I was at a meeting this week of fellow researchers on a large project, and everyone was introducing themselves. One of the people in the room was from the large company that was funding the project.
When it was time for him to introduce himself, he said something that I thought was really delightful. Talking about how important it was for funding to happen seamlessly, without requiring us researchers to jump through too many hoops, he said:
“Every once in a while the man comes out from behind the curtain and you have to confront him, but for the most part we try to maintain the illusion.”
I think this is a wonderful statement of what we all really want in so many aspects of our lives: We know there is a man behind the curtain, and we are often very glad that he is there, doing things just out of sight. Of course the curtain is there for a reason — so we can all pretend he isn’t there.
And for the most part, we would prefer to maintain the illusion.