23 November 2007

Some Perspective, Please

Louisiana-Monroe defeated Alabama last Saturday.

If you aren't a college football fan, this fact may seem utterly trivial to you. Even if you ARE a fan, but one located as I am in Connecticut, a state where college football is less of an obsession than it seems to be in Louisiana or Alabama, Monroe's victory might seem like something ... well ... not so monumental.

Alabama's coach, though, thinks it a calamity of world-historical dimensions.

At a press conference afterwards, Nick Saban tried to make the point that a surprising defeat can provide the necessary impetus and motivation for a turnaround. Or at least that's the point I think he was trying to make. Decide for yourself:

"Changes in history usually occur after some kind of catastrophic event. It may be 9/11, which sort of changed the spirit of America relative to catastrophic events. Pearl Harbor kind of got us ready for World War II and that was a catastrophic event."

Okay, coach. Lay off on the coffee, okay? Thousands of human beings died on September 11, 2001. It wasn't really much like a loss to Monroe.

We're not angry, buddy. We're worried about you. Come off the ledge. [It'll be sort of like a Dunkirk. You should pull back and regroup. Oops. Now you've got me doing it.]

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.