Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ignorance + Inspiration = What?!

The goal is always to inspire, to sometimes ridicule the naysayers, to bolster confidence, what have you, and the form is fairly common:

For years we were harangued by the nonsense story that bees can't really fly according to the laws of physics, but they do it anyway because they don't know they cant. The real story is  less inspirational.

Bumblebees are not ignorance-powered. Probably neither is your team.

These little pro-ignorance platitudes are so common and well-shared that I even hear people bragging about how little they understand what they do, and that they don't read or research or study or even try to keep up. Because, as you know, that's not really important; all you need is ignorance, inspiration, stack overflow, and a fat copy-paste buffer.


I offer this alternative inspirational nugget:

I suspect that "ignorance + inspiration" is really not the surefire recipe for success that inspirational speakers and feckless back-patters declare it to be.

I want my kids to be prepared, attentive, experimental, brave, eager.  I think that all the wishful positive thinking in the world, taken alone, is not worth one RTFM.

A better pat on the back, IMHO, is "the world is far bigger than any of our heads, so lets figure out how to do this together." Experiment. Prepare. Read. Study. Try many things. Remember what worked. Show interest in why things didn't work. Practice mindfully.

It doesn't make for great one-liner inspirational quotes. It's unlikely to appear on a Hallmark card.