The Virtue of Self-Deception

A buddy of mine had a problem.

He wanted to study computer science at a top university.

At 15 years old, he was already a self-taught programming wiz kid. He had the skills and knowledge in the CS field to be an exceptional candidate.

The problem was that high school classes aren’t about computer science.

They’re about any number of other subjects, almost none of which my buddy would have chosen to learn about on his own volition.

He was bright, so he didn’t need too much study time. An hour or two every day would be sufficient.

“Just an hour a day?”

Sounds easy enough when you read it.

But when a testosterone bomb has just been dropped into your bloodstream from deep space orbit, you have other priorities.

Lacking the discipline and mature sense of long-term self-interest to enforce his daily study routine, he did the most natural thing for a teenage boy…

He made it life or death.

If he did not study for those 90 minutes every single day, then aliens were going to invade and destroy planet Earth.

By doing his homework, he rescued humanity from certain doom. Every day he would be Superman.

He researched NASA and Soviet enquiries into extra terrestrial life. He volunteered for the SETI@home project (Search for extra terrestrial life).

The anomalies and observances of the possibility of alien life strengthened his resolve.

A long, heroic struggle ensued over his four years of school.

In the end, he conquered the cosmos.

My buddy graduated with a 4.0 and was valedictorian of his class. He was accepted into the computer science program at the school of his dreams.

Today, his software flies on the International Space Station.