A friend (BD) and I were talking about how much simpler things were when we were young. There was right and wrong, good and evil, true and false. We didn't need a scorecard to tell them apart. We knew all the answers, which flowed directly and logically from a small set of First Principles, like Euclidean geometry from its definitions and postulates.

Nowadays, everything is so messy! There are infinite shades of gray (plus all those darn pastels!). Our eyes somehow can't distinguish them any more. We grow old.

The real world isn't axiomatic, regardless of how much we once thought it was. Logic has limits; data are incomplete. Wisdom demands that we hesitate before passing judgment. Devout worship of rules doesn't work. Mercy is an essential part of justice — complex, individual, case-by-case, and riddled with exceptions. There's a time for rigor, and a time for its opposite. Growing up is learning to be inconsistent.

Tuesday, October 12, 1999 at 06:01:57 (EDT) = 1999-10-12


(correlates: DiffiCult, ExcrementalTypo, Comments on Mad Dog Zimmarathon 2007, ...)