I don’t know why, but when I was young, I thought adulthood was going to be like T&C Surf Design. Yup, the NES game. I have no idea why. Probably the same reason that launching a BMX bike off the end of some pavement was my favorite original extreme sport. Everything was big and forever, and then came college prep classes and school dances and jobs and insurance and all manners of other shit that were decidedly not rad.
As I get ready to enter a Third Renaissance–each Era looks really different in each decade–I ask, “What is rad now?” I can populate the list fairly easily, but not in an ultimate fashion. Some element of radness is missing, though. That T&C vibe, whatever that looks like these days.
The math on negativity bias shows that we need a 5:1 positive-to-negative input. That’s pretty ridiculous, as you’d know if you’d been outside for the last ten years. People in general don’t seem to be happy. Consumerism is rampant; the psychological infrastructure of Buy This to be Complete requires that inequalities are solved by buying something. Dopamine hit. Temporary bliss. Rinse, repeat. Social media participation alone horribly skews that ratio; if we use certain apps too much, it is nearly mathematically impossible to find the proper balance. Our happiness architecture is constantly besieged.
What exactly is rad differs greatly by person, but fun is a necessary part, which is completely relative. Some people’s ideas of fun make me queasy, but I accept that they are embracing their Rad. We should be so lucky.
At 38, I’m a lucky man. I know some amazing people, and even though I interact with some of them using (*hissssssssss*) social media, that’s a geographical handicap, more than anything. (I’ve filtered out a lot of Not Rad.) Wife and life are good, so if my rad is a little lacking, it’s in minute fashion. Shout out to anyone whose rad is focused. I’m thinking I’m only a quick shred away from the next level.