You may not care whether I get bitten by a venomous reptile, in fact, the positive benefit might be that you don't have to read any more of my blog posts. Have you ever stopped to think though, about what would happen if something temporarily disabled you? Clearly it could impact your ability to work, your income (hopefully you have insurance), as well as your ability to drive, and much, much more. What might it do to your ability to read and/or write?

My colleague Luis and I were running through the SoCal hills during our lunch break, and with all the rain here, the trails are over-flowing with abundant vegetation. Unknown to me, a large rattlesnake was curled by the path, totally hidden beneath some leaves, and it set off the familiar rattle as I passed within a few inches. It could easily have struck and caused serious damage to my calf or ankle. While I would expect to survive such an incident, it would certainly stop me running (and possibly walking) for a while. I have some insight on that, because my wife suffered a very nasty foot injury nearly 2 years ago, and was on a knee scooter for some time. As I stared at the coiled snake today, I did wonder if I might get more time for writing if I was unable to move around so much. Perhaps I might write the great novel. Or finish my next collection of short stories, or those two non-fiction books I have sitting on my hard drive. That was the narrative I told myself. However, from seeing the reality of such an injury up-close with my wife, I can say that the real story would be one of frustration at not being able to get around, pain, multiple healthcare visits, and my free time would be taken up with trying to perform life's mundane activities at a much slower pace.

The stories we tell ourselves are compelling. As an experiment, try asking anyone keen on technology (especially if they work for a big company like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, or IBM) when they think autonomous vehicles will become a standard part of our daily lives. Then try asking your local Uber or Lyft or Taxi driver. You will find the answers are radically different. I've yet to meet an Uber driver who thinks it can possibly happen in the next 5 years, but the technology fans are convinced it is only a couple of years away, in fact, as they point out, autonomous vehicles are already out there... even the plane taking you on holiday or on your next business trip is largely autonomous. We live by our stories. I shall keep telling myself that it is highly unlikely I will get bitten by a rattlesnake. I mean, I've only encountered them three or four times this year, and I saw most of those from at least five feet away. I'm far more likely to get eaten by a mountain lion, aren't I? Now THAT would make a good story...

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