Spirit of Innovation
June 29, 2010 1 Comment
I don’t mean to use this recent statement by Big Sister as a jumping point for a personal observation, but when an American, a person from the land of invention and innovation, makes a statement like this and it is not shot down immediately:
“…the notion that you’re going to seal that border somehow is something that anybody who’s been involved in the actual doing of law enforcement–the front office work or the front line work of the law enforcement–would say, ‘You’re never going to totally seal that border.’”
…It really bothers the hell out of me. I read the comments attached to this article and the general consensus was pretty stalwart in bashing the Department of Homeland Security’s Fearless Leader, but commenting on something that you disagree with and being a person in power that can actually MODIFY this discourse in some way are two different things, thus making the commentary a lovely forum to post misgivings and alternate opinions, but ultimately toothless. The inherent issue that I have with this is that the current administration (all political leanings aside) have yet to demonstrate to me that the concept of “proactive measures” is one that they grasp, creating inventive approaches to pre-existing problems that are workable, instead relying on the tried-and-true tools in place, such as increasing taxes and regulation to “account for previous shortfalls in policy”.
This is not the spirit of innovation that I was brought up on.
A little background; I spent a large part of my early years in a town called Clear Lake in Texas, just south of Houston, which also happens to be the home of the Johnson Space Flight Center, where my parents (and a large part of the family that was local to that area) were employed. While attending grade school astronomy was a mandatory course, and I spent large parts of my time while not in school at the exhibit section of the space museum. I lived, ate, and breathed aerospace for a significant part of my youth, and I was in AWE of it. The inner workings of the environmental systems in a Russian space suit were not unknown to me; I have sat in a moon rover, and the first time I was able to actually hold a piece of meteorite in my hands was a moment that I think God himself touched my soul. It felt as if I could look upon our world and see that it was just a small part of a much larger whole, and it moved me beyond words many, MANY times… at the ripe old age of seven.
I would never have been subjected to such wonders if someone did not say at a point in their life “Hey, see that there sky? I wonder what’s beyond it. Think we can get someone up there and check it out, and bring the fellah that we shoot up there back down so he can tell us all about it?” If someone had not seen a challenge and figured out solutions instead of falling back on what was currently in place and being satisfied with what was in hand, I, being the selfish and greed-ridden man that I am, would never have those lovely experiences that were gained. Not saying that I would never have experienced wonder to that degree while a youth… but it sure wouldn’t havebeen so damned cool.
I don’t want the national mentality to be “it can’t be done”.
The Founding Fathers didn’t have it.
Robert H. Goddard didn’t.
Wernher von Braun didn’t either. (Yeah I know, he was German… but he BECAME an American. Sue me.)
We are innovators by nature. Please don’t let that spirit fade away in the name of being happy with the current situation; with only maintaining what we currently have. Innovation is a difficult road, but the rewards are so great that the effort is trivial in comparison.
We can figure out a solution to this problem if we just try hard enough. I know its possible because we have done it before… CONTRARY TO WHAT JANET NAPOLITANO BELIEVES.