I was going to write a post today about my vacation, and I’ll get to that eventually, but then I stumbled across something on the internet that mentioned Boolean operators, and it triggered a memory that I decided I wanted to write about. It’s all a little fuzzy, because it was so long ago, but I remember all the alarming parts.
When I was about 12 or 13, my friend Alex and I were going for a walk in her neighborhood. She lived in a kind of sketchy part of town, and it wasn’t out of place to see chickens and goats in people’s yards in that area. Alex is a HUGE animal lover, and so we saw a dog hanging out by the fence, and she went over to pet it. The dog was ginormous but very friendly, and we spent a good amount of time palling around with it.
Out of nowhere, this wild-eyed mountain man comes crashing out of his house to check on his dog, since he could hear us talking to her. We apologized and he was kind about it, and we were going to be on our merry way, when he decided to tell us his life story.
He told us all about how he was a product of incest, so he had a dad-uncle and a mom-aunt, and that he was deaf in one ear because his dad used to make him shoot guns without any kind of earplugs and he also seemed to think his father was a moonshine smuggler. Alex was being very polite at this point, but I couldn’t do anything but stare in wide eyed horror.
Then, the Boolean algebra came in. You see, it turns out, this man thought he invented it. I think he tried to explain it to me, but I was a baby and I’ve always been bad at math, and it is possible that he was explaining the mathematical equivalent of Calvinball to me anyway. He then claimed that there was a supercomputer that he should be getting credit for, but somebody stole his idea, which is how he came to live in a run down house in New Mexico, with a giant dog, and nothing to do but chat up preteen girls.
There are many many lessons in that story, but I think the main one is probably don’t have sex with your siblings, but if you do, maybe you’ll accidentally invent computers.