Tuesday, November 15, 2005

For some reason I find this article intensely annoying and depressing.

Here's why. I'm one the (possible minority) of people on the planet who if I ask what you do, am genuinely interested in what you do.

Not because I'm a cuddly people person, (though, of course, I am), but because I'm intensely curious about the way the world works. Every damned bit of it. I'm curious about the bits of the world you wouldn't dream anyone might be curious about. About the fashionable and unfashionable bits. The grand scale and the minutae.

Recently I was sitting with a bunch of friends discussing whether you'd rather drink with a philosopher or a dentist. The unanimous opinion was philosopher. But for me, I know it was a close call. And now I'm wondering if that was the right decision. You see, I know a small bit about philosophy. But hardly anything about dentistry. What might I be missing?

Exciting ideas are ideas that cross-pollinate from one field to another. If you don't know the field, how do you know what's useful?

That's why if I ask you what you do, I want you to tell me what you do. I can figure out myself far better than you can how that might (or might not) be useful to me in one of the dozens of projects I'm involved in that you don't even know about. You trying to second guess that, is just going to muddy the signal.

Look! This is a world where markets are conversations, and information and attention are the true mediators of commerce. And "sales technique" is just noise getting in the way of real communication. These sound-bite examples given in the article are the conversational equivalent of pop-up ads.

What's really annoying is that it's articles like this, pedaling this kind of nonsense, that are responsible for the crap that gets continuously sprayed out over real conversations : whether online or in real life.
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