Sunday, September 05, 2004

No One Better/Most Humbling Moment (Part 2)


A while ago I had mentioned not being able to pin-point my most humbling moment, and tried to newspeak my way out of coming up with what it was. Actually, as I watched the Olympics I was able to recall what it was.

It wasn't watching some physical feat. I've always been bad at that and so never really worried to much about it. And it wasn't that I'm now older than almost all of the olmpiads, though that was a disturbing thought. No, my mot humbling momement came at school when I overheard a conversation Glen George was having with another student. The quote was something like "For every idea you come up with, 10 other people will come up with the same idea". This thought has come up since in several forms. The whole "there is no original idea" thing. Or just as a stopgap on starting a business. That is if there are others out there with the same idea, then you what means you can implement it better.

This actually was brought to mind watching the olmpics because it was the moment when I realized, not only wasn't I going to be the best at something, but that there is no best (so I never could be). And watching the olympics where a single trip up in the hurdles, just a slightly different start in track or even forgetting to make sure the judges have the right starting score are often the things that make the difference between Gold and nothing.

So to satisfy our need for marking the 'best' at something, we come up with a metric (sometimes more arbitrary than others) and just run with it. But the olympics have restored at least some hope that even if a gold doesn't necessarily mean you're the best, it's achievable and it's the 'best' metric we have.


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