Some recently-found notes to myself dated May 1997 mention a contemporaneous New York Times article about Yu Mi Ri --- a modern Japanese writer ethnically Korean and hugely out of step with the culture in which she lives. How much should one bend to follow the norm? Mere survival demands some amount of acquiescence to the expectations of others. So does all communication via language; an extreme non-conformist would never be able to tell anybody anything. (And as the proverb goes, naked people have little influence in society.) But on the other hand, total line-toeing produces nothing new. How to balance? Richard Hamming (see ResearchAndLife, ^zhurnal of 7 Sep 2000) talked about this and came down on the side of picking one's battles, conforming on trivial issues in order to conserve energy for important matters. Maybe ... but give up on too many little things, and does the will to disagree atrophy?

Thursday, March 08, 2001 at 21:42:04 (EST) = 2001-03-08


(correlates: WhyThis, OppositeAttractions, AllSunsets, ...)