"Tom, you are crazy!"

There are two classes of people in the world -- there are many ways to divide the world into two classes, this is one of them -- those who get their jollies out of altering the positions of molecules (and electrons) on the face of the earth, and those who get their jollies out of telling other people to alter the positions of particles on the face of the earth. Those of us in the first category would add, People in the second group make lots of money and the first group have lots of fun. I'm definitely in that first group. My friend and business associate (let's call him "Sol") is in the second group, so he cannot imagine anybody with my temperament. He thinks I'm crazy. He said so.

This same guy has a personal value system -- the part he thought out; there is more that he studiously avoids thinking through -- based on having fun (feeling good), and his greatest joy seems to be managing people to produce a product that previously existed only in his imagination. He is smart enough to realize that he is not smart enough to accurately envision a product that actually works, so he takes advice from anybody he does not consider "an idiot." He's not a bad guy to work for, probably better than Steve Jobs was, certainly better than any "Christian" (Relationshipist) employer I ever worked with/for.

Me, I thoughtfully try to base my value system on The First & Second Great Commandments ("1+2C") taught by Jesus, so "Making the world a better place" (=2C) is more important than having fun. If I can do so and have fun at the same time, that is the best of all possible worlds. It takes a complicated syllogism (see also my recent blog post "Fun vs the Golden Rule") to explain why what I'm doing this year fits that description while simultaneously being "fun" for Sol, but he gets to manage people to achieve his vision and I get to write programs (alter the positions of electrons) that lead to making the world a better place.

"Not fun" for me (and anybody else I can imagine, including Sol) is working with people (and for me, also the artifacts they make) whose personal goals are at odds with 2C. I recently realized that most of the software created by technologists is in that category, so if I'm going to have fun helping people, I need to make my own tools (that part I realized 20 years ago). My personal universe does not end at "threescore and ten, or by reason of strength fourscore" like Sol's, so I can take a longer view and the time it takes to make my own tools is not wasted if it contributes to the fun of helping people.

So from my perspective, the guy without that longer view is the "crazy" one, but certainly Sol should understand (from his perspective) that buying and using tools that are Not Fun is crazier than making and using fun tools. Offloading all the fun parts of this present enterprise onto other people I only manage (that would be another instance of "not fun") would also be crazy from a perspective that values fun (given our respective differences in what counts as fun).

Say what he may, all things considered, I'm no crazier than Sol is. But here in the USA he can believe any silly thing he likes.

Tom Pittman
2022 March 7