“Of all the human qualities, the one I admire the most is competence. A tailor who is really able to cut and fit a coat seems to me an admirable man, and by the same token a university professor who knows little or nothing of the thing he presumes to teach seems to me to be a fraud and a rascal.”
H. L. Mencken
I’m convinced that the worth and the well being of any civilization, any country, any city is the measure of competence to be found and nurtured within its borders. Competence like, for example, the moon landings, the interstate highway system, inventions and innovations too numerous to even begin to count.
There are still a lot of great people around us. We just have to figure out how to avoid interacting with the other faction.
There are probably geniuses aplenty, but they are stymied by being born in a country where there is no upward social mobility, where women are chattel, stymied by the masses, by disease, poverty, accident, malice or any one of a hundred or more circumstances working against their success. They are buried by sheer numbers or die or forbidden to show their true talents. The ones who do are not only talented, but very lucky.
I yearn for the days when women were chattel, well at least when they couldn’t vote for Democrats. I always tell Camera Girl that if the world were a just place I would be able to apply the rule of thumb and beat her with a stick no thicker than my thumb whenever she sassed me. But we live in debased times.