Saturday, May 9, 2009
The following appears in the section of our blog labeled, “Its Your Turn™,” which is the program we conduct on college campuses:
“One of the goals which the “It’s Your Turn” ™ Team will achieve… will be the de-personalization of… analysis, by avoiding subjective and partisan approaches. [We] believe that… analysis will improve through objectivity (as much as it can be achieved) and creativity, along with “digging deep” to expose the root causes of issues, instead of merely being distracted and sidelined by symptoms. We can thereafter craft better solutions.”
Earlier today, during a retreat on Sirius, we considered whether we had accomplished any of our goals set a year ago.
Being adherents of the Spock Manifesto, we originally thought that we could “objectify” the thought and decision-making process, and encourage our readers to explore as many ways of looking at issues as possible.
What surprised us was the rigidity on the part of most, and the unwillingness to even consider new ideas, or the possibility that there might be flaws in their positions.
Not that we expected everyone to change their views on every subject. However, through the civil exchange of ideas, we really expected some readers to reconsider their views, or at a minimum, acknowledge that some positions of others had merit.
Earlier, we watched a CNN Headline News piece on the new Star Trek movie. It examined why we have this continuing fascination with this science fiction franchise.
During the 60s and 70s, at any engineering school, trying to get a seat in the dining hall during Star Trek was akin to fighting an intergalactic battle.
There are many who proclaim that previously untried approaches, to our societal woes, will not work. They argue a return to the past, or staying the course.
And yet, it is the willingness to accept risk and explore worlds previously unknown, which has distinguished humankind from our less-adventuresome cousins of the fauna family. In theory, we have the ability to adapt.
And we will.
Should we pursue a course of conduct which produces positive results, we have the intelligence and capability to adjust to that situation. Should the results prove problematic, we can also deal with that.
All of us appreciate the Common Sense notion that there is a good and bad side to everything.
That we might make some bad decisions will not lead us to a Big Bang of a different variety.
During the story on Star Trek, popular astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson waxed philosophical about the series : “Practically every episode reached back into some aspect of modern life.”
We thought of some other risks taken by others during history. Copernicus, Columbus, and Henry Ford.
Should we revert to the earlier position that the Earth is the center of the universe? Or the world is what we have seen and what we know? Or fuel our automobiles with kerosene instead of gasoline?
Without a little flexibility in thinking, not one of these advancements would have been made.
Those who argue that certain risks will not be taken, nor investments made, nor innovative advances occur, do not really appreciate the mentality of risk takers. Rarely is their motivation based solely on forces outside of themselves.
Additionally, some of the greatest advances in humankind have evolved from periods of extreme discomfort. Necessity has often been the mother of invention.
Of course, not everything needs to be changed. And change in the abstract is not necessarily a good thing.
And we all realize that certain problems may require a radical and immediate approach; others not.
Either way, it’s not all one way or the other. We ought to be able to figure this stuff out.
Finally, for those in power now, who have the requisite votes to pursue your agenda, please keep the following in mind: This is just one of a series of battles during a long and protracted debate.
If there is one thing that we have learned here on Earth about one force defeating another it is that there are always negative ramifications associated with getting your way as you march through, occupy, and force your will on the conquered forces.
Winning is not always what it’s cranked up to be.
Beam me up Laughingman.
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