My DFW rabbit hole started with his “This is Water” commencement speech (worth a watch on YT – posted at the bottom of this page) and trailed on for hours after that.

From what it looks like, a lot of people dislike him. I know very little about him, but wanted to post this clip because it resonated with me–a relatively disgruntled adjunct professor for the last 2 years. Too few folks are conversing about things like this. Higher Education is messed up. The system is broken.


My brief internet search of his work made it obvious to me why his cult following is still active, and why droves of young troubled folks still seek his gentle wisdom as cure, even after he tragically committed suicide in 2008.

Many folks don’t like him. I get it. He’s edgy. He’s probably said some questionable shit before. He’s an intellectual, certainly, but the attempt to grimly paint the world with dull colors (as he seemed to believe was his/our reality) often produced offensive writing and ideas that used dark humor and cunning sarcasm to get his point across. The things many folks are “up in arms about” these days, Wallace would sneakily play to as the cover for his real joke, using identity politics and low-intellectual trigger comments as a way to distract from the even darker reality that he was actually talking about.

That’s likely a poor description on my part, but if you read a bit of his work, you’ll see what I mean. I need to read some more. I’m not a fan of his. I haven’t read enough to be. But there’s something about him that glows, and it’s got me begging for more.

I have re-written this section countless times. This is the crisis of our generation, defining one's self in an 'about me' box knowing that 95% of our peers will log that as 'who we are' without ever speaking to us, because reading the long-version is just too cumbersome for our over-crowded, busy lives. // In short: I'm a polymath with a hyperactive mind, curious about and fascinated by the complexities of, basically, everything. I'm firmly committed to living a life of "areté"—omnipresent excellence, and my mottos are 'making the best of this life' (Mt. Botl), and "Do it now or forever wish you had". // I had a 'famed' basketball stint (captaining the 2014 Mercer team that upset Duke in NCAA Tourney + winning a Nat'l Title as a coach). I quit the sports industry all-together, cold turkey, soon after. I had an existential crisis with 'glory' and 'meaning' and other challenging thoughts revolving around how many hours (90+/week) I was spending trying to 'win games'. // Since 2017, I've been in pursuit of several entrepreneurial ideas and am educating myself on a few new areas of focus. The following is a condensed list of the countless curiosities and industries that I've explored, worked in, or studied the last 3 years (of which I will need to choose 1-3 of to focus on sooner than later). Writing, Podcasting, Teaching—Adjunct College Professor, Public Speaking + Workshops, Building & Construction, Sustainable Real Estate Development—Industrial + Urban Repurposing in particular, Negotiation, Marketing—Branding/design/communications, Woodwork, Gardening, Permaculture-based farming and homesteading, Psychology, Industrial Engineering—Process Improvement + UX consulting, Project Management, Renewable Energy, & Executive Coaching for (select) clients focusing on leadership, personal brand + career development, health habits, productivity, networking, and communication skills. Yes, all of it, and since I sleep minimally, and my mind races like an ostrich all day and night, I know a fair bit about each of those topics. I have an obsession with learning. I'm always looking to connect and have conversations with folks, so, hit me up. I hope my work brings you joy, value, a challenge, or a ripe perspective. Much love, Jakob

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