Monday, December 13, 2010

There is safety in the status quo.

There is safety in the status quo.

As a driver of an electric vehicle, Mini-E #183 powered by renewable solar power for the past 18 months and 23,000 miles I enjoy greatly and many times find humorous, reading the many pundits writing and perspectives written about the electric car.

I divide the writings into three (general I admit) camps. The Preachers, the Practitioners and the Protesters.

The preachers are noble, hopeful, and imagine a more perfect world, a healthier planet, embracing an emerging technology that can lead us to the promise land of energy independence, renewable energy, and pollution free air. A more perfect world that can lead us away from war and dependence. The preachers at times, overlook practical roadblocks, real problems and market limitations in the message of a noble good. The preachers have very seldom produced a product in the marketplace meaningful to the real world.

The practitioners want to go beyond theory and the preacher, and put into practice the future. In this case the electric car.

They are the bleeding edge (there is a reason they call it the bleeding edge) early adopters willing and financially able to take part in the new electric mobility world. Similar to those who manufacture or purchase the first $3000 cell phone, the first $5000 computer, the first $15,000 plasma television, the first $200,000 ride into space and the first electric car.

The goal of the practitioner is to experience the new world and prove to themselves, either pass or fail, on the technology they embrace. They are inquisitive by nature, entrepreneurial by craft, they are motivated by many varied factors but united in the experience of discovery, of being pioneers, of imagining and creation of the future.

They are equally ably to reject technology that does not deliver on the promise, solution or intent as promised by the manufacture to the early adopter. Failure is not a final destination to the practitioner but rather a road traveled, a calculation on the path to the future.

The protesters are protectors of the status quo. They warn against perceived whimsical flights of fancy into the new world, they warn against the new and unproven, they decry changes to the structure to a society comfortable to them. They rail against government support of the new enterprise while ignoring the government support of companies of existing enterprise. They are assured by the performance of the current, they are rooted into today and what works for them.
They take comfort as shepherds of the docile.

The protesters have never advanced the cause of humanity through any endeavor in the history of mankind. They take pleasure in proving wrong the preachers and advocating to the malleable heard, the perils and dangers of the practitioners and the preachers.
There is safety in the status quo as the vast majority of the population lie here within.

Your interested in an electric car. So who's writing to believe?

I will let the reader answer that question themselves.

I end this writing by quoting in part “Security” written by Hunter S. Thompson (1955).

"A man is to be pitied who lacked the courage to accept the challenge of freedom and depart from the cushion of security and see life as it is instead of living it second-hand. Life has by-passed this man and he has watched from a secure place, afraid to seek anything better What has he done except to sit and wait for the tomorrow which never comes?

Turn back the pages of history and see the men who have shaped the destiny of the world. Security was never theirs, but they lived rather than existed. Where would the world be if all men had sought security and not taken risks or gambled with their lives on the chance that, if they won, life would be different and richer? It is from the bystanders (who are in the vast majority) that we receive the propaganda that life is not worth living, that life is drudgery, that the ambitions of youth must he laid aside for a life which is but a painful wait for death. These are the ones who squeeze what excitement they can from life out of the imaginations and experiences of others through books and movies.

These are the insignificant and forgotten men who preach conformity because it is all they know. These are the men who dream at night of what could have been, but who wake at dawn to take their places at the now-familiar rut and to merely exist through another day. For them, the romance of life is long dead and they are forced to go through the years on a treadmill, cursing their existence, yet afraid to die because of the unknown which faces them after death. They lacked the only true courage: the kind which enables men to face the unknown regardless of the consequences.

As an afterthought, it seems hardly proper to write of life without once mentioning happiness; so we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”


Mini-E #183

1 comment:

  1. Nice, and thought-provoking entry:

    I'm definitely a Preacher, although I like to think that I'm a critical and reflective one -- it's not all rose-colored glasses (for instance, I'm concerned about the lack of recycling plans for solar panels -- why can't anyone see the long-term picture on solar panels and the negative environmental impact of simply throwing millions of them out?)

    As for the protestors? Imagine what the world would be like if the status quo folks always won -- there would be no progress, none whatsoever. Imagine no Clean Air Act, no efforts to control acid rain, or, going further back, essentially no awareness of environmental pollution at all.

    Picture the whole world as polluted as some of China's cities are today, or even more polluted. Then, picture -- and hear -- the protestors of yesteryear saying how great the status quo was back then. And then think about what we'd have today if they'd won...