It’s not a universal rule. What is? There are a million and one ways that both good and bad things can happen in life. A million is way under any genuine calculation. Slight changes in decisions that are made can head us off in a completely different direction. So much fiction is based on this reality.
Yes, I have watched “Everything Everywhere All at Once”. I’m in two minds about my reaction. There’s no doubt that it has an original take on the theory of multiple universes and how they might interact. It surprised me in just how much comedy formed the core of the film. There are moments when the pace of the story left me wondering where on earth is this going? Overall, it is an enjoyable movie and its great to see such originality and imagination.
This strange notion of multiple universes, numbered beyond count, has an appeal but it’s more than a headful. What I mean is that trying to imagine what it looks like, if such a thing is possible, is almost hopeless. What I liked about the movie is that small difference are more probable and large difference are far less probable. So, to get to the worlds that are radically different from where you are it’s necessary to do something extremely improbable.
Anyway, that’s not what I’m writing about this morning. I’ve just been reading a bit about Sir Robert Alexander Watson Watt. The man credited with giving us radar technology.
Perfect is the enemy of good is a dictum that’s has several attributions. It keeps coming up. Some people celebrate those who strive for perfection. However, in human affairs, perfection, is an extremely improbable outcome in most situations. There’s a lot of talent and perspiration needed to jump from average to perfect in any walk of life.
What the dictum above shorthand’s is that throwing massive amounts of effort at a problem can prevent a good outcome. Striving for perfection, faced with our human condition, can be a negative.
That fits well with me. My experience of research, design and development suggested the value of incremental improvement and not waiting for perfect answers to arise from ever more work. It’s the problem with research funding. Every paper calls for more research to be done.
In aviation safety work the Pareto principle is invaluable. It can be explained by a ghastly Americanisms. Namely, let’s address the “low hanging fruit” first. In other words, let’s make the easiest improvements, that produce the biggest differences, first.
I’m right on-board with Robert Watson-Watt and his “cult of the imperfect”. He’s quoted saying: “Give them the third best to go on with; the second best comes too late, the best never comes”. It’s to say do enough of what works now without agonising over all the other possible better ways. Don’t procrastinate (too much).