Don’t be basic

September 6, 2018


My two teen boys just finished another summer internship at Kernel.

While they learned new ways to physically interface with the brain, I learned new ways to verbally interface with teenagers.

I took some notes to pass along:

  • “lit” = cool/chill
  • “extra” = overly dramatic/overbearing, or more than what is typical
  • “basic” = boring / lame
  • “narrative” = a false idea about reality
  • “gucci” = cool/good
  • “salty” = bitter
  • “throw shade” = to say something mean

Armed with new communication powers, I couldn’t resist a renewed attempt at telling them what I’m trying to do in life:

We all have narratives that underpin our lives. I don’t want to throw shade, but some of these narratives are salty or basic; others are extra. It would be lit if we could become more aware of the narratives that trap us… and get onto the exciting stuff. Now that would be gucci.

My son’s response? ”Whoa, Dad, chill.”

Perhaps I’ll have better luck with my 8 year old daughter, though I think she’s beginning to speak parseltongue.


P.S. Five years ago I met Jason Kelly and within minutes we were completing each other’s sentences. I invested in his biology company on the spot. Now his company, Gingko Bioworks, is poised to change nearly everything you can think of.