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I don't know why you would call what I describe detachment. Perhaps I am not communicating effectively.
It is fine to want a 10,000 square foot house. It is not fine to think that you NEED that house to the point that you feel that you have no choices in life. The ability to seperate our needs from our wants allows us to pursue the things we truely want, not the things that our culture tells us that we have to have.
I understand the real dangers of contentment without ambition. The ability to strive to make ourselves better, while still understanding how to be happy in the state we are in... it's a very delicate balance. It's the contentment that makes the striving a joy rather than an obligation.
Getting back to idealism versus realism...I think we would agree that a blend of idealism and realism is most healthy. A pure idealist may be totally ineffective because he/she is waiting for some great outcome that has no chance of occuring. A fatalist believes that things are bad and nothing can be done, and seeks no solution. I see myself as someone who recognizes that some things won't work (usually because I've tried them 5 times before), and looks in other directions to find a solution.
So, I am not advocating that we just throw up our hands and say that the telecom infrastructure can't be fixed. I will tend to poke holes in obvious solutions that I think stand very little chance of working because they keep smart people from looking for unobvious solutions that will work (does that make sense?).
On the flip side, I am not dumb enough to think that I am always right. I appreciate those like you who challenge me to help me see beyond my own experience.