You can't tell people anything?

I almost cried when I read this. Okay, I didn't almost cry, but I was 11% of the way toward crying. Had there been tears, they would have been those bittersweet kind that come when you realize the world is more complex and crazy than you're capable of dealing with, and that you should just let that burden slide off your back and sink into the swamp. Or something.

A Hopeful Vision

Here's the scenario: you look at the world around you and you see so much that's wrong. But the solutions are simple, elegant, and staring you in the face. If idea X and idea Y were implemented, things would improve. Nay, the world would open up like a flower and utopia would descend on us all. All you need to do is implement X and Y.

The Harsh Reality

Unfortunately, there's the minor detail of other people. They have to get on board with things. Okay, so you just explain your idea. Hmm, they seem hesitant, even a little defensive. That's weird. So you write up a bunch of proposals and examples and exhortations. Perhaps you even chide a little. Pain ensues. Years of pain. Then you realize, after your spirit has been broken and the fires of your creativity have all but gone out, that people don't get it. And by "it" I mean whatever you're trying to get them to understand. People heart-wrenchingly, bone-headedly, refuse to get it. Nay, they dig their hooves into the dirt and resist, at all costs, getting it. It's all explained much better here: You can't tell people anything.

The upshot is that a good talker, that guy who can "sell the idea," can coax people, by sheer force of personality, to play along. When the idea begins to unfold, then people start getting it. Unfortunately, I'm not the most charismatic person on the planet, so I'm often relegated to the role of hoping charismatic people have good ideas.

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About

My name is Greg Reimer and I'm a web technologist for the Sun.COM web design team.

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