Why Miles Dyson from Terminator 2 is my Role Model

Myles Dyson Gamification Why Miles Dyson from Terminator 2 is my Role Model

Myles Bennett Dyson is my Hero

Most of the time, a person’s role model or hero from a movie is the main character, his/her master, or the loyal supporting character (and sometimes the Villain).

For those of you who have seen Terminator 2 (If you haven’t, I strongly urge you to stop reading this blog and go watch it. Not for my sake but for yours), you might be a bit suprised why I chose Miles Dyson as the role model. It’s true, in a film that is action packed with robots killing each other with big weapons, Miles Dyson does play the role of the wimpy scientist that is powerless and unrespected.

But if you looked deeper into his character, you’ll find that he is actually one of the most respectable people you may know.

Miles Dyson is one of the smartest and richest men with a heart

To start off, Miles Bennett Dyson is one of the smartest people on the planet. He is the one that would create the super computer that would later become Skynet and the Terminators. He has ultimate science authority in Cyberdyne, is super rich (you can check out his big house/pool in the movie), and is completely passionate about what he’s working on, much like most entrepreneurs.

Besides the brains and wealth, he is a man with a heart. There was shown a scene where his wife and kids wanted him to take them to Raging Waters, but he was glued onto his computer because he was “this close” to making the biggest technological breakthrough for mankind. After some loving patience from his wife, he was willing to stop working on it and take them out to play.

Now I know for most people out there, what’s so special about taking a break from work and hanging out with your family on weekends? However, some of you may know that when you are working on a project/problem/startup that you are completely passionate about, it absorbs you into a totally different world that makes you think about it 24/7, and it’s difficult to keep your hands off the project. Miles Dyson was able to take a break from it because he truly loves his family. He is a package of brains and heart, wealth and respect. Life can’t get any better.

Yea he’s a cool guy. So what?

Here’s the real story that makes me respect him. In the movie, Sarah Connor tries to kill him because she wants to prevent him from inventing Skynet in the future and destroying much of mankind. After being convinced of what she said was true (by seeing a real terminator), he IMMEDIATELY makes the determination that they must destroy his work. He tells them that they can’t just destroy his work at his house, they must go to the Cyberdyne headquarters and destroy everything there. He instantly makes a decision to drop his high status in society and become a criminal in order to save the future.

This ability to drop EVERYTHING and do what is right…THAT is respectable. He was just about to prove himself to be the top influential genius in the world with this thing he’s been working on day and night for over a decade, and once he realizes that this “could” destroy the future of mankind, he instantly decides to abandon all of it, including his life. That’s character right there.

In the movie, after being shot at and explained why they wanted to kill him, he said, “I feel like I’m gonna throw up. You’re judging me on things I haven’t even done yet. How were we supposed to know?” as if in this moment the biggest concern of his is that his character has been personally insulted.

And backing up that pride about his character, right after he knows it, he jumps to the conclusion: “There’s no way I’m going to finish the new processor now. Forget it. I’m out of it. I’ll quit Cyberdyne tomorrow…We’ll have to destroy all the stuff at the lab, the files, the disk drives and everything I have here. Everything.”

Being smart or attractive is not based on your own merit, but doing what is right is

If I have been working on a truly world-changing startup for over ten years, and was on the verge of finishing it, and then suddenly a crazy woman tried to shoot me and tell me that it will destroy the future of mankind, even if I was convinced, I don’t know if I would be able to just drop everything and destroy it.

Yes, a gun is pointing at me, but I might just pay lip service, or try to secretly keep a backup file for myself to use after this craziness. If anything, I would try to reason with myself, “the future was destroyed not because I invented this, but because it was put to wrong use. We can just stop the government from making the stupid decision on putting Skynet in charge of all the computers! Since I am the lead on this, I would be able to directly influence how it is used.”

Whatever it is, I don’t know if I could do it as thoroughly as Miles Bennett Dyson. I might still destroy everything, but it will take me much longer to get to that conclusion, especially when it involves potentially risking my life.

Toward the end of the movie, when the Terminator was destroying everything, Miles Dyson asked the Terminator to pass up the axe (that was pretty much his only demand to the Terminator in the whole movie) because he wanted to destroy the main processor himself. Holding the axe, he says, “I spent so much time on this…” And then he goes full force into destroying it. You could see his hardened heart shatter to pieces while he is doing it, like a person who is killing his baby knowing the baby will grow up to destroy the world. How many people can do that?

What about you?

Do you have heroes that are non-intuitive and whom might surprise people? I’d love to hear about’em. Please share them in the comment section!

6 comments
Eric Schulman
Eric Schulman

This post is amazing. I write non-disclosure, personal (non public-used) weaponized exploits for commodious use software in the wild and have been a fan of Dyson for years. His methodologies and ethics portrayed by James Cameron & William Wisher Jr. have driven my research for a long time. You are awesome for understanding and feeling the same.

Yu-kai Chou
Yu-kai Chou moderator

Haha, thanks! I'm glad someone else feels the same! Unfortunately this remains a lonely post for me. How did you stumble upon it?

I'm also interested in the stuff you are working on. Sounds intriguing ;-)

Brad
Brad

I like to pretend that him and the actor's character from Speed are twin brothers! LOL

Yu-kai Chou
Yu-kai Chou

Hahaha, I haven't seen that yet. I should!

Olina
Olina

Love this blogpost, especially the 'heart' part! You are right---The ability to drop EVERYTHING and do what is right…THAT is respectable.

Yu-kai Chou
Yu-kai Chou

Haha, I agree. Very tough and respectable.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] It all starts here. Your Core. Without your core, you are easily swayed by others, you become a product of conformity, and you cannot be a leader. Your Core is what stops you from being an NPC (Non-playable character) and allows you to become the Hero. (Here’s my hero btw) [...]