The Smartest Guy in the Room

The Smartest Guy in the Room…

About me? I wish. Talking about my dad.

Bob Jones – Graduated with a Math degree on GI bill after WWII. Could answer almost anything off the top of his head, or using one of a handful of sliderules he owned. Worked most of his life in Aeronautics Engineering, then finished up as a one of the few of real estate brokers whose word was more solid than somebody else’s written contract. Smart, had integrity, unshakeable… the stuff heros are made of.

J. R. (Bob) Jones

One thing that always amazed me was the way he unflinchingly ignored the opinion of a crowd if he knew they were wrong. A gift passed from father to son, accidentally though it mighta been. I don’t recall him saying a word on the topic, he never had to, he lived it. To this day it doesn’t matter how large a crowd insists that 2+2=6 or somesuch nonsense… thanks to Dad I’ll still trust that it’s really 4 whether the majority present agrees or not.

Helluva theory, how’s it work in practice?

For what it’s worth I can attest that this can be a reeeally unpopular trait when you’re on a city commission and some consultant almost has everyone in the group baffled with bullshit… but bottom line, *Facts* just aren’t subject to a vote. Sometimes disagreeing with the crowd IS the only appropriate response.

Wait… Didn’t Lincoln Cover This Base Already?

In that vein, I might mention that just as a few still insist the world is flat, there are still a few in the directory world that think I’ve been “stealing” editors. Seriously… for something to be *stolen* you must *own* it. All I’ve done is offer some good people an opportunity, a chance to turn their skills into something for which they’re paid. Eventually we gotta get one of those “we own the volunteers” types to explain how they missed the whole “Emancipation Proclamation” thing. I was almost sure it made all the papers. Volunteers are people, not property.

But on the bright side…

Happily it appears the negative stuff has finally dwindled to a minority opinion. Many thanks to those broadminded types that helped get that across. Heck, the net’s a big place, it has room for at least two directories. If it starts to run outta space, hey, we’ll just use smaller fonts. :-) You guys still have one of the best directories on the net and some of the most dedicated folks I’ve ever worked with, and that too is a fact.

The Few, the Proud… the Nerd Herd

Like the Marine Corps… we’re still looking for “A Few Good Men” at BOTW (or women of course… I’m just shallow, not stupid) :-) . Of course anyone that thinks volunteering elsewhere makes ’em someone else’s *property* need not apply, but those with a brain are welcome to drop me a note at robjones@botw.org . Always happy to hear from you.

Meantime… to the few that still think there’s a conflict… naah. People oughta be able to share good fortune with friends, and I still consider a lotta folks at the old place friends. That’s a fact, and not subject to the opinion of anyone else.

Somethin’ I learned from the fella I’ll forever consider The Smartest Guy in the Room. :-)

I\'m Rob Jones... and I approve this message.

I’m Rob Jones, and I approve this message.

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5 thoughts on “The Smartest Guy in the Room

  1. Looks like I’d better tell the world that I did not leave the ODP for BotW! Nor am I editing for any other directory. In short the whole directory business has lost its grip on me. Not that I wish to discourage those who are still enjoying editing. Best wishes to both directories.

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  2. LOL, well Jean, despite occasional press to the contrary I don’t know anyone that actually left there for here (and never asked anyone to do it)… but unless you’ve found a good rehab program ya gotta relapse and edit somewhere eventually. Once addicted it’s hell to quit. :-)

    BTW – Somebody told me you were running around in sunlight, being productive, having a life, generally doing things you know just aren’t done… wanted to know if I’d tried to set ya straight. Told ’em I’d give it another shot when the restraining order lapsed. [Actually, I hear you’re kickin’ butt in the real world… congrats!]

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  3. Kudos to your father (and you, thanks to those “genetic trait” thingies) for being prepared and able to speak the unpalatable truth. Upholding one’s values and beliefs against a group takes guts, perseverance, and a very thick skin. I have the first, to be sure, but I sadly lack the third, and consequently ran out of the second. I’m sure your dad could make a formula out of that, and work out how long the average independent thinker can expect to survive in a hostile environment. ;-)
    As an aside, I think it is sadly hilarious that the use of misinformation and innuendo could be seen as a justifiable strategy in an organization which has always robustly defended itself against precisely those tactics when used by its detractors.

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  4. Don’t torture yourself Makrhod. You put your best efforts into the ODP for as long as you could, and those in a position to appreciate what you achieved were sad to see you go. You still have friends in there, I’m sure.

    The ODP is such a huge collective. All sorts of people have passed through it. One can focus on the bad, as so many of our detractors have, seeing one bad apple and assuming that the whole barrel is rotten. Or we can see the complex truth – always easier from the inside. From the outside I can’t say for certain, but I find it hard to picture all the thousands of editors (or even all the upper ranks) engaged in a ruthless search for scapegoats, falling upon those of us recently departed and rending our reputation with their teeth. One or two people might be inclined to do that, I grant you. Forgive them their frantic state. We are now out in the sunshine and don’t have their worries.

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  5. LOL – Hey Mak… if you didn’t grab a few pair of those handy Nomex shorts already, you can pick ’em up at an Army surplus store. [They’re scratchy but effective.]

    The point of the blog post was really just intended as an olive branch to old friends. When written I was blissfully unaware anyone might still be campaigning on behalf of what I termed a minority opinion. If so, no biggie, human nature’s a funny critter. Can’t disagree with your point of course, but life’s too short to worry about what somebody somewhere mighta said. I suspect most folks can weed thru that kinda stuff anyway.

    The folks I consider friends are still friends whether we’re hoeing the same row of corn or in different fields. Maybe I’m an optimist, but I doubt there’s a ton of folks that really feel otherwise. In the long run the high road is a cool place. Heck, it could even be more crowded than we know. :-)

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