This teacher, who I will call Mr. H., was an avid amateur astronomer, and he was determined to build a large reflecting telescope in time to observe some upcoming astronomical phenomenon. (I'm ashamed to admit that I do not remember what it was.) He had assembled a complicated electro-mechanical mirror grinding apparatus which I recall was mounted on a 55 gallon drum filled with water and just enough antifreeze to inhibit rust. Day after day, week after week, month after month, the motor moved the large chunk of glass over the abrasive-impregnated resin base. Every so often, Mr. H. would remove the glass and make detailed measurements of the blank. Muttering often followed, followed by careful adjustment of the base and reimpregnation with finer and finer abrasives.
Eventually, there came a day when I came to the science room, and saw Mr.H. taking the complicated grinding mechanism that he had cobbled together apart. "Oh!" I exclaimed, "I though you would still be working on the mirror for another few months, you got finished a lot earlier than you said." Mr. H. replied "No, Historian, I've gotten to the point that I can no longer automate the grinding process. In order to grind the mirror to the most mathematically perfect shape, it has to be done by hand. Simple automation, or even complex automation, will not make this mirror as close to perfect as *I* can, working by hand."
I was staggered by this revelation, having been brought up with the idea that perfection was the result of removing all human imperfection from whatever one was doing. I went to the library and looked this up and sure enough, the best mirrors were all hand finished. They still are. It was a shock, one which I still recall to this day. Perfection as the result of human imperfection!
Mr. H. worked on that mirror blank by hand for many weeks, patiently rubbing the glass against the abrasive base, cleaning it, checking the reflection and carefully measuring the results. He'd go back and resume his work, the imperfections and differences in each back-and-forth movement contributing to the creation of a marvelous telescope. Eventually, he sent the blank off to be silvered, and he installed the finished mirror in a black painted plywood box. We saw some amazing things in that telescope, but of far more profound impact than the windows that telescope opened was the idea of uncontrolled different individual movements giving the best results. Obviously, this concept is not universally applicable, but it has more application than one might think.
It is interesting to contemplate how a free market, comprised of imperfect individuals, each of whom makes mistakes and poor choices, ( at least from time to time,) is the best mechanism yet discovered for meeting the needs and requirements of each individual in any given population. Central direction, by contrast, does a lousy job. One size does not fit all, not in shoes, clothes, or many other things. From astronomy to physics, from biology to zoology, and especially when it comes to politics, things seem to work better with a certain amount of chaos, with allowing individual organisms to pursue their own goals in their own way.
I enjoy a good debate as much as most, perhaps more than many, and I'm nothing if not opinionated on a great many topics, but I have learned that there are lots of ways of doing things, and it's not always clear which is best. So when somebody comes up with a different solution to a common goal, I don't reject their approach because it isn't exactly what I was thinking; I let them have a go at things their way, and let them make their idea work. Sometimes they even come up with a better approach than mine, to everyone's advantage.
Folks in the Liberty movement seem to be hung up on the fact that there are a lot of different approaches to re-establishing individual freedom in these presently united States. From guns to gear to training, organization and politics, there is no consensus on much of anything. Some folks like the AR, while some like the AK. Some prefer CQB, while others like the precision of the Appleseed approach. Bug-out bags, ammo calibers, logistics quantity and just about everything else under the sun is up for debate, and is debated. Often bitterly.
A lot of people decry the lack of consensus on every jot and tittle being propounded, but I do not see that as a serious problem. As long as someone is interested in promoting individual liberty and we agree on some basic principles, the fact that they don't want to do it the same way I do may not be a problem. In fact, it may be the single greatest advantage we have over those who would treat people like ants or bees. The more different approaches there are within certain broad confines of principle, the more likely we are to come up with something really good.
So when you disagree with what another in the Liberty movement propounds, please do not, O gentle reader, let your blood pressure escalate. Don't spend your precious time expostulating on the obvious idiocy of this different approach, but rather be grateful that there is yet another voice being raised against the nascent totalitarian police state coalescing in these presently united States. Be grateful for your new ally, and contemplate the Perfection of Imperfection.
Then set a good example and go and do some more PT or hit the range! Tempus fugit.
With regard to all who serve the Light,