Archive for the ‘commitment’ Category

it’s just that I stay with problems longer

September 15, 2009

It’s not that I’m so smart , it’s just that I stay with problems longer.


(Einstein) was remarkable for his powers of concentration and could work steadily for many hours and even days on the same problem. Some of the topics that interested him remained on his mind for decades. For relaxation he turned to music and sailing, but often his work would continue during these moments as well; he usually had a notebook in his pocket so he could jot down any idea that came to him. Elsa told how Einstein would come downstairs, strike a few notes on the piano, stop to jot something down, and then return to his study. His reputation for absentmindedness is not all myth. His wife told about how she used to bundle him up in his overcoat and leave him in the foyer, only to find him standing there half an hour later, lost in thought.

Richard P. Brennan, Heisenberg Probably Slept Here, Wiley, 1997, p.75

Plodding winds the race.


The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lao Tsu

Commitment phobia

August 4, 2009

In a recent, week-long survey of the downsizing phenomenon in the US, the New York Times discovered that there was what it called a new ‘mantra’ in corporations. ‘We are no longer able or willing to guarantee your future,’ the mantra goes. ‘You are responsible for your own career and your own destiny. We will provide you with opportunities to develop your skills and your experience, but employability not employment is the best we can offer.’ We are, in effect, all mercenaries now, on hire whatever the cause, useful as long as, and only as long as, we can perform.

‘In such a world, it is wise and prudent not to make long-term plans or invest in the distant future; not to get tied down too firmly to any particular place, group or cause, even an image of oneself, because one might find oneself not just unanchored and drifting but without an anchor altogether; it is prudent to be guided in today’s choices not by the wish to control the future, but by the reluctance to mortgage it. In other words, “to be provident” means now, more often than not, to avoid commitment. To be free to move when opportunity knocks. To be free to leave when it stops knocking.’

 Zygmunt Bauman (not, I think, aproving of the sentiment of non-commitment, rather narrating them)