At PuppetConf I spoke with Tim Bell from CERN. He is an unbelievably brilliant man. I listened to him again the next morning as he gave his keynote for the conference. Much of his talk repeated the things he had mentioned the night before. But honestly, the content was so rich I didn’t mind listening again.
He spoke of the research that was taking place at CERN, how it was funded, and about his little sphere of control in the whole project. He talked about how Puppet was being used to help with his research and the research of others at CERN.
When he spoke about the projects taking place, about the things that are being researched, this brilliant man showed his utter inability to explain certain things that are happening, or have happened, in the universe. There are simply things that researches can’t explain. They have no idea why certain things happen the way they do. Of course, this inability to know is what fuels their quest to find out. They research to find the answers to the unknown.
I was really impressed with what seemed like this internal calm…to not know, yet be driven to find out. I usually hate not knowing things. I like to know. I like to have a full deck before a decision is made. But Tim, and his team, and the other researchers at CERN live in this perpetual state of not knowing certain things. And they seem to relish it. It drives them.
Listening to him was a timely reminder for me — to be comfortable yet driven by the unknown.