The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

As Journey Once Warbled, Don’t Stop Believin’ …
April 4, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Without wishing to sound like an old, old fart … we are fast becoming a society of convenience.

Everything is about getting it now.

Speed trumps substance.

Debt trumps saving.

Ease trumps effort.

It’s all give me, give me, give me.

Hey, I’m not claiming to be different, I’m an only child after all.

That said, I was definitely brought up to believe in substance, standards and – believe it or not – effort … not just because it gave you valuable and usable knowledge and experience, but because it made the end achievement so much sweeter.

To be honest, there were many times I doubted that viewpoint – especially when I was at the beginning of what looked like a horrendous metaphorical journey – but when I got to the end, even if I hadn’t quite pulled off what I hoped to pull off, I had to look at my parents and nod in begrudging agreement.

However nowadays, the ability to choose the easy option is ever-present which is why a video I recently saw made me incredibly happy.

Professor Andre Lindei works at Stanford University.

For 30 years, he has been trying to prove ‘cosmic inflation’ – a concept he identified and coined – was true.

In very simplistic terms, cosmic inflation is similar to sound waves however Professor Lindei said that in the first billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second of the big bang, it was one of the key factors that caused the Universe to expand very quickly.

Anyway, for 30 years he has been trying to prove that belief and the video below shows his reaction when he is told that his students and colleagues have finally been able to prove it without a doubt.

I love it.

I absolutely adore it.

But there’s 3 things that I like most of all.

1. The way the assistant professor just launches into the news, as if he can’t contain his excitement … though it could also be that he’s a socially inept nerd.

2. The reaction of the Professor’s wife – also a professor – when she hears it. The way her face changes when she grasps the gravity of the news and gets confirmation is phenomenal. You can literally see the wave of happiness and thanks wash over her … probably because she thinks she can now look forward to having a semi-normal life with her husband.

3. The professor asking for clarification over and over again … as if he’s too frightened to believe his life’s work has been validated in case he’s misunderstood what’s been said and he has to prepare to keep fighting, exploring and discovering.

While most of us may not have such major quests in our life – quests that have huge implications on the future of science and mankind – if anything shows why we should be persistent and resilient in following our beliefs, it’s this.


26 Comments so far
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You’ve written a fantastic set of posts recently Rob, but this might be my favourite of the lot. The video and your comments about it are spot on but it’s your point about persistence, rigour, substance and standards that really make it come together.

Comment by Pete

I also understand why you like it given it has a “triumph over adversity storyline” running all the way through it.

Comment by Pete

best insight youve ever come out with.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes, that’s very true. God I’m such a victim.

Comment by Rob

I think you like it because it’s effectively about a head of department who came up with an insight and then waited in California while his juniors went to Antartica, did the experiments and proved him eligible for a Nobel prize.

Comment by John

doddsy, you are my fucking favourite person today. confuckingratulations.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

Sadly this made me laugh out loud.

Comment by Rob

Now you know how your reader feels.

Comment by John

watching that video gave me flashbacks of mountain view towers. wall to wall socially inept fuckers, talking in fucking klingon. i remember the days auntie and pete would agree with me, now theyre one of the fuckers. sellouts.

Comment by andy@cynic

Your resistance to good knows no bounds.

Comment by George

Rob. I have to remind you that unless it involves a documentary, bad reality TV, Queen or food you lose interest in 99.8% of everything within 20 minutes. You couldn’t even wait 30 years to act like you were 30. Just keeping it real.

Comment by DH

From what I’ve heard, Robert acted 40 when he was 10. Which is ironic now he’s 40+ but acts 10.

Comment by Bazza

That’s only true if the person I am listening to bores me … hence I see why that might your perception of me Dave.

Comment by Rob

Good post. Great video.

Comment by Bazza

Pete’s comment pretty much sums up my view of this video. However I would add that unless parents, teachers, employers and governments invest in promoting the value of a job well done (as opposed to just a job done), we will be increasingly reliant on fewer people to move society forward. If anything scares me, it’s that. Excellent post Robert and thank goodness for people like Professor Andrei and his band if Antartica followers.

Comment by George

what the fuck do you think this is, 60 minutes?

Comment by andy@cynic

I agree with you George. We need to start teaching people that adversity is actually our friend … it is what pushes us further, let’s us discover how capable we really can be and – ultimately – makes success feel much sweeter. As those ‘inspiration posters’ spout, you can’t truly feel success if you haven’t overcome adversity.

Or maybe that’s just what I say to myself … even though the ‘overcoming’ part is still to be achieved.

Comment by Rob

For someone who comes from nottingham and likes everything that society is repulsed by, the lifestyle you have shows you’ve overcome adversity. Or just blagged your way around it.

Comment by DH

Proof karma is bullshit.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I’ll never make that mistake again.

Comment by Rob

I bloody love physics
Great post

Comment by northern

Is it bad/sad that I feel the same way when i figure out a brief or win a pitch? it’s not as important to anyone else – but to me it is. tiny victories.

back to the people in the video – i really like how the wife got it first though. that’s it.

Comment by grace

They always do Grace.

Comment by Rob

[…] We work in an industry where talk is very, very cheap so if we want to truly get the respect that our egos crave, then proving our theories should be regarded with greater importance than simply having theories … even if it takes years to finally be able to prove we were right. […]

Pingback by Talk Is Cheap … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] The reason I say this is that I recently came across a clip I wrote about years ago. […]

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