Well, I think it’s an appealing sentiment, and it’s particularly appealing to the Internet, where value is counted in number of followers and success is measured by retweetability.
But let me flip the sentiment around: What’s the point of being alive if you’re only trying to do remarkable things? Isn’t life ultimately less fulfilling and rich if your aim is merely notoriety or getting strangers to talk about you? We celebrate fame in our culture, but do the famous really have desirable lives?
As I’ve said a million times before, Colin says that at the beginning of the novel. By the end, he clearly doesn’t believe it—or at least his belief has been tempered by having encountered many people whose lives are rich and full even though they haven’t won a Nobel Prize.
John Green - agreeing with what I said about that An Abundance quote on my blog. Slightly decreasing my secret fear that he will one day read that hugely personal piece of writing comparing his book to my MS diagnosis and come away thinking I’m a dick that missed the point of his book. But only slightly.