In many ways, the Symbolics war offered the rite of passage toward which Stallman had been careening ever since joining the AI Lab staff a decade before.
I didn’t know "careening", so I looked it up in a translation dictionary and found two translations that seem to be
mutually exclusive quite different:
- to careen ~ to stagger/lurch/totter
- to careen ~ to race
What does it mean in this example sentence? Was Stallman determined/single-minded ("towards which Stallman had been racing …"), or was he not so focussed ("towards which Stallman had been staggering …")?
Is the meaning here obvious? If so, why?