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BlueWolf's Howl

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September 24, 2003

Run or Freeze

For those who watched...Jake Foley and his nanites had their first kill this evening. Jake was getting his butt whoooped and just when you thought he was going to be overcome, the nanites surged and Jake fought back. You could see that he was just protecting himself. You could see that he was just trying to get his buddy and mentor out alive. He pushed his attacker against the wall. No, he SLAMMED the guy into the wall. At first, you think they guy's just out cold. Then, you realize - this guy's dead! Yes, he's a bad guy. But, he's dead. Jake killed him. =surprise= *blink, blink* It was just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz landing a house on the Wicked Witch of the East. You almost expect him to say, "Ooooops! Didn't really mean that. Guess I don't know my own strength."

It sent chills up my spine. I know that there's a grain of truth in that scene. The harsh reality of the things you don't like to do when you get to do the things you always dreamed of...

I have always fought a battle between progress and restraint. I know I have abilities that, if left unguarded, could rage out of control. No, I can't leap cars. But, I know I have talents that I fear to tap.

I write this not because I think I'm special with wonderous talents. I'm writing this because I think there are many others who know -exactly- what I'm talking about. I do not think I'm alone in this. I think we've all felt it at some point or in some way.

I have a friend who used to work in Army Intelligence. I don't know what she did. I don't *want* to know what she did. She knew I was still in the Army (the Army Reserve at that time). She knew I was smart. I knew she was cunning. Not that I didn't trust her. She was a loyal friend who would give you the jacket off her back if you were cold. But, I knew she was scouting me. I remember drinking coffee in the kitchen while she needled me with cryptogram after cryptogram. And then she got real serious. She tried to talk me into going Intel. No freakin way! One way or another, I gradually worked my way out of that social circle. I knew that those abilities are not something that I want to develop or unleash. I could deal with the actual work or function of the job. It's the "other stuff" that I didn't want to experience. Go ahead and piss someone off that you work with/for. If they're crafty enough, they'll hang you out to dry and you have no recourse to justice. Try to complain if you ever get mistreated. You can't! Uh...yeah, I have proof...but, you can't see it; it's classified. Or a case where something happened and there's no proof of record that you've ever been there. Try getting treated for a job-related medical condition that you contracted in a country where you supposedly never went...

I guess that in a nutshell - I never want to be a Jake Foley. I never want to be looking down at some guy's dead body and wondering how the hell I got there and how the hell I'm going to deal with it.

Yet, we all dream of doing something wonderful. We all would like to be heroic. We would all like to do something worthwhile that contributes to beating the bad guys. But, what will it cost?

If it costs a lot of work, I'm in. I don't mind lots of hard work. I know that many people wouldn't mind doing something heroic if it wasn't a lot of effort. Once it requires a large amount of effort, the majority of people drop out of that line. Not me. I don't mind putting in a lot of effort. What I mind is compromising myself... Or sacrificing one of my principles for another one of my principles.

Yes, I would love to work in the field of computer security. I would love to catch bad guys. And I want to be the best at whatever I end up doing... But, how far do you go? How far is too far? I want to be good at it. But, I'd hate to be so good at something that I'm pressured into a position that I don't want to be in.

Everyone marvels at Nobel Prize winners. Isn't that wonderful? Wouldn't it be great to be recognized like that? Many of the people who worked on the H-bomb and the A-bomb won a Nobel Prize. Yet, if you dig further into their bios and writings, you'll find the same battle:

I discovered something wonderful in my field.
It was used to build a bomb.
But, the "good guys" won.
But, many people died because of my discovery.

It's a hard battle. One that I don't want to fight. I can only hope (and cross my fingers) that I don't get put in such a position.

Posted by BlueWolf on September 24, 2003 11:40 PM