Re-Orientation 101

Just when I think I have it all figured out, I have another epistemological crisis.

For several years now I’ve been signing my postings in webmasters’ forums with that statement. It’s almost to the point where I don’t notice it anymore. However, when I do notice it, I still think that it’s true.

Some might think this statement is negative, but I don’t. To me it’s speaks of my unwillingness to stagnate. As difficult as it may be sometimes to deconstruct and reconstruct what I’ve come to view as a truism, I’m not one to shy away from the exercise of debunking bad premises and rebuilding upon better ones.

After supper tonight, BeeGoddessM and I talked about what my professional plan(s) should be as the new year approaches. Exactly what needs to happen in 2005 is quite clear, but how (i.e., finding the means) to make it happen is not quite as clear. A significant roadblock for me is that I’m one cynical bastard when it comes to certain things, and my threshhold for tolerating bullshit phrases is pretty low. No one would dispute that I’m passionate about what I do; however, that passion might very well be contributing to my impatience towards what I consider bullshit.

“Build it and they will come” is one saying that bugs the bejesus out of me whenever I hear it. It’s right up there with how some people steadfastly believe that hard work is always recognized and justly rewarded, or how other people still believe in trickle-down economics. I’m not saying that there isn’t some truth to those sayings. I mean, we all know that those who only sit with their thumb up their arse aren’t poised to seeing any kind of improvement in their situation. But at the same time, I think some of these sayings are merely pop psycho-socio babble bordering on myth.

I spent much of this evening reading tips and completing quizzes on entrepreneurship. Although the material came from reputable sources, most of it struck me as either statements of the glaringly obvious or prompts to do highly subjective exercises which, despite assertions to the contrary, are neither practical nor measurable. Like I said, I’m one cynical bastard. But it’s hard not to be when you can figure out with very little thought what the “right” answers to quiz questions are even though said quizzes supposedly don’t have “right” or “wrong” answers. I remember how infuriated I would get when students would try to find the “magic bullet,” namely the answers they thought I wanted to hear, instead of putting forward original ideas based on credible supporting evidence. Now I’m recognizing that perhaps it’s how they had to operate with other instructors.

So yes, I guess you could say I’m having one of my famous epistemological crises. I’m seeing some of my weak premises and I’m having to go through the difficult motion of reshaping them. Put differently: I still know where I’m going but I see I may have gone on a tangent along the way, just like Bugs Bunny when he poked out of the ground with a map and said, “I knew I should’a taken a left toin at Albakurkee!”