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An Unlikely Lesson from a Strange Source...

So...I was watching Netflix's "Mind Hunters" and there was a line that struck me...

It is in Season 1, Episode 6. Agent Ford asks Agent Tench "What difference does any of this make if we can't communicate it to the people who matter?"

* for context, the show is about two agents who are trying to pioneer and incorporate behavioral psychology into the justice system while realizing that there work has potentially widespread application in all of society. However, they are frustrated in their attempts by a rigid, entrenched bureaucracy. Revolutionary ideology shaking up conservative ideology.

This seemed to be the problem I had the most- how to communicate effectively. How to engage people with what you have to say. I don't have an answer for you- I imagine it would depend on what it is you are trying to communicate. But I think the problem- or at least my problem- might have been that I am a one-sided writer. I push my ideas, but don't really consider the audience I'm pushing them to.

Agent Ford is somewhat like me. He's young, passionate, and idealistic, but he lacks force and real-world experience. As he goes along trying to teach his new ideas, he meets resistance. His eagerness seems to make him try to push harder, but succeeds only in making his audience either more confused and/or angry in the attempt. Agent Tench, however, is an older, experienced man. He's critical and cynical. If Agent Ford is the young, passionate explorer climbing through the jungles, Agent Tench is his burly sidekick- hacking away all the impractical obstacles and educating Ford on the practical dangers that lie ahead. Agent Tench fulfills the role of the wise old man in this story guiding the young hero along his quest.

This also made me think back to a blog post I had on this site recently where a reader commented on my writing. It was short, curt criticism that I'm not sure was actually criticism, but it was constructive and helpful nonetheless. There's a problem in how I come off. I'm not connecting.

When things go wrong in my life, mentally, I picture myself back in an empty basement, sitting down, wondering wtf just happened and how to fix it. That's kinda how it feels now...again. Regroup...rethink...apply what you learned...try again.

It seems slow though...

:sylvestertweety:

Comments

I must admit that I'd go along with tc here and much prefer your thoughts concerning real life but how far can a person go with that?
 
@ Kaminoshiyo, indeed. You can learn alot about a society by what it dreams about (or whatever the expression is). One of the most meaningful, useful things I've ever heard came from an Adam Sandler move, Fifty First Dates possibly, or Punch Drunk Love, or maybe it was Office Space starring Jennifer Aniston, the one where Gary Coleman's character goes "yeah, we're gonna need you to go ahead and move your office into the toilet, that'd be great", but anyway a character says "live life according to what you want, rather than what you don't want."

Can't find the quote anywhere, and google just reveals a bunch of Jesussayings, but it definitely left a ding.
 
Kaminoshiyo, I like your candid questioning of your own communication abilities. But I must assure you that we all do that! Are we really communicating our message effectively? Is it going to be understood or misunderstood? Is the language we are using, it is the audience we are addressing, is it clear, is it obscure, is it strong, is it weak? A hundred questions might plague us when we get, a)either no response, or b) an offended, angry response.
I know that I have offended people simply by opening my mouth, or rather, penning a sentence. When absolutely no offense was ever intended or implied in any way whatsoever. The thing about language is, and particularly the written word, that finer nuances of expression can be utterly lost, making our statements flat and one-dimensional, more susceptible to misunderstandings and misinterpretations. My experience is also that the more flowery our language, the more we try to impress with convoluted terms or incorporate complex thoughts in long, garbled sentences with or without obscure references, even if they sound impressive in language, the less our writing will deliver. I embrace brevity more with each passing year. Keep your words and sentences as simple and direct as your intent and message.
That is my humble opinion. I think you write exceedingly well and should not put yourself down.
 
I agree with Neetu, you shouldn't put yourself. I think you are an engaging writer, that's why I like to read your blog.
 

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