The Columbus Syndrome

Humans are funny creatures. Their funniest aspect is ego. Too often they seem to think that their awareness of a thing defines its very newness. Just as Columbus “discovered” North America, despite the fact not only it was never lost or undiscovered as it was already peopled, modern Hus act as if the length of their professional career represents all the known work of a field.

Just because you have not seen the work doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an extensive history.

Just because you and others did not develop a need for something until recently, doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done.

I understand that is a lot of work and effort to actually do research beyond the first three pages of Google results. I get that. Even a profession as young as the one I am in, a mere 50-plus years, has a fairly rich history of work and development. And much of that work has not been published in the journals. Why? Because very few people thought it necessary at the time. They might have thought a new thing was cool or interesting, but it wasn’t relevant to their concerns at the time.

It often becomes relevant later.

When this happens, almost no one checks to see if this thing has been done before, if it has a history.

Often it does.

I once teased a senior colleague shortly after he received the top award in the profession, “So, does this mean you are going to write something new instead recycling the same old things?”

“Why should I? Until they read what I have written the last 40 years, why write something new?”

Yep. I get it.

And in 2015 it means to be read it has to be in the first couple of pages of a half-assed Google search.

So, get the hell of my lawn. Come back when you have done your homework.

Be nice. It won't hurt either of us.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s