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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

How To Do It

Have you ever wondered why professionals in technical fields can become so grumpy and pessimistic?

Yes it would be sooooo nice if one simple, quick solution can be found for everything, such as "Just believe in success and you would achieve success!" or "Just vote for us and we'll guarantee job security and societal stability!" or "Just stop eating animals and you can prevent heart attacks, cancers and achieve world peace!" or "Just believe this book and everything will finally make sense when you attain eternal life!"

Pollyannas are especially annoying.

Not only because they keep shifting goalposts to make everything look cheery.

Not only because they dismiss the difficulties that technical people face with cute soundbites or the mere wave of a hand...

But most of all, because they are not the ones who have to take any real responsibility when their over-optimistic and simplistic plans end in utter failure.

It's never the "Vision" that is flawed!

It's always the workers "down there" - they are too complacent, they don't work hard enough, they are not resilient enough, they are not sufficiently hungry for "Success", they don't "believe" in the "Vision"...

The world is ruled by obscenely wealthy and well-connected people who are impressed by "The Secret" or "Who Moved My Cheese?" or "The Purpose Driven Life", while other people who make their opulent lifestyle even remotely possible with the blood and tears of their toil are marginalized and fed table scraps.

This is not a sustainable situation.