This article is a response to a prompt by Balaji Srinivasan on his task completion project, It will get much more personal than intellectual. I will use a compact version of my life story thus far — the familial, financial, educational, and professional parts — as anecdotal evidence to help shade the contrasts written by Balaji in Founding vs. Inheriting.

I also hope to draw in some similarities, as the world is not so binary as our computer-oriented logic prefers to fashion it, either true or false (1 or 0). …

On Thursday, Oct. 23, 2020, while pedaling my mountain bike up a long logging road in the North Cascades, I was assaulted by a mountain lion. I prefer the word ‘sparred’ because we did a kind of dance checking each other out. A better phrase could also be ‘aggressive encounter’ since I was never physically touched by it.

I am telling this story in this detailed way not to gain attention except to help increase human understanding on how to interact with wild animals with humility, respect, reverence, and skill. This would be opposed to the raw fear approach, one…

How a solo traversal of two mountains in the North Cascades helped connect me with the land where I live.

The author wading across a more tame section of the North Fork of the Nooksack River near its headwaters at Icy Peak (L) and Mt Shuksan (R) - Photo: iPhone 11 Pro camera triggered remotely by an Apple Watch

All humans evolved within complex land based cultures over deep time to develop a brain with a capacity for over 100 trillion neural connections of which we now only use a tiny fraction. Most of us have been displaced from those cultures of origin, a global diaspora of refugees severed not only from land but from the sheer genius that comes from belonging in symbiotic relation to it. In Aboriginal Australia, our elders tell us stories, ancient narratives to show…

“There’s a fine line between bravery and stupidity. It’s not easy to recognize where that line is, but you know when you cross it.” ~ Leo Houlding, Fine Lines

Middle Fork of the Gila River at near high water mark, Feb 26 2020

Let me tell you the story of my trip into the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico in late winter 2020. I began this trip on Feb. 20th in winding, hour-long security lines at the SeaTac airport in Washington State, with just a few people wearing masks among hundreds of tightly-packed, equally-impatient travelers. In the northward direction, I book ended the trip on March 3rd, arriving back in SeaTac to a relatively…

Ryan Rickerts

climbing my way to higher states of consciousness.

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