Here's one of those things that's hard to figure, given that we haven't pinned down a workable time travel technology yet. Were all of the presumed yokels, bumpkins, and rustics who cultivated our genetic code down through the centuries really overawed, alarmed, shaken to the center of their being, moved to human sacrifice, and what have you, by the brief darkening of the sun for a few hours?
Our fictional narratives are fond of hewing to this particular picture. In Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, for example, the savvy accidental time traveler who narrates the story uses his historical knowledge of a famous eclipse to escape death and thereafter become the most powerful man in the kingdom. In the 1985 movie Ladyhawke, a magical curse is broken by a stunning midday eclipse.
This assumption of widespread discombobulation is particularly baffling given that, except in a narrow band of the daylight sky, there isn't really going to be all that much to see on Monday morning when our friendly celestial companion, Mr. Moon, briefly passes directly in front Mr. Sun. In most of the world, you won't even notice unless you have special eclipse glasses, and even at that alarmists are warning people not to look too long.
We may never know whether our distant ancestors were actually as straight-up terrified of a little old total solar eclipse as modern sensibilities presume them to have been. The worst that's likely to come of an eclipse in 2017 is congestion on the highways from procrastinators trying to drive to a good viewing site. But there's another sense of the word "eclipse" that should be on the mind of the average IT professional.
The pace of change in information technology is rapid. If you don't keep up with each successive new development, then you risk your personal body of knowledge being "eclipsed" by all of the continual rejiggerings, course corrections, and discoveries. That's why certification is so important to maintaining your professional standing and holding on to that great job with the nice salary and benefits.
Most certifications these days require renewal every few years. Cynics carp that the purpose of retesting skilled professionals is simply to hit them up for exam fees, but there is a benefit to the individual of recertification: An outside authority is watching the changes, writing them all down, and saying, essentially, "Here's what you need to know now to keep pace with the times."
If you're coming up on the recertification window for your A+, for example, or maybe your CCNA, then TestOut Continuing Education can help. Get a subscription to our training, plug all of the latest new developments into your mental computer, and then pass the exam (again) and get back to work. Don't let changing technology eclipse your IT career.
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