Mythbust #2: There’s a silver bullet

Okay, back to the wonderful Jaime and Adam:UNLEASHED show at Proctor’s in Schenectady. If you get a chance to see this show, do. I’m just gone on these guys and all the wonderful fodder they’ve given me for this blog.

Adam told another story about all of the jobs and pursuits of his late teens and young adulthood. He would become obsessed with something and get good at it, better than average, but never the best. He realized that would likely be his lot in life, to always be good, but not exceptional. Which was depressing.

Then he was hired by Jaime on a film (special effects), and over some time they began their Mythbusters journey. Adam realized that all of his better than average, all of his bizarre and diverse obsessions, all of his efforts in seemingly unrelated pursuits, were the perfect foundation for his career in Mythbusters. Nothing else in any other pattern would have prepared him as well. And Mythbusters has changed the world for many individuals in many ways, inspiring people to embrace science and be curious and unafraid of the process of figuring things out.

Nature is diverse.  She abhors mono-cultures and once a dominant species emerges, that lead is often short-lived due to overtaxing the feed-stock supporting that species. The lead species then weakens and dies off to allow great diversity again. Nature also likes many solutions to a problem, and encourages many results from one approach.  In the book Cradle to Cradle, encouraging new design/solutions, we are taught that nature is not efficient but she is highly effective. A cherry tree, for example, releases thousands or tens of thousands of seeds and only a few will germinate to become cherry trees. This could be considered inefficient, but the truth of its effectiveness lies in understanding there is no waste in this process. All the seeds that do not propagate are perfectly usable as food for animals or for the soil or for the tree itself. In fact, though this cycle seems undetermined and random, it’s messiness is brilliantly purposeful.

Sustainability also cannot rely on a single solution or the goals for a single outcome. We need diversity of experiences, inputs, ideas and implementations. We need a diverse cadre of people in a variety of circumstances to come together with their efforts and their passions. We need the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the physically strong and differently able all to weigh in on how to become resilient and to help us all understand the wide variety of shades of green we must employ. We need the bizarrely varied inputs of cultures and histories as well if we are to make true progress.

There is no “silver bullet” and if we waste our time looking for one, we will not have time enough to embrace all that we already know and every opportunity we are already facing.

Thanks for your diverse inputs,



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