Don’t jump just yet…

The oft-quoted phrase ‘A mind is like a parachute, it doesn’t work unless it’s fully open‘ has been attributed to Frank Zappa.  It’s a favorite bumper-sticker philosophy of those who lean left.

Let me say this:  Frank was right.

 …to an extent. However, the part of it that he got wrong clearly demonstrates he either didn’t think that quip through before delivering it,  or knew little if anything about parachutes.

Minds are indeed like parachutes:

A parachute is a lifesaving device.  It is a very carefully engineered piece of equipment that is intended to prevent death or severe disfigurement / disability resulting from deceleration and impact trauma.

In order to work properly, it must be carefully inspected, packed, and handled. It spends the majority of its time packed.  In use, it is employed in the event of an emergency.

If you need to open a parachute, you’re doing so because you got yourself into a situation you shouldn’t be in.  You have voluntarily placed yourself in a high risk situation, doom is imminent, and now you’ve got to hit the silk because if you don’t, you’re going to make a crater.

Open too high, and you get blown off course and away from a safe landing zone.  Open too low, and you’re going to have a hard time controlling your landing, or you’ll land too hard and still screw yourself up pretty badly.

Once said parachute is open, it’s got to be very carefully steered into  the target.  The landing itself is critical; you’ve got to flare at the last moment or you’re going to hit hard and possibly get dragged for a good distance.  You could tumble, too, and get tangled up in the risers.

Once you’re down , on your feet and safe, the canopy needs to be collapsed or the wind could re-inflate it and take you for a wild ride across the ground.  It must be gathered up, and then carefully inspected and repacked .

I agree, Frank.  A mind is indeed like parachute…but the ‘open’ part is only a small piece of the equation.

Filed under: General | Comments Off on Don’t jump just yet…

If I had a dollar…

…for every nut that calls up the office wanting to ‘build the next eBay’ or beat Google at their own game…

Well, I’d have a few bucks.  However, as my boss puts it, it’s as if his dad – a small local building contrator – were to be called up by someone with $600 to spend, asking him to build a nuclear reactor for them.  He’s got a number of these calls over the years.

This is the sort of phone call that should set off a klaxon and a big red flashing light on the wall bearing a label that says ‘MORON ALARM’.  You can’t get off the phone fast enough.  No amount of coercion is going to convince them that they’re taking on the insurmountable, they’re convinced that if they can just find the right web developer that’ll work ’round the clock for slave wages, they’ll be living on Easy Street in no time.

It should be a foregone conclusion that without some serious planning, a team of highly specialized individuals and some serious financial backing, there’s no way on earth you’re compete with the leading company of a major industry.

But hey, if I can just throw some money at a random web developer, it should be easy, right? Right?

Filed under: General | Comments Off on If I had a dollar…