Close Encounters Of The Life-Changing Kind

I just rediscovered a great article I had found months ago.  It relates a chance meeting that reaches down into a problem that pervades our society today and comes up with the simplest of solutions… do something.

The old man turned back at his coffee, took a sip, and then looked back at me.

“In fact, I’ve done lots of things that haven’t been done before”, he said half-smiling.

Not sure if he was simply toying with me or not, my (curiosity) got the better of me.

Oh really? Like what types of things?, All the while, half-thinking he was going to make up something fairly non-impressive.

I invented the first computer.

Um, Excuse me?

I created the world’s first internally programmable computer. It used to take up a space about as big as this whole room and my wife and I used to walk into it to program it.

What’s your name?”. I asked, thinking that this guy is either another crazy homeless person in Portland or legitimately who he said he was.

“Russell Kirsch”

Sure enough, after .29 seconds, I found out he wasn’t lying to my face. Russell Kirsch indeed invented the world’s first internally programmable computer and as well as a bunch of other things and definitely lives in Portland.

Please take a moment to read An Unexpected Ass Kicking  by Joel Runyon at his Blog Of Impossible Things.  He has also posted a follow-up.  Dont miss it.  My two favorite takeaways are:

  • Nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do.
  • Do things that have never been done.

do something


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