Archive for August, 2007

Communication Barrier

Has it ever happened to you that you talked to someone, and what you quite calmly said made them froth at the mouth?

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That happened to me the other day. True, the content of my words wasn’t necessarily the nicest, but it wasn’t rude or insulting either. It was stating a point of view that the other person did not share1. If my words happened to be the truth, then I can see that that sat uncomfortably with my conversation partner. If my words happened to be completely off the mark, then I can see that they feel upset by my misjudgment.

Either way, the only constructive way to move forward is for them to consider why I might have chosen those words, and discuss the reasons for that. What I don’t expect is a lengthy diatribe detailing an alternative point of view as the only acceptable explanation of reality2, delivered spitting with venom and spite.

I’ve been in that sort of situation before. Let’s, for the sake of the argument, assume that I can infuriate people easily, and blame such occurrences on me.

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  1. I’m not going to go into the details on that, so don’t ask. []
  2. Where, truth be told, both point of views could easily co-exist — as is proven merely by the fact that the two of us viewed the same situation differently. []

British Telecom Fuckup

From handheld devices that enable flexible working to global networking and outsourcing solutions, our products and services can satisfy your organisation’s needs completely.
– from bt.com website, today

No, you can’t. For the second time in just about as many weeks, BT have manged to cut off Germany (and god knows what other countries) from my employer’s site in Luxembourg. Maybe all of Luxembourg, I don’t know. It’s not like there are severed cables or anything like that involved, it’s just that the routing loops around and around and around…

Great job, BT!

A Higher Standard

I came across an interview with Jonathan Blow just now, designer of the upcoming game Braid. Because I’m still caught up in things that have little to do with this blog, I decided to mention this article as a signal to my dear readers that I’m still alive.

Let me give a quick quote from the interview that I find highly interesting:

Saying “games are about escapism” is a nearly content-free statement; it just provides some kind of pat answer so that you don’t have to look any further into the subject. But it’s obviously, at its core, woefully incomplete, and I think people who really understand games know this implicitly. (…) They can give you at least a taste of experiences that you wouldn’t have any other way. (…) Games can provide this kind of mental, emotional and spiritual expansion, and they can push it in a different direction than movies, or books, or music, or whatever. (…) There’s a certain feel to what it’s like driving a car, how things accelerate and slow down, how that feels, how turning happens, what the higher-level flow is as traffic lights go green or red, etc. The activity of driving a car gives you a very intimate understanding of these things, in ways that are more accurate and deeper than we know how to do with words. I could write a whole novel full of words about what it feels like to drive a car with 10 years of experience, but those words wouldn’t be very effective at really communicating what it’s like to someone who never did it.

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