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The natural product of evolution, according to Neal Stephenson, in Cryptonomicon.

An individual in question is, “by birthright, a stupendous badass, albeit in the somewhat narrow technical sense that he could trace his ancestry back up a long line of slightly less highly evolved stupendous badasses to that first self-replicating gizmo--which, given the number and variety of its descendants, might justifiably be described as the most stupendous badass of all time.”

Doesn’t that make you feel incredible? I know I felt like a stupendous baddass when I read it. But hang on a second. Stephenson goes on to note that “everyone and everything that wasn't a stupendous badass was dead.”

That takes the wind from your sails a bit, doesn’t it? Well, take heart in knowing that we can all be stupendously badassed together. Not to mention our kids...

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