“Reconnaissance Man” – Interview with Economist & Author Aaron Clarey – SDP#32

PODCAST-If you don’t know what to study in college, then don’t go. And if you don’t know what to do in life, then don’t go. In both instances you’ll waste precious time and money you don’t have, and it pays instead to take inventory of you are, what you want to do, and where you belong in this world. But how do you do that? How do you find out who you are, what you were destined to do, and what your purpose in life is? And perhaps just as important, how do you do that quickly and efficiently as possible so you don’t waste any more time in life than you already have? Simple. You become a “Reconnaissance Man.” (Above excerpt by Aaron Clarey)

Listen to this episode at  https://tinyurl.com/SDP32-AUDIO


Dr. Perrodin interviews the only motorcycling, fossil-hunting, tornado chasing, book-writing, ballroom dancing economist in the world, Aaron Clarey. This 100-minute interview is a thrill ride through reality and both Aaron’s and David’s Wisconsin roots are exposed a few times as both recount frigid, endless winters and life in an area of the country where the underside of zero is frequently visited by the mercury.


The interview centers a dissection of the tenets of Aaron’s life-charting book, Reconnaissance Man. David shares how a research colleague reported her study findings of how high school students were incapable of describing personal or career goals.  Dr. Perrodin expands that revelation by giving his own example of transference, or unquestionable following of the advice of someone you trust. Hence, David didn’t purchase a vehicle with a sunroof until age 40 as his mother had declared forever that all sunroofs leaked


Aaron notes in his book that his radio is off while he conducts reconnaissance travels. Instead, he is processing his surroundings and occupying his mind with entrepreneur ideas. A pen and notebook are his tools for documenting thoughts and he’s mastered driving with his knees on the long, open stretches of western America.


While David proposed that modern youth would likely take endless photos and make endless posts about traveling, Aaron noted that such much be the case, but that Dr. Perrodin’s position on the matter was too strong and that he was overlooking the sheer accomplishment of getting an 18 yo to conduct reconnaissance travels. Aaron explained that a little boasting on social media by the young traveler might actually spark the wanderlust fever of other youth.


The interview closed with Aaron recapping his most current published essay which is a primer for anyone considering retirement. He is direct in stating that people can live comfortably on $30,000 a year in retirement, but the real issue is altering one’s thinking from the addictive practices of consumerism – purchasing things that one doesn’t need, eating out frequently and not being thrifty on trips. An example was that with modest Internet research, one could visit Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (Colorado) at no cost or pay a fee and drive a longer distance to view nearly identical ancestral Indian archaeological sites at Mesa Verde National Park.


David will respond to discussion thread comments or questions & also to emails.  The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD.



  1. Bri Hansen on June 19, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Route 128?