Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Enough Whining Already...

When did we become such a society of whiners and ingrates? We used to be country that solved problems with humor and conquered big, grand things like air and space flight with pride and industry. We used to have pride in our accomplishments. But now we are just a bunch of whiners.

Maybe my frustration comes from the book I am reading right now - The Wright Brothers by David McCullough. It is the story of how two young men decided to conquer the problem of flying. Not for any other reason than to solve the problem. Not for personal aggrandizement or out of any kind of arrogance. Certainly they did not do it for personal wealth though they were smart enough to insist on being the sole owners of their patent. They did it for the shear desire to solve a problem that most said could not be solved. And they did by starting with the basics - studying and observing birds.

So on the 8th day of the 8th month of the 8th year of the 20th Century (August 8, 1908) in a field in Le Mans, France, they proved to the world that they had indeed conquered the skies with motorized, controllable airflight. All of the people who said it couldn't be done were amazed at what they witnessed that day. And these two men changed the world forever.

Wilbur and Orville Wright were from a humble home and modest means in Dayton, Ohio. They spent their childhood days studying and building stuff. Their father was a modest travelling minister who raise his children (4 boys and 1 girl) to be curious about everything. They did not have fancy furniture or clothes, but their father filled their house with books. He allowed his children to explore the world through books and stretch their intellects without limits. Interestingly, the only one of the Wright children to attend college was the daugher, Katherine who actually became the first American woman to fly in an airplane.

Many, many were trying to solve this problem. You could say there was a race on to be the first. The US government had paid $20,000 for Samuel P. Langley to build and test his much publicized glider, but on December 8, 1903 with thousands to watch, he failed miserably. But only 10 days later (December 17, 1903) on a lonely beach in Kitty Hawk, NC, after thousand of tests, failures, re-building, re-engineering, and in front of a few witnesses, Wilber and Orville proved to themselves that they had conquered controlled glider flight. And they did without fanfare and for just a $1000 of their own funds earned from their Dayton bicycle shop, what Langley could not with government funds.

It is most inpiring biography written by a most inpiring biographer and I highly recommend the book to read if for no other reason for a much-needed dose of inpiration in what humans can accomplish through ingenuity and hard work.

Sadly, what we have in November of 2015 are Yale and Missouri University whiners who can't get too many safe spaces to whine. But I know that there are kids out there just ike Wilbur and Orville who will solve the next big problem without fanfare just for the shear pleasure of conquer a problem that everyone said was unconquerable.

22 comments:

Robert L. Hedd said...

Bev....Excellent post! Just as there have always been whiners and special snowflakes among us, there will always be the innovators and inventors. Look at modern history for one...Gates -- Whiner; Jobs -- Innovator.

As far as Missouri goes, history repeats itself. Remember the 60's! These asshats never give up and think they can change human nature. OMG...he's white and looked at me weird! Microaggression..I want him arrested!! I don't know if you saw the video of the Yale confrontation in the quad, but that girl needed to be suspended and then kicked out of the university. Unfortunately, now she has her street cred as a SJW and will go on to become a celebrity and possibly MSNBC talking (shrieking) head.

Disgusting......

Bob

Kit said...

BE QUIET!

YOU DON'T KNOW MY PAIN!!!!!!!! COMMENTARAMA WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A HOME!!!! NOT AN "INTELLECTUAL SPACE"!!!!!!!

tryanmax said...

Bev,

In Langley's defense, he had a deserved reputation of aeronautical achievement and perhaps his greatest obstacles were the contemporary press and the very congress that was funding him. The work of his team was neck-and-neck with the Wrights', and the Wrights' drew from his research. Langley reached out to the Wrights, but they ducked him.

That isn't to say the Wrights didn't do quite a lot on their own. The Wrights and Langley both independently determined the proper lift-to-drag ratio for sustained flight. They both recognized the potential of light-weight petroleum engines. The areas where the Wrights trounced Langley were in the design of a propeller and, of course, the three-axis control system, which is what they patented.

And lest you believe that era was devoid of whiners, this was smack dab in the middle of the Progressive Era. That's not to say that the Progressive Movement was just petty whining. Women got the vote. Labor reforms curbed exploitation. Food and drug safety was enshrined in law. And the big monopolies were busted up.

But at the same time, Bolshevism was on the rise in Russia and Europe and had its sympathizers in America. Eugenics was all the rage in universities across the enlightened world. Fascism was to be the future of democracy. And thanks to the temperance movement, prohibition was just around the corner. This second list led to the worst horrors of the 20th c., and it was spurred mostly by the whiners.

BevfromNYC said...

Kit - LOL!!! NOT! Ahhhh...you're one of THEM, aren't you!!! HAH!! Back...BACK you fiend!!! GET...OFF...MYYY...LAWN!!!!

Kit said...

:-)

BevfromNYC said...

Anthony - I shorted Langley because he was one of the more significant aviators of the time. The Wright brothers used his work and gathered all of the other data from what everyone was trying then building on that by trial and error at their remote island at Kitty Hawk. I think that was their most important feature...the remoteness where they could try, fail, tinker, adjust, try fail a different way, tinker, adjust without any prying eyes.

Not that they wanted to be so secretive, but they just didn't want the distraction. Kitty Hawk had the perfect climate and soft sand for crashing repeatedly. What was interesting is when they actually wanted to get the word out about what they had accomplished, no one was that interested.

And as to your point about the time period. It wasn't much different from today. The liberalization of society at the expense of common sense and prudence. I think that is what is the most disturbing to me. And just at the Missouri State show-down and at Yale, I am surprised at how quickly everyone caved to the rabble-rousers at the expense of first amendment. Oh, and with the extra added bonus that Yale rich-girl temper tantrums win.

BevfromNYC said...

Bob - Thanks! And you are correct. There have always and will always be whiners and innovators. But, I fully expect that Prof. Click and The Yale Screamer will be tapped to run for something or another during the next election cycle.

BevfromNYC said...

Btw - It's #NationalOffendACollegeStudentDay on Twitter, so here goes...

[{{{clears throat}}}}}

Oh, Kit - Uh,...BECAUSE I SAID SO, THAT'S WHY!!!

The End.

Kit said...

BUT THIS IS A HOME!!! HOW CAN ANYONE FEEL AT HOME IN SUCH A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT?!?!?!?!?!

TJ said...

One of the key things the Wright Brothers needed that our area provided in abundance was the wind - particularly that time of year. We get plenty of Nor'easters in the winter.

BevfromNYC said...

Sorry, Kit...I promise I will demand that I be fired right away. But for now...here's some coco and a few valium to sooth your tormented soul. How about I read aloud to you from the great works of E.L. James while you snuggle with your emotional support hedgehog. Or a little Gaga, eh?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I've pointed this out before, but don't be too depressed. It is the same old US it's always been, and we are the same old Americans. In fact, little about humans has changed since we fell out of the trees.

There is a small percentage of humans who drive the world with ideas. Those people still exist and are busy doing all the things they normally do - curing diseases, inventing machines, writing books and songs and making culture. These people are the mind of America, its creative center... what makes it drive ahead as it's always done.

Then there is this "silent majority." In the US, these are good people with good values who go about their days, raising children and helping their neighbors... creating jobs and making America work... serving in the military, leading their churches, coaching little league teams. They are good people who don't accept the nonsense you see on the news and won't ever change their ways just because it's trendy. These people are the backbone of America and its muscle.

Both of those groups are too busy and too "common" to end up on the news.

Then you have the ass of America. These are the whiners, the self-described elitists, the criminals, the people who live off the state. They are like a weight around a swimmer, but they are a tiny, tiny weight who only pretend to be more. And they only seem more important than they are because the media loves to highlight them. The left likes to show these people as victims of the rest of us and the right likes to show them as a scaremonger story of what America is supposedly becoming. Neither is true. What's more, their influence is zero outside of their own circles and they have no power. They are like a circus passing through town. They may be amusing to some, but they will never influence the town.

BevfromNYC said...

TJ - It was interesting how they wrote to various weather services to find the perfect spot that included wind, open scenery and soft sandy for which to crash in.

BevfromNYC said...

"...What's more, their influence is zero outside of their own circles and they have no power.

I know, but it just gets to be so stupid some days. However, I guarantee that the Screaming Yalie and the brutish Prof. Click will be tapped to run for Congress in the next election cycle. (See: Wendy Davis and Sandra Fluke...

AndrewPrice said...

Oh, I know Bev. It's very annoying. It's similar to listening to a child having a tantrum in a restaurant or listening to liberals plan legislation. It's pure idiocy and you really want to see karma bitch-smack the living hell out of these privileged assholes.

BUT, it's worth keeping in mind that they are in the tiny minority and their lives will be shit because of their attitudes. The rest of America chugs along without them.

AndrewPrice said...

In fact, Bev, I am under the opinion that political correctness is dying. The reason I think this is true is that (1) the public no longer cares, (2) the only people left who care and who comply with it are the PC looney left, and (3) they seem to realize this subconsciously as evidenced by them going all "Hitler in the bunker" on each other -- basically, since they can't get me or you to jump anymore, they've become super intolerant and super whiny and they are using this intolerance to accuse each other of thought crimes and tear each other apart now. It's hard-core Nazis shooting other hard-core Nazis as traitors.

Kit said...

"How about I read aloud to you from the great works of E.L. James while you snuggle with your emotional support hedgehog. Or a little Gaga, eh?"

DO YOU CARE NOTHING ABOUT MY FEELINGS?!?!?! DO YOU WANT TO TRAUMATIZE ME?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

BevfromNYC said...

Kit - I DO care about your feelings. I really do. That's why I will send you an emotional support hedgehog just for you...https://youtu.be/NYhHqeCWOaU

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - I have seen a lot of Lib activist on Lib Activist in-fighting lately. Oh, and I am so glad to read that "comedian" Kathy Griffin has gone all in for Hillary "even if it costs her half you audience"! I was worried that she wouldn't weigh in and all would be lost for this election cycle...

ScottDS said...

I have yet to read any David McCullough, though John Adams and The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge are on my to-read list.

Ultimately, I think Andrew is right. People are people and while the "normals" simply go about their daily lives, the assholes have new outlets to unleash their assholishness, whether it's the SJWs on the left or the nutjob anti-Starbucks preacher on the right, to use a current example.

And yeah, the left seems to be eating its own, so much so that college professors now fear for their jobs if some student complains about something. The Atlantic had a recent cover story about this.

And I lost pretty much all of my remaining sympathy after reading this story. Basically, a fellow geek/artist was threatened after doing art that wasn't racially/sexually/whateverlly "correct".

BevfromNYC said...

Scott - you must read any of McCullough's biographies. They are easy to read and he brings his subjects to life like no other biographer I have ever read. I started with John Adams. He brings our Founders out of the clouds as demigods to real humans who weren't perfect.

tryanmax said...

Kathy Griffin wishes she had half an audience.

On the intra-lib sniping, it just goes to show that they didn't want to get rid of bullies, they were just jealous of them.

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