The classic definition of an expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothingRich Devaul
His other lesson for writers, even opinion writers, is that it’s a mistake to think you are an activist, championing some movement. That’s the path to mental stagnation. The job is just to try to understand what’s going on.Really Good Books, Part I - NYTimes.com
So yes, you’re living in a technological miracle. And yes, you think it’s terrible. And no, that’s not unfair. After all, the people who gave it to you created these expectations along with their products.Smartphones, the Disappointing Miracle - NYTimes.com
That evening, at a café near the work site, I had a drink with an ITER physicist, who was despondent, fearing that the machine would never work. Why he was staying with the project he couldn’t say. But a few weeks later, after thinking about it, he told me that his mood had lifted. He had come to see his role in both small and sublime terms—akin to a stonemason toiling for years on the York Minster cathedral (begun 1220, finished 1472) without witnessing the work being completed. “I now expect to devote my full professional career before seeing a decent plasma in ITER,” he said. “This does not bug me. There have been many scientists before me, working for this same goal, who will not see this. Martin Luther King had a dream fifty years ago. He did not live long enough to see that dream realized. But, thanks to him, we have made wonderful strides in helping his dream be fulfilled. The scientists working on ITER have a dream that could be as powerful as Martin Luther King’s—not for human equality but for energy independence. We won’t see this dream realized. But each day I go to work I have a hidden smile knowing that I am helping us get one day closer to our ITER dream.”Raffi Khatchadourian: Can an Audacious Plan to Create a New Energy Resource Help Save the Planet? : The New Yorker
…current economic conditions are creating a marketplace in which firms increasingly sell the availability of their employees as part of the services offered by the firm…Mazmanian & Erickson
Systems development is not the creation of discrete, intrinsically meaningful objects, but the cultural production of new forms of material practice.L. Suchman et al.
The human psyche can tolerate a great deal of prospective misery, but it cannot bear the thought that the future is beyond all power of anticipation.Robert Heilbroner