Under-Appreciation, whatever it means

I once developed this small computer in college, probably the size of a matchbox or two, or maybe even smaller. It was one of my most remarkable invention, or at least for me it was.

For an engineering graduate, a project is a requirement on your final year for you to graduate. We never do thesis. Instead, we apply the things we learned in school to come up with a project worthy enough to earn us a degree.

So we started working on our final project. One guy worked with the analog sensors while I worked on my matchbox computer. The task was not simple. My computer should be able to read data from the five sensor, each sensors may transmit several bits of data, which I have to accommodate in a matchbox sized device. The matchbox computer enabled the system to process the data from the five sensors and transmit it via a serial communications device connected to a computer for display. My matchbox computer held the whole project together. It made the whole thing work.

Our professors were happy. The team received high grades. But the sensor guy received higher grades. The team received praises from the teachers. But the sensor guy received the awards and commendations.

The guy who made the whole thing worked, he was there. He was one of the guys who applauded when the other guy received his award.

Maybe it was too late for me to realise this. People only appreciate things they can comprehend. Otherwise, they don’t see the value of the great things that their minds cannot comprehend. Much worse, they’ll criticise you.

Steve Jobs was thrown out of Apple before he became the man that he was. The early scientists and philosophers have received a much worse degree of criticism because they spoke of the truth. People who don’t understand aren’t just unappreciative, they tend to criticise too. I’m pretty sure, we’re all guilty of under-appreciating the things we don’t understand.

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** sensor guy, pardon me for using you as an example