Been a year (less a couple hours) since I saw the news that Lex had died.
The wheels of official investigation grinding slowly, we still don't know what happened, beyond the NTSB's brief preliminary report and some scattered informal accounts giving additional details which may be spurious.
And meanwhile, I've utterly failed to follow through on either of the inspirations that struck within a few days.
Inspiration #2: come up with an awesome technical solution to the problem of landing blind in a low-budget plane at a field that doesn't have all the right equipment. I actually did come up with what seems an entirely plausible concept; mass-produced, it would cost a few hundred bucks (plus several times that for installation), and I figure it would improve an experienced carrier pilot's odds in that situation from basically zilch to better than 80%. Trouble is: it would improve Joe Cessna's odds to maybe 20%... and probably be blamed for encouraging him to get into that situation in the fist place. So, not likely to be a viable product.
Inspiration #1: become more Lex-like. Not in the sense of flying jets, or embarking on a military career (you wouldn't believe how many waivers I'd need, and I don't think they even have one for members of the risk-averse community), but....
See, here's the thing about Lex. Apart from the interesting stories, he was a rare sensible voice in a mad world. And: he had a sort of Personal Decency Field that was reflected in his comments section. It's easy to keep a civil comments section when you have few commenters, or you allow only like-minded voices. But Lex had an active comments section, and while it was dominated by military types, random civilians, including lefties, could participate civilly. (As it turns out, the most persistently irritating contrary voice was actually a conservative in liberal guise, there to challenge prevailing assumptions. Sounds suspiciously like a training tactic, but it also helped keep things less unfriendly to those who actually held views outside the comment-section mainstream.)
Another thing I notice is that, despite an active career in which he interacted with a great many people and held positions of authority over some of them, it seems that he never made any personal enemies. De mortuis nil nisi bonum and all that, but I haven't heard anything negative about Lex in the past year, nor while he was alive either. A possible clue: a rare post on something he regretted. Once, as a young officer under a lot of pressure, he'd snapped at an enlisted man. A momentary breach of professionalism and courtesy: this was his big nagging regret.
While it's true that I haven't accumulated much in the way of personal enemies, I've mainly achieved this by never being in a position of authority, not having a lot to do with people and their issues, and generally running away and hiding when things get personal or political. This is the kind of stuff you can get away with when you're an engineer... but, if I'm to be an entrepreneur, I really need to develop the sort of people skills Lex had.
Inspiration #0, also not followed up on: do the analysis to support #1 in detail, and compose an epic post thereupon. (Sort of the antithesis of Cosmo Lavish's obsession with the outward trappings of Vetinari-ness.)