Been a while since I was here (original post). My work regularly necessitates the observation of a ‘waterfall’ of interesting clauses – most of which deny me the simple pleasures of unsupervised access to electricity, let alone social media. Let’s say, that there is a style to the affects of my endeavours which while contracted, warrants or at least encourages, an overbearing level of covetness amongst those with chequebooks. I think that they think, they can own my knowledge – at least for a while.
I could not possibly provide the Chequebooks with knowledge. They have to do that themselves. I am however, paid handsomely to point out the knowledge that they already possess and most often, help the little mind-trapped bunnies to accept the absence of knowledge amongst the swathe of jack-shit that they use to make and fake, their decisions.
Fortunately, I have a diminutive and discrete collection of splendidly eclectic, beautiful minds that keep me on the straight and narrow, while emersed in the hell of the signatories own manufacture. “Thank God, for the thinkers” I said, as one of them simultaneously deciphered the problem, saved an extraordinary malaise of wasted time, concluded the work in an instant and in the process saved my arse and my sanity. It is remarkable, how difficult it is, to see clearly in the fog of motivated good intentions. An overly pompous way of saying, “too close to stuff”.
Whether it’s distance, or orientation, or granularity, or excitement, or just an inevitable artefact of the mechanisms chosen or inherited with which to look; metaphorically, too close and you can’t see subconsciously with equal imprecision, to that of the wholely conscious squint of discomfort when you are clearly too far away.
What’s that thing about returning to where you started, only to know the place for the first time? Legend! And of equal prestige to that immortal adage, was a little tweet; twinkling in the peripheral eye of serendipity it announced … “If you’re finding it difficult to explain a method or idea, it’s a sign that you don’t understand the theory that gives the idea its clarity”.
Typical of a truly complex environment, the slightest of deft touches can occasionally draw forth from the cacophony, the sweetest and most delicate whisper of tangible profundity.
What the fuck was I doing, forgetting that? The Chequebooks had pretty much signed away their children’s children in the blind pursuit of a myth, a vision, a nirvana-esque promise of fulfillment that was in essence, little more than a recipe. Beautifully crafted and air-suckingly expensive, but a recipe nonetheless. Now there’s nothing wrong with recipes or tools, or various other mechanics dressed up as best practice. There is a small place in the world where that stodge is bloody useful – every generation does not have to relearn that putting your finger in the electric socket is not conducive to living long and prospering. However, typical of all pseudo-religious dogma the main function of a recipe, is to remove the requirement for experiential depth. Recipes and tools are products of method, which itself is the manifestation of a concept.
There is a tendency to jump to the tool, the answer, without sufficient experimentation with method, in the absence of a purposefully complementary concept. I found the Chequebooks the concept, we changed the method that afternoon, filed the recipe under “lessons learned” and a load of chefs emerged out of the organisational woodwork. I was like Yoda, slowly walking backwards with a dignified bow and a gently reverberating “done here, my work is”.
I knew it all along (was my reinforcing internal narrative) yet the last occasion on which I thought it to myself, said it out loud to others and explicitly acted on it, seems like a long time ago …