Breaking Free

 

April 11, 2019, SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The sentiment is mine. (Photo credit: SpaceX)

I admit it’s possible to discover something accidentally. Take bacteriologist Dr. Alexander Fleming, for example. In 1928, he returned to his lab after a vacation in Scotland to discover a mold called Penicillium notatum had contaminated his petri dish colonies of Staphylococcus aureus, and was preventing its growth.

“When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess that was exactly what I did.” Dr. Alexander Fleming

Of course, Dr. Fleming had already studied bacteriology, so while it may be possible even you and I could accidentally discover some new scientific fact, if we don’t have the underlying knowledge, if we don’t know the rules, our discovery probably won’t make much of an impact on the world.

But for someone who has the knowledge and knows the rules of their field, like, say, art or agriculture or aerospace engineering, the rules can be a springboard into new understanding and advances.

“You have to know the rules before you can break them with purpose.” Me, reflecting on what little wisdom I’ve been fortunate to stumble into.

I lament the passing of my generation’s defiant motto: Question Authority. We didn’t believe the rules weren’t meant for us or that there shouldn’t be any at all. We wanted to know why they were rules and what would happen if they weren’t. Could we get along more peacefully if some of the rules were different? Like desegregation. Or Congressional term limits. Or decriminalizing pot. (Legalizing marijuana was a pipe dream back then.)

Today, it seems too many people simply believe the rules don’t apply to them. We can see the chaos that leads to in any city that harbors those solar powered scooters as helmetless scofflaws ride them in the wrong direction on one-way streets, or cross intersections mid-block or against red lights. Or in any government that denies reality, espouses ignorance, and ignores the Rule of Law.

Where will we go from here? To Mars? To a nation of healthier, better educated citizens? Or will we remain stuck in a man-made quagmire, clawing the mud to keep up with the rest of the world?

I know what I want. I’m watching for people who know stuff and understand the rules well enough to think beyond them. Those are the people who will launch us forward. Those are the people who can make a large-scale, positive impact on the world.

 

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The Eclectic Blogger Award

The Eclectic Blogger Award
I think it’s freakin’ gorgeous. (Image credit: CygX1 DeviantArt)

 

“An award? On this blog? I mean, look at the sidebar — do you see any other award stickers? Have you known Space, Time, and Raspberries to nominate anyone for an award? Ever?” You, exercising your ironic sense of reality.

“I don’t agree that ‘the exception proves the rule.’ I think any exception proves the rule is arbitrary and capricious, and can be righteously ignored. But in this case, I think The Eclectic Blogger Award deserves to be excepted from my habitual non-rule. And accepted. Proudly. Thanks for asking.” Me, hoping for your indulgence.

The Shameful Narcissist Speaks, (gamer, writer, reader, and reviewer extraordinaire), has created an award to “give back to the WP blogging community”. I am honored to be on her list of original nominees, and I am happy to spread this recognition and love to those whose work affects me in the way she describes below:

The Eclectic Blogger Award

“…is presented to those blogs that are both eclectic and engaging, where conversation flows freely, where new and different ideas are always welcome. It’s to recognize blogs that always have interesting content to match the amazing, creative, and hard-working creators that make them possible. These are the blogs that inspire you to read, watch, play, and/or create content to further enhance not only the blogosphere but also the general zeitgeist, because they themselves enrich it with their existence.”

The Rules
  • Nominate whomever and however many bloggers you want for the award.
  • Share links from your blog for some of your favorite (or most eclectic!) posts.
My Nominations
  • The Shameful Narcissist Speaks embodies the ideal candidate for The Eclectic Blogger Award. She explores life and her favorite pastimes with research, thought, and a very clear view of both her inner self and the world around her. Lots of open and enthusiastic conversation in the comments. No BS here.
  • A Cornered Gurl I suspect Tre will graciously decline this award, just as I would have if I’d allowed my non-rule to rule on principle. And I totally understand if she does. But you should get to know her — she is eminently approachable. She writes touching stories with well-drawn characters. She writes powerful poetry that often makes my heart pound harder. Tre is a deeply human Being I consider a true friend, and whether or not she accepts, I know she will appreciate the offer.
  • Aloada Bobbins Haylee is the first to admit she’s quirky. Her writings and occasional vlogs always make me laugh. She engages on a delightfully personal level, and we’ve developed a long distance friendship-across-the-Pond. She adopted a dragon lizard named Jorah Greyscale, so she is in fact, Mother of Dragon. He has his own Instagram account.
  • Atherton’s Magic Vapour is also an award-free blog, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, Melanie Atherton deserves The Eclectic Blogger Award. For pure eclectic entertainment, Melanie’s mind is an overflowing Victorian fountain. I can’t help but abandon myself to her tales — wildly — and leave reluctantly. They are brief time travel escapes to a more elegant era, and her comments and conversations are always supportive and beautifully adorned.
  • Laura Bruno Lilly is an accomplished musician/composer. She infuses her soul into everything she writes about: music, family, spirituality, education, society — the list is unlimited, as is her interest in those who interact with her. Oh, there will be brownies.
  • Mellow Curmudgeon might well brush off the offer of an award, but I think he’ll understand I believe his blog represents what The Eclectic Blogger Award honors. Whether it’s his answers to photography challenges or his analyses of language, prose, and poetic forms, he engages on a thoughtful, challenging level.
  • Writers Co-op is a small but open group of writers, some published and some working toward it. Subjects vary, but they don’t just elicit comments, they spawn discussions that explore, inform, and support. There are opportunities to share your own work for feedback. There are even opportunities to have a short story or two published in an anthology. Every writer’s dream, right? Write!
Links I Hope You’ll Click