Friday, April 6, 2012

Mutual Ignorance

Hollywood thrives on it.
If you and your conversational acquaintance know little about a subject you can have a conversation that will perpetuate itself until your beer money runs out. It is a well known fact that the moment someone who knows even the most minute information about the subject at hand, it shuts the conversation down.
Facts? (quizzical dog look)
Well, I heard...but then it could know that's a really good point.  Where's the beertender?
This is not a concept I came up with.  Patrick McManus is the genius that enlightened me to this concept.
What? You've not read Patrick's books? ( if you ever hunted, fished or camped as a kid, read his stuff. It will make you laugh until your sides hurt)
I've actually used this concept in my work-a-day life.  Once you've groked it, you'll be surprised how often you observe people slipping into the Mutual Ignorance vortex. "Well if the specs say this then it could the that, BUT!, if the specs say that then it could be  THIS!"  (this is a one sentence distillation of a twenty minute conversation amongst myself and two other construction management "professionals"  that made me go, "wait...what?"
 Well, says I, "how about we go read the specs and see what they say?" End of conversation. (this is also known as mental masturbation, but that's a whole 'nuther blog post)
Where was I? Oh yes.
I was watching a Jon Claude Van Damme movie.    Yeah, I could totally do that!  Come head on into a guy with a glock, twist his wrist and kill him with his own gun! That's me man!  I rock!
 Suspension of Belief, is the concept I think. Or is it Disbelief? I'm so confused. I've been watching TV?

The Police shot out of a car door, behind which the bad guy was driving the car.  And, the bad guy drove away and escaped.
Except, it broke the conversation I was having with the movie. Because I know a bit about that.   End of conversation.
The Buick O' Truth.

Oh, the box 'o truth part of the site is highly instructional as well.
It boils down to: You can shoot the bad guy through the wall in your house. Of course, physics being what it is, he can shoot you through the wall as well.  And, you should be mindful of where your neighbors are in relation to your target.  Good fences and carefully selected sight lines make good for good neighbors.


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