Laura Berkobin, January 30, 2015 | 3 min read


My introduction to the intangible world of technology was through my first cell phone.  Upon finding out the last 4 digits of my new number were ‘1337’, my oldest brother asked to trade.  Now, per the unpublished rule(s) of brother/sister relationships, section 67C … I said no.  I had no idea what it meant or why he wanted it – but he wanted it, therefore it would remain as mine.

So what’s 1337?

Leet (or “1337“), also known as eleet or leetspeak, is an alternative alphabet for the English language that is used primarily on the Internet. It uses various combinations of ASCII characters to replace Latinate letters.


There is a conference room at Strongbox West filled with 12 individuals.  Everyone is as different as the route they drove to class and as similar as their shared desire to learn. There is a smaller table placed to the right. It’s (rightfully) nicknamed, “the kids table” and ironically, a classmate, Joe and myself find fascination in breaking code to determine the outcome. Albeit, his is intentional intelligence whereas mine is a direct result of poor coding I’ve attempted to mask as intentional intelligence with phrases like, “It’s working as intended.”

A relatable Ted Talk I’ve listened to covers the topic of being wrong (  Kathryn Schulz asks, “What does it feel like to be wrong?” [11:45] Many might offer words like, embarrassed, angry, frustrated. Yet, those embody how it feels to realize one is wrong.  Simply being wrong does not feel like anything.

Humans are intrinsically fallible as accounted through macro and micro examples. From governments to economies to the granularity of 3M’s no-mark wall hanging kit including X more sticky strips than actual wall hooks (yes, you may want to move the hook eventually … but I bet you didn’t place the hook straight the first time, did you?)

Schulz goes on to say that those behind, The Pessimistic Meta-Induction Model from the History of Science found that many scientific findings that were once considered brilliant and seemingly irrefutable were ultimately refuted. But what if one generation’s triumph is another’s critique is another’s gain?  If Pessimistic is replaced with Optimistic, then this model’s applicability is fundamentally different … (and this takeaway is clearly relevant to all facets of life).

I feel like so many of us sit on the sidelines out of fear … fear of failure … fear of being wrong.  We find ourselves reading countless articles or books without actually committing anything to practice.  We think more and do less. I know I struggle with this and am certainly not immune to the fear of being wrong.

But that’s it, isn’t it? I’m allowing myself to ascribe an emotion to a subjective state of being. I withhold and internalize while I should be externalizing and using the power of many.  I should welcome the doubters and critics as they, too, play an important role in cognitive growth.

So – to close the loop (as they say) – congratulations to everyone in the program! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and don’t be afraid to share with the group. Continue to push yourselves – continue to externalize … you never know what you’ll learn in order to create and ultimately do next.

And remember … You create your own experiences by controlling your key(s) and defining your value(s).

experience = {:beinga =>”Wrong”, :beingb =>”Right”}

experience.each do |key, value|

if key == :beinga

puts “What if the feeling of being #{value}”

elsif key == :beingb

puts “…becomes the feeling of realizing you’re closer to being ‘#{value}’?”