America is socialist, duh, and we should be proud of it

Michael Gollin
July 2015

When the Trans-Siberian Railway stopped in Irkutsk in Central Siberia in 1981 and my Swiss student tour group got off for a couple of days so we could visit Lake Baikal, a group of local Soviet students met us and showed us around, including the obligatory Great War (WWII) monument. They were smart but spoke glowingly about  the future of communism.

I had a rare epiphany and said cogently that Marx and Lenin failed to predict Roosevelt and the New Deal and American socialism which stops the “inevitable” worker revolution of communism in its tracks. Socialism humanized a corrupt capitalism with robber barons and great recessions. Social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps are all examples of the ways in which America is socialist.

It always amuses me when people do not see we are already socialist. That is why our system is so much better than communism. We are able to benefit from free markets while avoiding the many pitfalls of unrestrained capitalism. The debate then is just how socialist we will be.

My Induction into the Brighton High School Hall of Fame

I am being inducted into my high school hall of fame today. My brother Jim read the speech reproduced below. My parents still live in the neighborhood and were in attendance along with some good friends. Jim beat me, having been inducted years ago.

Here is a flattering video made for the ceremony:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=KYFG58cTD1Q

Here is the speech:

All You Need is Love
For Brighton High School
By Michael Gollin    
June 2016

All You Need is Love.
The Beatles broke up in 1970, just before I entered Brighton High School, and their songs had begun their leap toward immortality. As a member of the peace and love generation, this song strikes me as timeless.

Family love is where we begin.
High school is a time when many of us draw apart from our families, but trust me when I say that you will be much happier when you reestablish loving relationships with parents and siblings. All of you should have the pleasure of finding a spouse and creating your own family. Then things can turn full circle when your children form their own identities in their high school years. And when you get old or sick, they can take care of you.

Love of learning comes next.
Hopefully you have found subjects that you find so interesting that you can’t stop looking for information about them. Maybe it’s music, movies or social justice or computer technology or sports. For me, it was nature and thus biology. But I really learned a lot from all of my classes and being on stage or in the orchestra pit for all the musicals!
     Get in the habit of learning and keep it up your whole life long and you will never get bored. The trick is to stay curious and be brave enough to say “I don’t know.” When I was in high school I wondered why leaves are green and several years later I learned the answer, in a college biochemistry class, that the chlorophyll absorbs all the other visible colors and converts the photons into sugar and oxygen. The green color is a gift for us.

Love of work is for the fortunate.
If you find work that you love and that pays a living wage, then you are well on the path of happiness. For me, I love my job as a patent attorney, including my colleagues, and clients, who are professors, a Nobel laureate, the Bill Gates Foundation, and research institutions around the world. When I got sick, I didn’t want to go on full disability and I still do what I can even though I can’t talk or walk.
    It took me ten years of post high school education and ten years of lawyering before I got in my groove and it was hard work all the way.
    What are your goals? Whatever your calling, be patient and strategic and your path should open up to you.

Love of play is easy.
It’s easy to love play and some of our happiest times come when we are playing with friends, whether games, music, socializing, or entertainment. Play complements our other activities and creates one of the strongest threads in the fabric of life. 

Love for humanity.
You will be much happier if you consider the impact of your actions on your community and humanity at large. My simple motto is “increase the good and decrease the bad.” Be creative and fearless and never underestimate the power of small groups of committed people to accomplish great things, or at least good things.

Love for nature.
I have always found peace and refreshment by being outside, whether sitting, walking, hiking, running, biking, swimming, boating or gardening. Now that I can only sit and look and listen, I still try to go outside every day. We come from nature; we are part of nature, and it brings me comfort to realize I will return to nature when my body dies. Whatever helps you to keep your mind, body, and soul strong and fresh, make time for it.

One of my sayings goes like this:
A full life is one that begins in love, flows with love, and ends in love.

In conclusion, to quote the Beatles again, love is all you need.

National Law Journal Review of My Book

Former Venable Life Sciences Head Publishes Memoir

Katelyn Polantz, The National Law Journal
April 26, 2016

Michael Gollin, a founder of Venable’s life science practice, has for four years struggled as his mobility declined. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS, has set in. Yet he’s been as active as ever in thinking about his life’s work.

One of his theses, written as verses to a song late last year: “I learned the most important thing / With my disease onset / No one lives forever / But I’m not dead yet. / Yes! We’re not dead yet.”

Gollin has collected much of his recent writing on a blog, innovationlifelove.org. Now those pieces are available as an ebook, which his sister, Kathryn Marshak, who formerly worked in publishing, helped distribute this year. It is available on Amazon.com. The book includes new essays as well as writings from Gollin’s blog dating back to August 2012.

Gollin, 58, writes on his smart phone, and he has a language synthesizer that uses his own voice, recorded years ago, to speak.

“When I was diagnosed with ALS, I was dragged into a terrifying new situation, but I realized how lucky I’ve been in life, and I quickly resolved to make the best of the situation,” Gollin wrote recently. “It has been surprisingly liberating to explore this uncharted territory.”

Below are a few poems and essays from Gollin’s newest work.

Cherry Blossom
Crossing the Delaware
Never Give Up
Gifts
At Sea
BIO Conference

New E-dition of My Book

 
Innovation Life Love: Reflections on Mortality
Now Downloadable from Amazon

Innovation Life Love: Reflections on Mortality is now available as an ebook on Amazon.com. Author Michael Gollin  was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2012 and began blogging about his experiences and philosophy, forming the basis of the 262-page book.
 
Innovation Life Love offers insight into the unusual challenge of knowing one’s ultimate fate of progressive paralysis and deciding to make the most of every day. “In my personal and professional life as patent attorney, author, professor, and non-profit entrepreneur,” Gollin writes, “I’ve tried to be a productive member of all my communities: family, friends, work, home, country, and planet. When I was diagnosed with ALS, I was dragged into a terrifying new situation, but I realized how lucky I’ve been in life, and I quickly resolved to make the best of the situation. It has been surprisingly liberating to explore this uncharted territory.” In it, he confronts death head-on, contemplating dead wildlife and evolution in the Galapagos and feeling echoes of his ancestors in the Lithuanian woods where they were murdered.
 
Innovation
Innovation Life Love was adapted from Gollin’s writings—poetry, essays, photographs, and speeches—that have appeared on his blog, innovationlifelove.org. Gollin also authored  Driving Innovation: Intellectual Property Strategies for a Dynamic World (2008), available in hardback, paperback, and Kindle versions on Amazon.com). With Innovation Life Love, Gollin demonstrates how he has applied creativity and problem-solving skills to the physical, technological and emotional challenges he confronts every day.  

Life and Love
Insights into the meaning of life are thrown into sharp relief by the prospect of one’s own death, according to Gollin, who is compelled by love to pass on what he has learned and experienced in life. He succinctly answers questions about life, setting goals, and making decisions. He invites us to appreciate the beauty of nature by sharing a rafting trip down the New River and a hike the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu. Readers worldwide have been inspired by Gollin’s wisdom, courage, and optimism in the face of devastating physical illness.

Innovation Life Love Availability
Innovation Life Love is available for immediate download for $5 at Amazon.com. The print version is available on Amazon.com for $14. Read more about Michael Gollin on Amazon.com, his blog site, and at the Venable LLP website.
###
For more information, contact:

innovationlifelove@gmail.com
For more information on Innovation Life Love:
Innovationlifelove.org
Amazon.com website.

Purpose

Purpose
Michael Gollin
January 2016

To live

To be comfortable.

To relate closely with loved ones, family and close friends.

To be happy.
To cause happiness.  
To interact with  interesting people.

To amuse
To give
To inspire??
To be an example of how one can behave in adversity.

To publish.
To help clients and colleagues.
To teach.
To advise.
To witness.

To say. Thank you, I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, I forgive you, and goodbye.”