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Achaeans and stray dogs 17/01/2013 22:20 #41


Think of the Achaeans in big trouble in front of Troy, after long years of siege and painful losses being away from home. Unable to conquer Troy waging war with the then conventional methods. Nothing to do, Troy resisted. The way out was given by the genius of Ulysses, with the idea of the Trojan horse. Cunning, orthogonal to the common thinking. Like ideas leading to great discoveries.

The story of Homer is beautiful in itself and for the universality of the messages that brings and persist over centuries. It 'always so: the great difficulties can lead to great ideas.

The difficulties sharpen the ingenuity: the Trojan Horse,
Ceramic Amphora, Cyclades, ca. 670 BC, Archaeology Museum, Delos
Image Guide Martine

At your age, you can well feel being like brave Achaeans. Nevertheless, these days we all feel uncertain. You might not feel natural considering a comparison with the brave Achaeans. And then?
A good strategy to get the best is to start thinking about the worst. So let's think not to Achaeans but to an extreme case on the opposite side: stray dogs. By the way, sometimes we all feel a bit stray.

First of all stray dogs are nice, in the majority of cases. No comparison with the little dogs that, for nothing, angrily bark when you pass in front of the gate of their owner's property? No comparison with the growling dog in the Pompeian mosaic " Cave canem ".

Stray dogs are not aggressive to defend property. So aren't generally free animals that do not have an area to be protected. Even the sharks in the vast majority of cases are not aggressive: they approach you, they study your behaviour as you study their, good morning or good evening and it all ends there. The real wild animal is man.

Stray dogs simply live at their best. Let's get in their "shoes" and we realize that we also have to find ideas to live our lives at our best. We can do it incomparably better than dogs. We realize that good ideas can indeed come while we are in trouble, that comfort is nice but makes us fat and does not stimulate ingenuity, that creativity is the effective tool to get out of trouble.

At this point in the speech, I do not understand if I am talking about Achaeans, stray dogs or, in the back my mind, about creative persons doing Science.
Because Science is creativity followed by doing things, it's ambition to do and to know rather than to have power. Yes, Science can done by Achaeans as well as by stray people. Also because of this is beautiful.

There are so many discoveries or simply beautiful researches started in difficult collective or personal situations. Anyone who has lived long enough knows from experience that difficulties are overcome by creativity and that sometimes this leads to greater achievements. This is a message of encouragement to brightness supported by a deep preparation through studies and practical experience: ideas come to those who have the basic knowledge required to understand things.

P. Strolin
Professore Emerito di Fisica Sperimentale
Università di Napoli "Federico II"
Complesso Univ. Monte S. Angelo
Via Cintia - 80126 Napoli - Italy

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