I’m a big fan of myths, fables and quotes. I think that the lessons provided by them are to our educations like a good season is to a meal.
One of my favorite stories myths is the story of Icarus. If you don’t know the story, you should read it. (link here) Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Ok, the point of most myths, fables and quotes is to teach you something. That is, provide an object lesson in a form that makes sense and drives the point to heart. The lesson of Icarus, as widely agreed upon by scholars is that you shouldn’t tempt fate. Or it could be interpreted as don’t mess with things that man was not meant to mess with. Which, in this case, is flying.
The first lesson, I can agree with to an extent. Yes, we shouldn’t tempt fate. That is, if there is any other way out of it. I mean, why take the risky road when there could be a more sure way to go that just takes a little more planning?
The second lesson has always struck me as odd. I mean, take this for story for example. Flying is the big no-no of the gods here. And there Icarus and his Dad go, flying the coop. Surely the gods would be angry about that.
But, does that really apply in this day an age? I mean, we fly every day. Hundreds of planes take off in airports all across the country. Statistically speaking, it’s safer than driving. And there are lots of past no-no’s that we currently use each and every day to make our lives more enjoyable. Electricity for example. Nuclear energy. Medicines. Space Flight.
I think this lesson is a bit out dated in this regard. So, I propose a new lesson from it.
It’s a very simple one and is much, much more applicable to our lives.
Geeks know that acronym. It means “Read the Fucking Manual.” Technology folks will often utter those four letters to each other any time that something is not working like it should. It’s a reminder that things need to be taken in context. And that no matter how smart or knowledgeable you are, sometimes going back to a source of information and re-digesting it makes a world of difference.
If you are going to try something silly or dangerous or even just something new, learning more about it and getting a good idea of what to expect seems like the most obvious thing to do. And if you do read up or get advice on something, give some weight to what you read or hear.
You life could depend on it. Especially if you happen to strap on a rig of wax and bird feathers and then decide to jump off of a tower.
Welcome to Apt142's Blog
Promoting Intellectuallism since 2007.
This site is about an eclectic grouping of topics. Apt142 probably spends too much time thinking about things. He classifies himself as a thinker, a geek, a guy, a part-time gamer, and an enthusiast for life.