I know the big shrimp are the most prized, but at least they are, as logic would demand, bigger than the little shrimp. So answer me this: how is it that a fat chance (as in . . . ‘Astros win the Pennant this year? Fat chance!’) is leaner than a slim chance? How is it, indeed, that a ‘fat chance’ is a chance that falls someplace between slim and none?
Chris Bourne, head of PR for Borealis, responds to Leslie Mercer’s posting: ‘We don’t believe it is wise to engage in a semi-public debate on company policy. Such a debate might even fall foul of the SEC disclosure rules, which is why we also avoid making semi-public statements on bulletin boards discussing our company. Most serious companies take the same view. I would much prefer it if people would write to me at email@example.com with these queries. Leslie, for example, has done a whole load of due diligence and has worried about this for nine months now, but has never in all that time contacted us to ask for an answer. If Leslie does, I promise a reply. Indeed, sometimes such replies find their way into our weekly report as well, which is constructed and distributed so that it does meet SEC disclosure regulations, and then everybody can have the benefit of them.’
Dan Nachbar: ‘It’s very hard to draw much of a conclusion from the ugly string of missed deliveries from Borealis that your other readers listed. Often with new technologies it seems like success is right around the corner – only to have the corner become a ‘mirage’ that continuously slips a little further away whenever it is approached. This is true whether or not the technology eventually turns out to be a success. I have heard this behavior referred to as the RSN (Real Soon Now) phenomenon. The RSN phenomenon arises (I think) primarily because inventors/innovators MUST believe that some kind of payoff is reasonably close at hand. Otherwise, how could anyone ever keep themselves in hot pursuit of such elusive goals – sometimes for decades? In other words, RSN arises from that foggy space between dedication and self-deception. It is by no means a completely bad thing. Without it, many of the world’s important inventions would never have been developed.’