Managing HL, PIR Intro, Criterion, Why History Is Cyclical and Cold, Dark Definitions

The HL Team is, so far, comprised of the following individuals: Desmond J. Watson (Chief Executive Officer, Founder); Zheng Zhai (Electrical Engineer); and Robert Kulver, Ph.D.(Staff Research Scientist: Computational Physicist). I am growing increasingly ecstatic everyday about the evolution of HL; from one independent researcher to a team of three (so far). More will be joining the team between now and December.

With my position, currently, I’m the one that’s bringing people in and making them a part of the team–and I have to stress this point because of the fact that there is a very strong bias against engineers and scientists in the executive boardrooms of various companies. Engineers and scientists have to practically claw their way through the door and it’s mostly because your common corporate executive is admittedly intimidated by them. They’re afraid that an engineer or a scientist will speak on a matter in which will leave the corporate executives feeling incompetent about, resulting in sheer absent-mindedness. Having someone in upper-level management that has the technical background coupled with managerial skills is a rarity–about as rare as a hen with teeth. Occasionally, someone like this will pop-up from out of nowhere. I’m not quite from this elite group but perhaps HL is the testing ground. Some of the best in management fall under this category. The rest–fall under an entirely different category. These tend to think that management is a separate profession and that they do not have to have at least high-level competencies in what they manage. They end up making the wrong decisions, and when those wrong decisions result in backfiring, they’ll turn to the team they manage to get them out of that mess.

As HL‘s Chief Executive Officer, it’s amongst my top duties to make sure that I bring aboard the best in management to secure the foundation of this company that engineers, mathematicians, programmers and scientists build. So far, I’m the only one in management. It is my responsibility that management doesn’t degrade and devolve into placating political masters. However, it takes a talented person to handle a situation that calls for such exceptional managerial skills. But even the most inept of management neophytes, by dint of constant experiential development and mentoring, will improve over time–with a proviso. By proviso, I have to emphasize that just because someone is intelligent, and even perhaps exceptionally technical, that leadership and management is a whole new ballgame that requires a different approach in skill-set. Do know that leadership is not a bad thing but you have to understand how the world around you works. People tend to gloss over this very simple yet pertinent step and this is why we end up with sociopathic ignoramuses who will posture themselves well enough to give off a good, first impression and who will then promptly realize that they have no useful ideas or “skills” nor even have the mental turpitude to achieve any goals they had set forth to reach. Yet, nobody seems fit to call them out on this. Their piling failures should be allowed to come back to haunt them but they don’t. Instead, blames is placed elsewhere while they waltz into another situation in which they perpetrate their natural-born stupidity all over again. If you produce a poor environment, you’ll end up with poor results.

We do not live in a world that’s comprised of societies (plural) in which only ideas and “skills” count. Criterion of that nature means you still end up losing. If someone has a theoretical physics Ph.D., that does not mean that he/she has extraordinary skills in theoretical physics or even creative with theoretical physics. An an employer, it would be ridiculous if there was a rule that said that I could only hire individuals that fall within the top 10-percentile of the Gaussian curve when it comes to skills in, let’s say, physics. The reason why is because when it comes to “ideas” and “skills”, you have to ask exactly what “ideas” and what “skills”. I did not write the book on mathematics and science but I do set the standard for HL by bringing in those that have set the standards during their years of experience [of setting the standards for mathematics and science]. In spite of my grasp on economics, I do think that R&D pertaining to scientific research is critical for economic growth–and also for inspiring the younger generation to have an interest in mathematics and science, however, rather than promising some slice of Heaven in the future, one would have to be sincerely honest and tell them that by marching into mathematics and science, they are marching into the unknown. I’ll take it upon myself and remove the uncertainty around “unknown” and reiterate what I stated last month pertaining to the United States’ anathema towards R&D and say that the U.S. is twenty-years behind schedule insofar as progressing from a currently stagnating 4th-level economy (Technology) to a 5th-level economy (R&D) goes.

You get more social respect doing things differently than doing things the exact same way as someone else did before you. This is the same fashion by which history operates. History does not repeat itself; but it does rhyme. One thing about history is that people tend to matter. Allow me to connect this with science: my fascination with United States history, particularly between the 1860s and 1890s because that is the time period in which the U.S. began its evolution into the superpower it became in the 20th Century. Concerning BRIC (or, BRICS), you can see the similarities pertaining to China. Referring back to the evolution of the U.S., just take a look at how the public university system was set-up. What was the Civil War literally about? It was a clash between two irreconcilable visions on how the United States should be developed. One vision was based on machines and industry; the other was based on agriculture. Needless to say, the industrial monster won. You all do know that the Homestead Act was passed by Congress immediately once the South seceded, right? This created land grants which propped up an institution like MIT.

The best way to avoiding entrapping future generations is to clarify the meaning behind the definitions, especially as they pertain to specific fields in science. Just because someone is “skilled” in theoretical astrophysics it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be strong in statistics or time series analysis. Applying definitions to fields of study by the kinds of tools utilized and skill-sets employed will give an entirely different set of boundaries that might become useful when it comes time for finding a job. When things are broken, it’s useful to look at definitions of words to see if they make any sense. You’ll run into problems if you don’t take it upon yourselves to question the definitions of words. Being trapped by those definitions can result as one of those problems. Also, bear in mind that just because we have definitions doesn’t mean that we have to have your specific definitions. You are coming up with a definition per se, and I’m interested to see if you have anything that can justify that definition. As an example, look at how some people define success: most see it as gaining fame and fortune; someone such as myself define success as reaching higher points in life until you hit the ceiling…and then you die.

The universe is a cold, dark, depressing place and if you go all in with wide-eyed anticipation, you will never survive. I find it extremely relaxing.

Desmond

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