist.

The high school classmates I do remember, I remember as teenagers. The occasional photos on that blog seem to be of someone's grandparents. Which, of course, they probably are.

My coworkers at NASA were mostly older than me, but since I was in my twenties, that still meant they were mostly young - thirties for the most part, with some really old people in their (gasp!) forties. It was a glorious, young-person's undertaking, just as high school is (albeit that rarely includes the glorious part) (well, most of the time, neither did NASA).

Well, at least I'm younger than the Apollo astronauts. Those who haven't yet died of old age. And by the way, the few of themI encountered in those days were obnoxious jerks. That's not relevant, but I thought I'd mention it. Now that they're old, or dead, they should be remembered for what they were in the flower of their just-post-youth.


Daniel Dvorkin said...

It's selection bias, I hope. By which I mean, most of the other newsworthy items in those people's lives (graduating college, getting married, having kids) have already happened, so you're more likely to hear about The Ultimate Event than anything else. You're too young for your peer group to be dying on a regular basis, with life expectancies being what they are these days.

David said...

That's a good thought. That hadn't occurred to me. It makes sense.

And it's probably just as well that the minor events aren't being passed on. "John Smith reports that the new prescription for prostate shrinkage is much better than the old one. Way to go, John!"

Daniel Dvorkin said...

*snort* That might be the kind of news people really ought to pass around, of course.

Lahdeedah said...

If it'll make you feel better,

My dad, at the young age of 62 or 63, well, he's just completed his bachelor's degree!


He's just starting out!

David said...

Wow, that's very cool! Congratulations to your father. That kid!

My father will be 99 in a few months. He's still living alone and still driving (safely, too). So I figure, with those genes, I'm only halfway through my writing career. And that's even without the assumption that medical science will produce the miracle I'm impatiently waiting for.

Whereas, if I'd remained in aerospace like those old coworkers of mine, I'd probably have jumped off a building by now. The profession destroys people. Oops! That's a secret that's supposed to be known only to rocket scientists!