Sunday, May 2, 2010
The fallacy of permanence
The Hoover Dam in all ways appears permanent. When it was just beginning to be built, the idea of doing just this, building something that would last "forever" was exciting. Much like the pyramids in Egypt that still stand today, the Hoover Dam exacts that much attention.
It is an odd power to be part of something that will seemingly outlast many lifespans. Envision now what the dam might look like thousands of years from now. Will it appear the same? Will it still be responsible for redirecting the Colorado River?
Another way to see the future of the Hoover Dam is through viewing the past lives of the men who built it. Could they possibly know that the dam they were erecting might someday be unnecessary? Who would have bet on that? And yes, the men building the dam were often gamblers, taking whole paychecks to a tent-casino and blowing it all in one night. But would they have bet on this fallacy of permanence?
The Hoover Dam operates at full capacity today. As much as we know of the past, we also know of the future. We do things and will continue to do things that hold promise. It's the promises we believe in. It's the promises we work toward.
It's the promises that keep standing long after we are gone.