Trust and Performance

Apologies in advance for another business-oriented post, but it ties in well with the latest McGilchrist content. Simon Sinek is the presenter, and he asks how the Navy pick the members of Seal Team Six—as he says, “the best of the best of the best of the best,” which happens to align with the way my toddler might tell me how very, very, very, very much she likes something.

Simon is an adept communicator with a high woo factor, but this isn’t about him. I’ve cued this video to a place where Simon illustrates the assessment mindset employed to separate the wheat from the chaff in the minds of the Navy command. I’ve effectively recreated the chart Simon draws, and I use it as a reference.

Performance is on the Y-axis and Trust is on the X-axis. Effectively, they assess competency on and off the battlefield, respectively. He describes Performance as capturing “Do I trust you with my life?” and Trust as “Do I trust you with my money and my wife?” Perhaps he’s reflecting the sentiment of the generation managing the Seals. Not judging.

His point is that no one wants an untrustworthy low-performer (bottom left) and everyone wants a trustworthy high-performer (top right). He goes on to say that high-performing, low-trust members are toxic to the team. The team is better off with a relatively moderate performer that is otherwise trustworthy. I suppose the rest is a wash.

Performance is typical left-hemisphere fare: how much, how many, how fast, and so on. Companies have a million and one ways to measure performance.

Trust is a resident of the right hemisphere. This is an intuition and can’t be measured.

As Simon points out, even without explicit metrics, if you ask each team member who’s the highest performer, they’ll all point to the same person. Correspondingly, if you ask who’s the most trustworthy, they’ll all point to the same person as well. I can’t say that I trust this judgment, and thankfully, they do document whatever performance measures they have determined are appropriate. This option is not available for trust, so they have to rely on intuition. I don’t know if they also rely on consensus. I will grant that if all of the members do point to the same person as having the highest level of trust–presuming some performance threshold has been met–and the goal is to find a leader for that team, this person would make a fine leading candidate. If this person happened to be the highest performer then great, but being the best leader doesn’t require being the highest performer.

A sports coach doesn’t even need to excel at the sport s/he is leading. Their function is to motivate and inspire the team. Of course, in the case of the seals, I’m presuming this role is more of a player-manager. Still, the cohesion factor should be taken into account.

Trust is a heuristic that can’t be measured, and it’s fairly simple to find examples of people who appeared to be trustworthy but turned out not to be. It’s also conceivable that a trustworthy person may be misunderstood and perceived as trustworthy.

My question relates to the object of trust. When I think of police officers in the United States, I think that their trust is in each other, but at the expense of society. So they will generally protect each other even when they are morally and legally in the wrong. This is not the trust we want to foster for the public good. But since in my opinion policing is not about the public good but rather maintaining the status quo power structure, this is not a problem for their hiring managers.

Bang the Jrum Slowly!

I was riding a chrain down a shchreet banging a jrum and eating shrimp.

Podcast: Audio rendition of this page content

If you keep up with English language morphology—and let’s be honest here, who doesn’t?—the opening sentence is a phonetic respelling of ‘I was riding a train down a street banging a drum and eating shrimp’ but for a new generation. Dr Geoff Lindsey created a video, which includes material drawn from his book English After RP: Standard British Pronunciation Today. But don’t be fooled by the RP reference. There is plenty of relevance to the shifts in General American English if ever there was such a thing.

As noted previously, the principle of least effort tends to be a guiding factor for language morphology, and we’re witnessing the conservation of effort driving this shift.

Technically, what’s happening is that, traditionally, we performed some lingual gymnastics gliding (or not) from an alveolar consonant to a post-alveolar shift. The new fashion is to shift the entire structure into a post-alveolar space. Lazy wins. Of course, I’ll expect to hear from vocal prescriptivists, the traditional grammar Nazis, who will insist, “If I see a T in train, I’m going to pronounce it like a T, dammit. No ch-ch as in choo-choo for this ‘adult’.”

I’ve summarised the italicised words in a table.


Traditionally—which is to say the language spoken by older native English speakers—, the consonant clusters are pronounced pretty much as written. One would pronounce the T or TR in train; the DR in drum; and the STR in street. Shrimp had already made the shift, so we can think of it as a trendsetter.

Notice how the T in train shifts to a CH sound (/t͡ʃ/) or how the D in drum shifts to a J sound (/dʒ/). As the video shows, Michelle Obama is a bit ahead of the change curve, as she’s already shifted the S in street to a post-alveolar-friendly Sh Ch (/ʃt͡ʃ/), replacing the ST with a Sh-Ch combination, the S becoming Sh and the T becoming Ch. This trend has not caught on more broadly, but it seems it may be inevitable and allows us to keep this in a nice and tidy box.

In the video, there is a clip recounting a story of a seven-year-old just learning to write (and evidently into Star Wars) who wrote the following.

IMAGE: Watch out for the stormtrooper as written by a 7-year-old native English speaker

Notice that he is trying to capture a quasi-phonetic rendition of the word TROOPER that he hears (correctly) as CHROOPER. Again, this might cause grammar Nazis to go on a rampage. I don’t expect any spelling back-formation reformation to follow suit. We’ll just add this to the “English is not a phonetic language and has a lot of spelling exceptions” adage.

If you are a native English speaker, is this something you notice? If you speak English as a second language, have you noticed this trend? Which camp are you in? Old school or new school?

English Weak Forms

I have been so utterly distracted by YouTube this weekend. In this case, it’s a video by Dr Geoff Lindsey explaining weak forms of the English language.

Podcast: Audio rendition of this page content

Much of my work life involves speaking either with non-native English speakers or speakers of English who may be quite well versed in English and yet have a certain rigidity in their execution. Along with local accents, this makes the language feel unnatural to a native speaker.

A common challenge is the adoption of weak forms. Following the principle of least effort, language speakers are lazy. In fact, one may extrapolate this morphology to predict where language may drift next. One example that comes to mind is the American habit of uttering flap Ts over ‘real’ Ts that require slightly more effort to produce.

In English, one says the words, butter, water, doctor, and sister as /ˈbʌtə/,/ˈwɔtəɹ/, /ˈdɒktə/, /ˈsɪstə(ɹ)/ whilst in American English, using the flap T sound, one says (respelt in parentheses) /ˈbʌdəɹ/ (buhd-er), / ˈwɔdəɹ/ (wahd-er), /ˈdɔkdɚ/ (dok-der), /ˈsɪsdər/ (sis-der). Whether the pronunciation of the R is rhotic or non-rhotic is another issue altogether.

But this is about something a bit different. It’s about weak forms, particularly vowels that can be weakened from the strong vowel sound to the shwa (/ə/) sound. It turns out that we do this a lot. In fact, more often than not. Rather than a rehash from the video, I’ve cued it to where Tom Hiddleston recites Lord Byron’s So We’ll Go No More a Roving.

So, we'll go no more a roving
   So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
   And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
   And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
   And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
   And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a roving
   By the light of the moon.

As it happens, much of the difference between native English and English as spoken by non-natives is the hyper-diction heard by choosing the strong rather than the weak form of certain words.

Seeing the World As It Is

Cubism reminds us that we don’t see the world as it is. We see pieces, and we fill in the gaps. From the front, we can’t see the back. From the top, we can’t see the bottom.

Video: YouTube Video

The illusion that, if we can see something clearly, we see it as it really is, is hugely seductive.
John Ruskin makes the point that clarity is bought at the price of limitation. He paints a scenario wherein we are asked to imagine viewing an open book and an embroidered handkerchief on a lawn. From a quarter mile away, the two are indistinguishable. Moving closer, we can see which is which, but we can neither read the book nor trace the embroidery. Closer still, we can read the text and trace the embroidery, but we can’t see the fibres of the paper or the threads of the kerchief. And we can’t simultaneously focus on both and see detail in each. Focusing on the book, we can look closer and see the watermark, the hills and dales in the paper’s surface. With a microscope, we can see more still, as infinitum.

But at which point do we see it clearly?

I’ve created a YouTube short. I have to admit that I dislike the format. Sixty seconds isn’t really enough time to convey a concept. There’s too much missing context, and no time to elaborate. Nonetheless, I was reading The Master and His Emissary and wanted to share a point. I don’t feel I succeeded. I posted it anyway, and here it is.

To Be or Not to Be (Free)

I recently posted a YouTube Short video titled You Have No Free Will, but this is still debatable.

Video: You Have No Free Will

The premise of the belief in free-will is that human decisions are made approximately half a second before we are conscious of them, and then the conscious brain convinces itself that it just made a choice. This sounds pretty damning, but let’s step back for a moment.

Podcast: Audio rendition of this page content

If you’ve been following this blog these past few months, you’ll be aware that I feel the question of free will is a pseudo-question hinging primarily on semantics. As well, there’s the causa sui argument that I’d like to ignore for the purpose of this post.

There remains a semantic issue. The free will argument is centred around the notion that a person or agent has control or agency over their choices. This means that how we define the agent matters.

In the study this references, the authors define the agent as having conscious awareness. Since this occurs after the decision is made, then the person must have had no agency. But I think an argument can be made that the earlier decision gateway is formed through prior experience. Applying computer metaphors, we can say that this pre-consciousness is like embedded hardware or read-only logic. It’s like autopilot.

In business, there are various decision management schemes. In particular, the conscious but slow version is for a person to be notified to approve or deny a request. But some decisions are automatic. If a purchase is over, say 50,000 then a manager needs to sign off on the request. But if the purchase is under 50,000, then the request is made automatically and then the manager is notified for later review if so desired.

I am not saying that I buy into this definition, but I think the argument could be made.

You might not know it by the number of posts discussing it, but I am not really concerned about whether or not free will really exists. I don’t lose any sleep over it. At the same time, I tend to react to it. Since I feel it’s a pseudo-problem where tweaking the definition slightly can flip the answer on its head, it’s just not worth the effort. On to better things.

Some Republican Perspectives

No, as Robert Smith quips, not the so-called Republican party in the United States. Real Republicans. The consensus seems to be that Queen Elizabeth served the role admirably and well. For most people, she was just the figurehead of an institution. Sure, the institution carries a lot of baggage, but she was mostly not complicit in creating more. She was pretty much a likeable mum.

But as with benevolent dictators, we don’t know where the benevolence ends. Why not just stop here and not keep rolling the dice? I don’t suppose that Charles has the same brand cache. In any case, family lineage is no system of succession—in State or Commerce, I might add. The world needs fewer dynasties, not more.

In this first piece, world-class writer, Philip Hall, shares his perspective on the dissolution of the Monarchy.

Bring the powerful to heel, don’t glorify monarchs and privilege

by Philip Hall (ARS Notoria)

The idea that Charles III is divinely appointed to rule over us is ridiculously far-fetched. Yet, ultimately, it is the metaphysical idea of the divine right of kings that gives King Charles III his political legitimacy… (click image to continue)

In the next video, Alex O’Connor (AKA Cosmic Skeptic), has some thoughts of his own on the monarchy.

On a lighter note, the Cure’s Robert Smith tells us how he really feels in this compellation compiled in 2021.

If you have any comments, I’d love to hear them—rather, read them, but you know what I mean because you’re clever like that.

Left-Brain, Right-Brain

The hemispheres of the brain have functional differences. I created a short-form video on YouTube, so it’s less than 60 seconds.


If you see a face in this image (in the accompanying video), you can thank the right hemisphere of your brain. The right hemisphere is about unity and the whole—a Gestalt. It fills in missing pieces to construct a whole. And it’s usually pretty good at it.

Think of the right hemisphere as Zen. It’s about experiencing the world as presented. It experiences the world without judgment, without attachment, without naming. It’s about openness and options.
The left hemisphere is about division and parts. Where the right hemisphere wants to open up, the left wants to close down. And it’s about creating maps and symbols, then re-presenting these.
Where the left hemisphere of the brain is focused on the trees, the right hemisphere sees the forest or the woods.

The left hemisphere is what creates our sense of self and individuality whilst it would probably not be unfair to characterise the right hemisphere as the Buddhist notion of selflessness and an undivided universe, where ‘self’ is an illusion.
The left hemisphere is literal whilst the right is metaphoric. It is also the realm of poetry and empathy.

Moral Binaries

At heart, I’m an Emotivist. Following Ayer, I don’t believe that morals (and their brethren ethics) convey more than, “I like this, and I don’t like that.” Stevenson’s Prescriptivist extension makes sense, too: “I think this is good, and so should you.”

It seems that Hilary Lawson and I share this perspective. He makes the further point, one I’ll surely adopt, that morals and ethics are effectively ‘designed’ to shut down argument and discussion. It’s akin to the parent telling the kid, “Because I said so”—or “because it’s the right thing to do”.

Podcast: Audio rendition of this page content

I’m a moral non-cognitivist, but people have difficulty enough grasping relativism and subjectivism, so I’m only going to reference moral relativism here. As a moral relativist, right and wrong were both subjective and contextual. One person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist. I won’t derail this with obvious examples. Once one adopts a position, they enjoy the luxury of turning off any critical thinking.

I’ll presume that morals predate religion and deities, but now that the thinking world has abandoned the notion of gods, they’ve replaced it with morals and ethics—and nature, but that’s a topic for another day. The faith-based world retains a notion of gods, but that is fraught with the same relativism of my god is right, and your god is wrong.

As Hilary notes, we’ve transferred the authority, per Nietzsche, from gods to morals in and of themselves, so it again becomes a device for the unengaged. He notes, as I do, that some absolute Truth is a fool’s errand. Echoing Donald Hoffman, what we need is fitness—what Lawson calls usefulness—, not Truth, which is inaccessible anyway—even if it did exist, which of course it doesn’t.

He cites the position Wittgenstein arrives at in his Tractatus. There is and can never be a place where language—words and symbols—intersect with ‘reality’, so the best we can do is to talk about it in a third-person sort of way.

As I consider the works of McGilchrist, it feels like Lawson is establishing moral simplicity as a left hemisphere function. Seeing beyond this is a right hemisphere activity, so that’s not promising. There seem to be few right-brain thinkers and then it comes to convincing the left-brain crowd. In a poor metaphor, the challenge is rather like trying to convey the maths of special relativity to the same crowd. They are going to tune out before they hear enough of the story. The left-brain is good at saying, ”la la la la, la la, la”.  

Without getting too far off track, a major challenge is that systems of government and laws are facile left hemisphere-dominant activities. These are people in power and influential. Rhetoricians have right hemisphere dominance, but they understand that their power depends on defending the status quo that has elevated them to where they are. As Upton Sinclair said, “’It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” This holds true for women and non-binary others.

In closing, Lawson asserts that apart from comic book supervillains, people tend to do what they believe to be good, and yet all goods are not created equally, nor all bads. And in the manner that one person’s trash is another’s treasure, one person’s good is another’s bad.

This moral discourse is not benign. It’s dangerous. I don’t want to steep this in contemporary politics, but this is being propagandised in things like the Ukraine conflict or the Covid response. If you’re not with us, you’re against us. This is divisive and creates a rift. That governments are propagating this divide is even more disconcerting, especially when they unapologetically backtrack only a few months later in the wake of people suffering economic impacts, including getting fired, for opposing a position that has turned out to be wrong and that was being asserted in the name of science and yet with little empirical support. These people are politicians and not scientists but attempting to hide behind science like a human shield, it serves to erode trust in science. Trust in science is a separate topic, so I’ll leave it there.

I recommend watching the complete video of Hilary Lawson to gain his perspective and nuance. My point is only to underscore his positions and to say that I agree. What do you think about morals? Are they a device to assert power over others, or is there something more to it than this? If not moral, then what? Leave a comment.

Operant Chickens

As with chickens, humans can learn through reinforcement AKA operant conditioning.

In this video clip, we see a chicken learning that pecking a red circle yields a payload of food. Yet there is a problem with this algorithm. I don’t expect this study was meant to elucidate this point, but I’ll continue.

Except for one instance where the blue circle was pecked to yield nothing, the chicken learned that packing the red yielded a treat and so became fixed on seeking the red. What the chicken did not explore where the other colours—beige, green, and yellow. Perhaps these might have had a larger payout or a ‘better’ reward. Perhaps even a penalty or punishment, but I’ll ignore that eventuality.

The point is that through operant conditioning, the chicken is habituated. I feel that this is a metaphor for many such habituations in humans. People are indoctrinated (habituated) into all sorts of beliefs and behaviours, from the organisation of social and political systems to economic systems.

When I see people defending Democracy as Churchill did as “the worst form of government, but the best so far,” I can’t help but consider the parallels: Democracy is the red dot; capitalism is the red dot.

This not being a self-help blog, I’ll mention is passing the routines we get ourselves into that are analogous to this chicken—wandering through the world as if with blinders. The difference between a rut and a grave is the depth or dimensions. Are you in a rut on your way to the grave?

This is all I wanted to say. No chickens were harmed during the production of this blog entry.

VIDEO: The Truth about Truth

I wrote about this content in 2019, but I wanted to revisit it for a video as well as create a podcast audio version.

Video: YouTube version of this page content
Podcast: Audio rendition of this page content

In today’s segment, I am going to share my perspectives on the truth about truth. To start, I’ll let the audience know that I do not believe in the notion of truth. I feel the term is ill-defined especially in the realm of metaphysics and morality. I feel that when most people employ the word ‘truth’, what they mean to say is ‘fact.’ That a fire engine is red, for example, may be a fact, if indeed the fire engine happens to be red, but it is not true. This is a misapplication of the term. If you employ truth as a direct synonym for fact, then this is not what’s being discussed here, and perhaps your time might be better spent watching some content by the Critical Drinker.   

My argument is that truth is not objective. Rather it is subjective and perspectival. I concede that there may be some objective truth out there somewhere, but it is not and will not ever be accessible to us because of limitations in our sense-perception faculties and cognitive limitations. Per Aristotle, we only have five senses with which we can connect to the world, and these senses are limited. If there is anything out there that would require another sense receptor—a sense receptor not available to us—, we would never be able to sense it, to even know of its existence. Perhaps the universe emits 100 sense signals, but we are only capable of receiving and translating five. We’d be oblivious to 95 per cent of reality.

I am not making any claims that this is the case, but human cognition is so limited, that we can’t even conceive of what another sense might be. If you can, please leave a comment.

To be clear, I am not talking about senses we know other species possess. Bats may have echolocation, and sharks may have electroreception. Some animals may have greater sensory acuity—superior vision and auditory senses, olfactory and gustatory, tactile, or whatever. Some can see into infrared or ultraviolet light spectra. Technology that includes biomimicry provides humans with microscopes for the microworld and telescopes for the macroworld. We have x-rays and sonar and radar, radios and televisions that extend our senses, but these provide no new sensory receptors.

Like the story of the blind people and the elephant, we are left grasping at parts. But even if we are able to step back to view the whole elephant, to hear the elephant, to touch and smell or even taste the elephant, if there is more to the elephant, we cannot know it. The same goes for ourselves.

I know that some people might inject gods or psychic or paranormal energy into this void, and sure, feel free, but I am looking beyond these pedestrian concepts. What else might there be?

But let’s depart this train and head in a different direction. I want us to focus on the senses we do have. For the typical human, sight is our primary arbiter of reality, at least as defined idiomatically. We tend to believe what we see, and what we see, we assume as real—even if we are later mistaken. I guess that wasn’t a unicorn or a pink elephant. I must have been hallucinating or dreaming. I could have sworn that was Auntie Em.

There are several competing theories around truth, but I’ll focus on the Correspondence theory, which is simply put, the notion that, proxying reality for truth, human perception corresponds with the real world. And a pragmatist might argue that’s close enough for the government.

Keep in mind that historically humans have contorted themselves into making calculations. Remember how long people had been tying themselves into knots to show planetary motion in a geocentric system creating epicycles and retrograde motion to map understanding to a perceived reality.

One might even argue that we’ve progressed. It wasn’t true or accurate then, but now it is. And perhaps it is. Let’s look at some illustrations.

NB: Due to an editorial mishap, this paragraph was dropped in the podcast, hence dropped from the video, which shared the podcast audio source. As such, this image was also not used in the video. This is unfortunate, as it was meant to introduce those with limited maths knowledge to the asymptotic curve, as described. Apologies, and I hope this serves to orient any travellers who may have lost their way at this point.

In this first illustration, we see Truth (or relative truthiness) on the Y-axis and Time on the X-Axis. On the top, we see a threshold representing Reality. In the plane, I’ve rendered an asymptotic curve, where over time, we get closer and closer to the Truth. But we never quite get there. More on this later.

The next illustration will help to demonstrate what’s happening.

Notice there is a gap between the curve and the Reality cap. For one thing, we don’t really know where we are relative to Reality. In the case of the geocentric system, we might have been at the leftmost space. Once we determined that the system is actually solar-centric, we might have moved right on the curve to close the gap. We might be tempted to defend that we’ve finally reached the truth, but we’d have been equally willing to make the same defence from the geocentric position, so we need to be mindful of the past.

Perhaps, this last example was too obvious. We feel comfortable staking a truth claim—or at least a claim of fact. So let’s look at another example.

Let’s re-use the same axes—Truth and Time—, but rather than an asymptotic curve, let’s presume something more polynomial in nature—or not particularly cyclic. Rather than retrograde motion in planets, let’s visit the supposed progress of Newtonian over Einsteinian physics.

This takes a bit more setup but bear with me.  In this case, I have taken liberties and illustrated the Einsteinian physics gap to capture an inferior vantage on reality over Newtonian physics. Granted, I need to rely on a bit of suspension of disbelief, but in the bigger picture, I am trying to convey a scenario where some new paradigm puts the prior knowledge in perspective.

In this instance, both Newtonian and Einsteinian flavours of physics are based on a materialistic, particles-based model, which is where the modern physics consensus resides. But, let’s say that consensus changes in such a way that it is determined that something else underlies reality, say consciousness per Analytic Idealism as proposed by Bernardo Kastrup or per Integrated Information Theory (IIT) as advanced by Donald Hoffman and others. As with retrograde motion, we might end up finding that we were barking up the wrong tree. This might be a bit different because the particles are a directly perceived manifestation of the underlying consciousness, but I wanted to create a scenario where knowledge thought to have advanced actually regressed, but this wasn’t revealed until a new perspective was available.

Yet again, an important aspect of note is that we don’t actually know the distance between our perceptions and real Reality.

This last illustration builds upon the first asymptotic chart but has an in-built error margin meant to reflect language insufficiencies. There is some concept that people feel they grasp, but the consensus is not as unified as the group thinks.

I’ll share two examples, the first being the concept of justice. To me, Justice is what I deem a weasel word. It’s a word we commonly use, but it means different things to different people. To me, it’s a euphemism for vengeance by proxy, but for others, it transcends that and mirrors some impartial dispensation of just desert—some good old-fashioned law and order.

[Justice is] a euphemism for vengeance by proxy

Without getting stuck down some rabbit hole, my point is that if we aggregate these beliefs, the asymptotic curve represents an average consensus vantage rather than something as obvious as 2 plus 2 equals 4. On this note, allow me to clear the air.

Some viewers might be clamouring to say, “but 2 plus 2 equals four is true.” But this is tautologically true, which is to say that it’s true by definition. It’s a similar tautology to saying that it’s true that snow is white, or coal is black. We’ve already defined snow, white, coal, and black, so these may be facts, but they are true by definition.

Revisiting the chart, notice that there are two curves in the space. In this case, I illustrate competing truth claims from the perspective of an omniscient narrator. The case is whether the earth is an oblate spheroid or is flat. I am going to go out on a limb and assert the earth is spherical, as represented by the top blue curve—and we have some margin of error as to what that might mean. The bottom red curve depicts the perceived truth of the flat earthers, who also have some room for semantic error.

Given that I am presuming that I am in the right adopting the majority position—please be right—, the blue curve is closer to Reality than the red curve. Of course, in the event that the earth is really flat, then it proves my point that we don’t know where we are relative to truth, so we assume that the state of knowledge at any given time is what’s real.

Again, forgive my fanciful examples. Please don’t tell me that this spheroid versus planer earth is tautological too because you’d be correct, but I am already aware. They are just nonsensical illustrations. Nonetheless, I hope they’ve served to express a point.

I could have as well created curves that depicted two cohorts’ beliefs on the efficacy of tarot or astrology in predicting the future. I am sure that it might render somewhat like the last chart, but I’d also presume that both curves would have very low truth values as seen from an objective observer. Secretly, I hope tarot wins the truth battle.

Before I end our time together, I’d like to convey that for an Analytic Idealist, these charts might be more acceptable at face value. For a Realist, Naïve or otherwise, they may argue that this curve is not asymptotic and may in fact reach some tangency. I don’t happen to believe this is the case or I wouldn’t have spent my time assembling and presenting this. Time will tell. Or will it?