Looking back on some of the things they did for recognition back then, it all seems so ... easy. Charting 300 stars of the southern hemisphere got Edmund Halley into the Royal Society. And I thought, “It hardly seems fair.”
Then I got to thinking... I bet there’s a lot of work being done right now that will seem that way someday, just the same. The key is figuring out what the next big thing is, basically.
And I decided that I’m going to start reading up on quantum computing, finding out as much as I can about what is going on there... Get into the algorithms, and all of the weird physics involved (maybe more the algorithms than the physics), and just play around with it in my free time. This, too, fits into my theory that the high standard of living in the US is here to serve a purpose, to make it possible for us to do things to make the rest of the world better. Almost all the academics back then were like Christiaan Huygens, “the landed son of a Dutch diplomat”. And the US is a country full of such privileged people, in the context of the rest of the world.
Time to pull my weight...