thoughts for FoRK SF

CobraBoy! (
Fri, 18 Jul 1997 18:28:42 -0700

In every field of human endeavor, he that is first must perpetually live in
the white light of publicity. Whether the leadership be vested in a man or
in a manufactured product, emulation and envy are ever at work. In art, in
literature, in music, in industry, the reward and the punishment are always
the same. The reward is widespread recognition. The punishment, fierce
denial and detraction. When a man's work becomes a standard for the whole
world, it also becomes a target for the shafts of the envious few. If his
work is merely mediocre he will be left severely alone. If he achieve a
masterpiece, it will set a million tongues a-wagging. Jealousy does not
protrude its forked tongue at the artist who produces a common place
painting. Whatsoever you write, or paint, or play, or sing, or build, no
one will strive to surpass or to slander you, unless your work be stamped
with the seal of genius. Long, long after a great work or a good work has
been done, those who are disappointed or envious continue to cry out that
it cannot be done. Spiteful little voices in the domain of art were raised
against our own whistler as a mountebank, long after the big world had
acclaimed him its greatest artistic genius. Multitudes flocked to Bayreuth
to worship at the musical shrine of Wagner, while the little group of those
whom he had dethroned and displaced argued angrily that he was no musician
at all. The little world continued to protest that Fulton could never build
a steamboat, while the big world flocked to the river banks to see his boat
steam by. The leader is assailed because he is a leader. And the effort to
equal him is merely added proof of the leadership. Failing to equal or to
excel, the follower seeks to depreciate and to destroy, but only confirms
once more the superiority of that which he strives to supplant. There is
nothing new in this. It is as old as the world and as old as the human
passions: envy, fear, greed, ambition and the desire to surpass. And it all
avails nothing. If the leader truly leads, he remains - the leader. Master
poet, master painter, master workman, each in his turn is assailed. And
each holds his laurels through the ages. That which is good or great makes
itself known. No matter how loud the clamor of denial, that which deserves
to live - lives.

Damn, you would have thought this was about me, but alas this text appeared
as an advertisement in the Saturday Evening Post * January 2nd in the year
1915 * copyright, Cadillac Motor Division


... at least you can drive something fast, arm your-
self with powerful tools, and look good doing it.
- Preview Release of the Be Operating System

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