Incidental Genius

With apologies to Ed Nather:

The most perfect checkin comment I ever saw
was a few years back, at Juniper.
An engineer named Dan,
not related to your humble scribe,
was making a fix
to the way the routing engines in a redundant system
resolved the question of which one was active
and which one was standing by.

Reading his one-line summation of his efforts,
I thought to myself:
Here is the essence of wisdom.
Here are words that might have sprung
from the pen of his countryman Machiavelli.

Do not declare yourself master until you have become master.

Neil Gaiman once said
That one of the hallmarks of good fiction
Is the way it leaves room for things to mean
More than they literally mean.
Which is true as far as it goes.
But it turns out to be true
of more than just fiction.

Over the years I’ve had frequent occasion
to appreciate the reminder
that prudence and humility
are so often one and the same.

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