May 13, 2011

Being THAT GUY again

As Kate puts it, in making Star Wars I, II, and III, George Lucas

wasn't just trying to compete against directors like Ridley Scott and James Cameron (although he was doing that too), and he wasn't just trying to be rich and famous because he already was. He was trying to be THAT GUY again, the guy who came out of nowhere with a picture that wowed the world.

John Polkinghorne, a renowned professor of mathematics and theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge, resigned to become an Anglican priest. In the Q&A after the lecture, he explains (starting at 37:00) that by his mid-forties, he knew he couldn't be THAT GUY again--the brilliant scientist--and didn't want to stay beyond his "sell-by" date.

Polkinghorne also illustrates what's good about term limits and bad about tenure. He did return to Cambridge and became president of Queen's College, but after pursuing a completely different occupation in the real world. The feudal inclination to perpetual self-entitlement reveals itself most powerfully in politics and academia and must be disciplined.

Related posts

A thought about Lucas
More thoughts about "That Guy"

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