Thursday, October 2, 2014

Golden Mean

Aristotle described the concept of the golden mean, as it translates. Basically it says that ever good characteristic has two opposites,and the ideal characteristic lies in the middle, hence mean value between the ends. Buddha said something similar as living the middle way.

We see the two opposites esteems in people like Howard Hughes and Mother Teresa. We see extremes in many people, and they are difficult to be around. The controller vs the uncaring. The honest and the corrupt. Having worked for both types, and some other weird characters, there is always concern for the future. There was the fellow who's business was struggling, and sold his leased cars to lease back company, and was paying two leases on the same cars. He stopped remitting payroll deductions, and medical plan deductions. He tried to pay the claims for a bit, but the economy caught up to him.

Then there was another fellow who would not repair nuclear density gauges and told us to guess at the moisture content of soils or the density. "We should know what it was anyway, close enough, but do not report anything stupid." Some of us went back to volume meters and stoves, where he realized it was cheaper to use that old equipment, and he bought up a bunch of cheep volume meters that were un-calibratible. That was the start of the fast decline of the working environment. 
In the linked article they talk about dependence on others to the extreme. But there is another side, the self-sufficient to the point of failure. It causes much left undone, for I know enough to do it half-assed, but lack patience, skill, energy, motivation to do it well. It causes leads to excess self-sufficiency to the point of not needing other people much.  Such is the life of a know-it-all. Much more is of no interest to me, for I do not care. I remind myself of the classic definition of autism: difficulty communicating, socially awkward, and limited interests. So which came first?

So every true virtue is the golden mean between the two opposites, according to Aristotle. Here endeth the lessons.

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