Tuesday, June 20, 2006
[Insert appropriate title here]
When I'm at work, there is usually some concrete problem that needs to be solved; something is broken. I find out what it's going to take to fix it and then mobilize the resources and personnel necessary to effect the repair.
In the case of a flat tire or leaking air valve, the cause of the problem is usually obvious and the solution relatively easy.
In the event of a breakdown in one of the control systems of the vehicle, the problem can also be obvious, but the cause is much less so and the solution much more difficult to effect. In fact, without the proper diagnostic tools, trained personnel, and the specialized equipment necessary to make the repair the solution may be nearly impossible.
The same can be said for the breakdown of any system, even human ones. The problem may be obvious, but the the cause and the solution may be much less so.
In a vehicle system, however, I don't have to have contend with anything other than the system itself. I don't have to worry about whether or not the truck believes it is broken, or whether in fact the truck wishes to be repaired. I don't even have to worry about the truck thinking that my attempt to repair it according to an objective standard (specifications, parameters, etc) is a sign of my own dysfunction.
The result of my effort is a truck that performs at least as well as it was designed to perform.
Truck repair is really pretty easy. Would that human systems were...
I haven't really taken the time yet to put my experiences at the University into perspective yet, although I had a really great time and learned a lot, and not just about liberty and good government and economics. I learned a little bit more about me.
Sometimes I feel like I don't belong at such gatherings. I mean, I have no credentials and certainly no accomplishments that would lead me or anyone to believe I belonged in such company as former prime ministers and professors of theology and economics. And yet...
I don't know. Usually I feel depressed after something like this when I have to return to Mundania, but not this time. I'm just a glorified mechanic and part-time Sunday School teacher. I didn't feel overwhelmed in any of the lectures and I didn't hear any sniggering when I ventured an opinion or asked a question. In fact, I never felt less than a valued participant, and I liked that feeling.
I'm already looking forward to next year.
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