Brett Rants

No Unicorns

I take it on faith that they do not exist.

My last rant went on for some time. And I am not convinced it is my best work. So, let me try to amend that.

Unicorns do not (in point of fact) exist.

Which means (more or less) there but for the Grace of God go you or I.

We're all far more alike than we are different.

And we're all in this together.

But so far, that's just cute phraseology, so maybe a few examples will help explain what I mean.

The Son of Man
Yeah, let's start big. Whether or not Jesus exists, God exists, or they have any familial relation to one another is anybody's guess. So, feel free to have a go at it and believe whatever you want. However, if we accept that Jesus is the Son of God in Human Form, then it is only fair to suppose Jesus was (wait for it) a regular human being just like you and me... and not some Supernatural Being... or at least, not anymore of a Supernatural Being than you or I.

So, does that argument make any sense?

Perhaps another example will help?

I like computers. And I could have just as easily put Alan Turing's name in bold face to start this section. But I did not, as not highlighting one human being over another is the entire philosophical point behind this rant. On the other hand, Alan Turning was a much better mathematician that I will ever be. So, I am happy to give him that. And he was was so much more the mathematician than I will ever be that in order to solve (not that he did) a philosophical quandary (the best of which can never be *solved*) he came up with the Intellectual Schematics for a Computer. It's quite the feat. All hail Alan Turing. But here's the thing. At about the same time Alan Turning was doing his thing, Alfonso Church came up with the Lambda Calculus, which does more or less the same thing (compute whatever you want) for the same reason (to prove there are no short-cuts to computation). Why? Well, why not? But really and truly, it was because Mankind was ready for this particular Intellectual Innovation: i.e. the time was right.

This is not an isolated example.

How many groups (right now) are working on Self Driving Cars, Sequencing Proteins, or pointing telescopes into space looking for the latest and greatest?

The first group to succeed will (to some degree) be based on (a fair bit of) luck.

As a Human Race we are moving forward. And that Race (the Human one) is composed of individuals (like, duh). So, every advance will be spearheaded by an individual (ergo, ipso, facto). But much like there is a tip to a spear, in any society as complex as ours that tip is backed by the long shaft of the hard-working under-glorified majority. (Meaning, society will give you the shaft if you let it). So, I simply do not believe there is much reason to idolize the tip of the spear (i.e. the one) without giving the shaft (i.e. the many) its due.

Now, I might feel differently if the Front Man (or Woman) wasn't compensated so well in our society (or if, indeed, I felt like I was firmly entrenched as a One Percenter, myself, I am nothing if not self-serving). I mean, I think we can all agree to the victors go the spoils. And in our society, the spoils are quite adequate, indeed (this being the understatement of the year, as the spoils are -- by all accounts -- gloriously resplendent). Therefore, I feel no obligation to add to the spoils myself, by throwing metaphorical flower petals at the feet of others. Not only because I realize the Heroes of the Day are merely (prominent and easily recognizable) cogs (in the proverbial machine) caught up in (and being pushed around by) the tide of progress (much like everyone else). But also, since it is my lot in life to sweep up the petals after the celebration is over (come on, it's a metaphor, roll with it), it doesn't do me much good to go crazy with the mental confetti.

No Unicorns

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Ironically, this means I am not a Unicorn, either. And this might be the hardest lesson for any of us to learn.

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