Week 1: On the Somtimes Seeming Futility of Change (Dyson 1-4)

Greetings,     Reading Dyson's account of his time with the British bomber command brought to mind the many conversations I've had with my father. Not about the British bomber command, or even about war per say, here let me explain. First Dyson's account is a bit large to just refer to it in its whole. In specific I'm thinking of his struggle in getting the higher ups to act upon his research, and that of his friend Mike O'Loughlin; for Dyson it was the ripping out of the turrets to at least save the lives of the gunners, for Mike, the enlarging of the escape hatches, both great ideas, but ideas that would require change.     And now I can relate these to the conversations with my father. Conversations about the seeming futility of change. For instance, the world, and in particular America, is in a great deal of trouble if it doesn't lower its energy usage, but no one wants to drive less or switch to florescent bulbs. In the case of florescent bulbs, the switch is trivial as they are widely available, Walmart carries them. While Dyson was dealing with changing the minds of the higher ups, and my father and I talk about changing the masses, the similarities are there, people don't like to change. Why? In these cases two reasons, one, they'd have to admit they were wrong or don't know everything, two, they are lazy and don't wish to make the extra effort or pay the minor cost.     I'm not sure, but I'd wager that Dyson will run into this fear people have of change again in his life. Of course his life is already well advanced, so more correctly, I will find out if he ran into it. I can only hope that I learn from Dyson, and unlike him I take after Mike. Dyson got depressed, Mike got angry, and in the words of Dyson “Anger is creative, depression is useless.” So, I figure if we can all take after Mike, and use our anger at injustice, or waste to eventually change things, just as Mike finally got his escape hatches enlarged, we will be better off. Not only will we personally be happier with our life when our time has ended, but the world to will be better off. -- Nathaniel