Saturday, October 8, 2011

#281 / Master And Commander

I am a big fan of the historical naval novels of Patrick O'Brian, including specifically Master And Commander. I greatly enjoyed the movie, too, staring Russell Crowe.

One of the things I like most about the books is the "command" that sets actions in motion. In my recollection, after discussion, the command is articulated just like this: "Make it so."

I guess that Captain Jean-Luc Picard uses that same phrase, as he "sets in motion some bold strategy or desperate gamble" on the starship Enterprise.

This is, in fact (and not just in fantasy or fiction), how we create the world we most immediately inhabit. We decide what we want to do, and then we tell ourselves: "Make it so."

Our possibilities are unbounded, within the world that we create. Whatever we hope, whatever dream, we can always tell ourselves to "Make it so."

Sometimes, we succeed.


  1. It appears that "Make it so." is an expression of hubris. No one makes it so, but humans can attempt to act in a general direction. I wonder if this is not British generally and British navy particularly in a sea of hubris.

    The commander may also mean to try to follow my instructions as best you can.

    Consider President Obama's direction on Guantanimo, Don't Ask-Don't tell and withdrawal from Afghanistan. We stumble along in unexpected ways. Certainly, ship attacks are similar in their uncertainty.

  2. I definitely agree that "Make it so" could be easily transformed into an expression of hubris. And so it mainly is!


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