Don’t Ask Me to Think

One of the greatest gifts is the gift of laughter… so thanks to Dave Snowden for pointing me to someone even more curmudgeonly than him. The guy (Grandad) is an old age pensioner and a satirist in the Swiftian tradition, but some of his responses are uncannily close to real life. Take this post, where he’s shot the web developer and has to put a website together using MySQL, PHP, etc etc, so he can avoid detection:

“Can someone please send me an e-mail and tell me all about them, because apparently I have to have a site finished by the end of the week. I don’t want to know what they are. I just want a quick rundown on how to write them.

Don’t tell me about any books, or web sites. I don’t have enough time. I just want a quick rundown. Something simple like that you can speak Russian by talking backwards, or Italian by adding an ‘o’ at the end of each word.”

Grandad echoes the words of President Schwarzenegger in the new Simpsons movie… “I was elected to lead, not to read”.

Or this Dilbert cartoon, taking a sly dig at the thesis behind Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (which prompted an angry response in Michael LeGault’s Think! ). Don’t get me wrong, Gladwell’s book has solid grounding in cognitive research, much of it pioneered by friend and colleague Gary Klein. But the book does make it easy to take the easy path without any real substance behind it, and the throwaway line here: “It’s an experience thing” is a convenient (because hard to penetrate) cloak for laziness.


Satire works because it’s sharpened reality: unfortunately this thirst for the easy way out is too frequent a reality for my liking, in my profession. So I laughed… and then I started wondering if I dared to send the Youtube clip and Grandad post to the clients and prospects who manifest this particular inclination for the easy way out. I’d love to… should I?

2 Comments so far

I’m telling you Patrick, I serious love this blog.

I even attribute myself falling in love with knowledge management mostly due to it.

So you’re a Simpsons, Dilbert and Malcom Gladwell fan huh? Cool, so am I. Maybe that’s why I like your style of communicating your thoughts and ideas. There are hidden common interests that probably “shine” through your writing and makes it appealing to me.

PS: I already started working on my KM site. It’s due for soft launch in about 2 months.

Posted on August 14, 2007 at 02:05 PM | Comment permalink

Patrick Lambe

Thanks Amir, keep me posted on the site!

Posted on August 15, 2007 at 09:56 PM | Comment permalink

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