What in the world is Nate passionate about?
Currently, Nate works for CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) as an editor for chemical journals. This intrigued me because it’s unreal to think about the vast amount of knowledge that Nate is presented with everyday. The kinds of papers that Nate reviews on a daily basis are papers written on developments into completely new channels of Chemistry. As far as the world of chemistry goes, some of the newest and greatest ideas pass under Nate’s nose every day. He was quick to inform me however, that the novelty wears off. Though it is an intellectually stimulating job, the papers are usually extremely dense and it is hard to retain the information when you read 22 papes a day.
Though he is happy with his current job, his real passion lies with helping people. Nate and I chatted for a while on the fact that many engineers and scientist think that they are the best of the best. A good portion of engineers, especially in college or freshly graduated, think they know it all. They even might look down upon graduates of other majors. However, monetarily supplementation doesn’t define the importance of a certain career path. Just because you make more money as an engineer than someone else might as an artist, doesn’t mean your career path is the correct one. There is no correct choice. However, this subconscious organization of importance of careers sometimes leaves the math and science world a little narrow minded. Nate expressed that he believes that real progress comes with some sort of integration of art and the sciences. He said that he is always looking for a way that he can successfully bridge the gap there. Currently, our future advances are limited because we throw out seemingly silly ideas from people who aren’t engineers. With regards to this, Nate said something to me along the lines of “They say that science is the future, but if that’s the future, I don’t want to be a part of it”.
Nate and I bonded over the fact that we are both super Apple nerds. We spoke with reference to Apple’s recent WWDC Keynote assuming one another had tuned in to it. One part of this years WWDC Keynote that really touched both of us was this 7 minute video (time 7:40 – 14:50 in the video linked). It was incredible to see how something like an iPad or an iPhone could significantly change someone’s life. Now, part of this is just a good marketing ploy on Apple’s part, but this video gives you an idea that they are a company that truly does care about the user experience and about improving their users’ lives. Nate’s goal is to be able to harness his skills in chemistry and biology to present science in a way that is helpful to the people similar to how Apple presents technology in a way that is helpful to the people.
What changed your life?
Nate has two pretty good examples of life changing events. Let’s start with the more amusing of the two. During his senior year at Ohio Dominican, Nate’s school produced a promotional video that cost them around $100,000. After watching the video, Nate was disgusted by how it labeled students at Ohio Dominican and how unreasonably priced it was. Determined to poke fun at the school for this video, Nate, an iPhone, and some of his friends produced a parody video in around an hour. It cost them nothing, he used resources native to the school, and the end result was not too far off from the version the school essentially bought. So, overnight this video goes viral (a relative term for such a small school) and everyone knows about it. He said he it seemed like everyone knew who he was. He was more or less famous on campus. Naturally, this pissed off PR and the president of the school. He had to have a meeting, but wiggled his way out of punishment by playing it off like he was trying to act against how the video depicted females in a sexist manner and also to show the school that they could use resources and students on campus to produce these kinds of videos for a fraction of the cost. Nate got a little more than his 15 minutes of fame with this prank. Unfortunately, part of the punishment agreement was that both parties would take their videos off of youTube.
The more serious life changing event was the 3 months that Nate spent in Africa. In Africa, you see all of these people struggling just to survive. They are plagued with diseases and poverty and are in turn appreciative over things that we take for granted. Though not without material desires (Apple products…), Nate realized during this trip that all of the fancy clothes people wear, the stores around us, the devices in their hands mean absolutely nothing. When it all comes down to it, what is truly important is what you have without all that stuff, because it’s simply that: stuff. It’s superficial.
Another thing that changed his life while in Africa was the opportunity to be in the middle of nowhere in Africa and to see the beauty in a distractionless environment. We often under estimate the beauty of things. We seem to think that we need to go on vacation to a tropical place to find beauty, but here Nate was, without material distractions in the middle of Africa experiencing the most beautiful moment of his life.
Nate does not believe in God. He is certainly a skeptic. To Nate, it is just hard to believe that you should live your entire life by some book with questionable validity. He believes that trying to live life following a religion would be exhausting because you are forced to let your religious beliefs influence your actions. This creates restrictions that Nate believes to only slow you down in life. He is a strong believer that you should be able to do what you want to do all the time and it seems like religion sometimes doesn’t allows that freedom. However, he thinks that it is incredibly important to respect others’ views on the matter of religion. He noted that a lot of religious people simply see religion as an absolute truth and that’s why it is inarguable. He said that he has trouble believing in religion or atheism as absolute truths and he occasional sees himself as agnostic when partaking in philosophical debates with friends.
Anyway, Nate’s a cool dude. Follow him on Twitter and stuff.