I really wish that Frank Zappa were not dead. He was an American Original. He was an artist, a businessman, a writer, and an American who was always true to himself. One of his complaints about the culture of the United States is that we celebrate mediocrity. Zappa’s theory was that the masses delude themselves into thinking that they too could be stars, and that was somehow important. The sad truth is that fame means nothing. Zappa believed that the competence was a much more laudable goal, and he was famous for working himself, and the people who worked for him, like crazy. I’ve taken to striving for hypercompetence, and that in the seeking to be the best I can be, something positive comes. This is the eternal challenge: to have a meaningful life. For myself, my family, my friends, and my field.