It seemed like a good idea at the time


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One of my grad school profs was fond of saying “it seemed like a good idea at the time” when asked why he’d done something. It’s all about finding an idea that really is a good idea. That should mean something to anyone whose grant was just funded, and it means even more when the grant is renewed. The thing that’s implicit here is that it’s not easy to know if it’s good – or saying it in another way – hindsight is nearly always better than foresight. It reminds me of the old (and bad) joke where the answer of the question: “Do you have any ID? is: ID? About what?