22 December, 2019

Profile 138: Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver as flown by Lt. Curtis Cameron, VB-87

Are you a Knowledge person or a Wisdom person?

You'll do well to decide because it's important to know.  Ultimately, at least.

Yesterday morning, I got to spend some time with my first mentor. He's a 90 year old man of exceptional success, having lead innovation in many areas, some of which have probably affected you (yes, you!) at some point.

In the course of conversation, the question of "What do old men think about?" came up.

In other words, after life's trajectory—family, career, dreams, thrills, hobbies, failures, successes—has spent itself, what goes on in the mind of a man who knows time is on its last ticks?

The conclusion was puzzling, "knowledge and wisdom."

Naturally, when having discussions with mental giants, the terms had to be defined; great minds can sometimes slice concepts into thin ribbons of subtlety that knuckle-draggers like me don't appreciate. Whereas I ask for a beer, the connoisseur is perceiving the type of dirt in which the hops were raised...

Anyway.  We came to these definitions:

Knowledge is the gathering, processing and analytics of data, of information.

Wisdom is the application of knowledge—for lack of a better way—"...to People."

Eager for the 90 year old man's insight, I had to ask, "Which one is more important?"

** break break **

Above is my latest project.  A Curtis SB2C-4 Helldiver flown by a recipient of the Navy Cross.  The man and machine made their mark in history on July 24, 1945 when Lt Curtis Cameron struck the killing blow onto the Imperial Japanese Navy cruiser, "Tone" in Kure Bay, Japan.

The act of blowing apart a giant ship is one thing.  Doing so in a ridiculous machine is another.  That the story still lingers is yet, another.

The number of artifacts at-hand to support this drawing/story are extraordinary.  Be prepared to receive a rarified look into the times.  And, if I do my job right, the project will culminate in a public unveiling of my art by a woman who cannot speak of her father without bursting into tears.

I'm boggled; doing these drawings can be so complex...

But I've been given the roadmap for success with two destinations, vaguely marked.

One is "Knowledge."

The other, "Wisdom."

I have to choose wisely as they both lead to different ends.

The Navy Cross is one-step 'below' the Congressional Medal of Honor.
One doesn't get this award for sitting at a desk studying.
But it also isn't awarded for ignorance.
Life is complicated, eh?