Saturday, March 28, 2009

How many can you do?

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.


-Robert A. Heinlein

12 comments:

The Donald said...

I can quote Sonnet 116... ;-)

Anonymous said...

I can walk and chew gum!!!

Dew

The Donald said...

>>A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
<<

Diaper Change - check
Plan an Invasion - of what?
Butcher a Hog - check (mmm, jalapeƱo sausage)
Conn a Ship - let me think about that
Design a Building - Do tool sheds count?
Write a Sonnet - Would you take a Haiku? Maybe a limerick?
Balance Accounts - Yup
Build a Wall - Will a fence do?
Set a Bone - A t-bone, where?
Comfort the Dying - I'd try
Take/Give Orders - Sure, call me the order broker
Cooperate/Act Alone - OK, I'm versatile
Solve Equations - Linear, quadratic, or calculus?
Analyze a New Problem - I can look at it for ya
Pitch Manure - Been there, done that
Program a Computer - Also been there with a bit o' BASIC and COBOL, but I'd rather pitch manure
Cook a Tasty Meal - Just call me Chef
Fight Efficiently - Like Indiana Jones shooting that ninja? No wasted effort.
Die Gallantly - If I must, but I like Patton's thought about making the other guy do it first...

The Donald said...

Oh,and to Dewey: Can you prove it?

Don Dodson said...

When I get on a plane to fly somewhere, I want the pilot to be specialized in flying that particular aircraft.

When I go into the operating room, I want the surgeon, and anesthesiologist, the nurses, and the others involved to be specialists in their task.

My wife could not design sensor fusion software for fighter jets, and I could not diagnose a heart rhythm from an EKG strip.

It is true that we can do more than one thing, but we do need people with specialized skills.

todd said...

I understand about wanting a good pilot and stuff but I think the point is: do you want to be the person who is able to do more than one thing? If all a person can do is be the best pilot in the world then what good are they at any other situation in life?

The Donald said...

I don't think that there's necessarily a mutual exclusivity here.

One can be extraordinarily talented and skilled at something and still be a "Renaissance Man", no?

The Donald said...

Or "Renaissance Chick".

I don't want to leave out the ladies...

The Donald said...

OK, here's my list.

I can:

Fly an airplane.
Cinch a saddle.
Field strip a Colt 1911 or Ruger P-series.
Lay tile.
Sweat a copper fitting.
Remove and replace a cylinder head.
Laminate a counter top.
Dig a post hole.
Build winning Pinewood derby cars.
Drain and replace the filter on an automatic transmission.
Develop film and operate an enlarger.
Reload metallic and shotgun cartridges.
Install a ceiling fan.
Remove a splinter.
Compliment a woman, sincerely.
Repair home appliances.
Pitch a tent in the dark.
Use a volt/ohm meter.
Install brake shoes/pads and replace drums/rotors.
Refill an ink cartridge.
Water & snow ski.
Research an issue and edit someone's writing.
Rappel a wall.
Build a gate.
Love God and try to follow His example.

todd said...

I don't know about the rest of them but I can vouch for your editing of other peoples' writing! I guess we'll find out tomorrow if you can collect taxes, huh?

The Donald said...

True that!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and by the way, it's "people's", not "peoples'", since "people" are already plural.

Just sayin'. ;-)