Re: Transhuman Beach Party
Tue, 7 Sep 1999 00:36:59 EDT

As a fellow who surfs quite frequently, I have a sharp eye for metaphorical abuse of the sport. Greg recently invoked it thusly:

>I often tell young
>people to think about surfing as a fruitful metaphor for how to approach a
>career: To be a good surfer, it seems you need three things: (1) to know how
>to surf; (2) a surfboard and (3) a wave.

To his credit, Greg did not commit the commonplace errors. Still, this point merits emphasis: Surfing entails a great deal more than just standing on a board and coasting in to shore.

Nobody can surf *in* until after they have finished the very hard work of paddling *out* past the breakers. That's why surfers typically have well-developed shoulder, chest, and arm muscles. Even that won't suffice, though. You also have to choose your wave carefully and, if other surfers wait nearby, engage in some strategic maneuvering to lay proper and sole claim to the break.

In short, the surfing metaphor works even better than most folks realize. To seize opportunity requires hard work, good judgement, and careful planning.

T.0. Morrow