Only a Sith Deals in Absolutes

When I read headlines on HackerNews or even headlines in general, the author tends to want to grab my attention. Heck, it’s really the whole article and the author wanting to convince you that they know the future because of such and such research and who and whom they talked with. There’s many headlines I can quote but here’s recent one I came across:

“Remote work is the future.”

There’s plenty more where that came from. It seems like every few months we collectively convince ourselves that the future is all about this be it “big data” this or “AI” that or whatever gets consumed in the zeitgeist of the moment.

With these perspectives it seems one-size fits all woes, challenges and can overcome this and that. I could be wrong, but I tend to think our world is more complex than that. There might be trends and shifts may make that balance sway more to one way than the other, but there’s always countertrends and some such.

(Even this post you’re reading now is trying to convince you that there is no absolutes, which in-and-of-itself is an absolute – so be warned.) But may be something of an anecdote would help at least to remember how to kick ourselves out of being one-tracked from time to time when appropriate. And of course, it’s a film reference.

If you don’t know me, or have not come to know me through this blog or IRL, I like many others in this techie, nerdy world of ours, am a fan of Star Wars. George Lucas created this world and we live in it.

There’s many memorial lines from Star Wars from the original trilogy and the prequels (which I enjoyed, okay), but one of the lines I can quote and love is this one. Let me set this up first: Obi-Wan is battling the Anakin that has just embraced “the dark side” and by now “Order 66” has been given by the evil Sith Lord/Emperor, where Jedi are being double-crossed throughout the galaxy.

Anakin is furious at — well anything really at this point, his rage is just consuming him. Obi-Wan is keeping calm and at one point says this line to rebut Anakin:

“Only a Sith deals in absolutes.”

Obi-Wan, Revenge of the Sith

I’ll leave it that and with another quote from one of my teachers, Charlie Munger:

“I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything that
I don’t know the other side’s argument better than they do.”

Charlie Munger

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