Re: Chuck Martin's take on "Assuming too much responsibility"

Subject: Re: Chuck Martin's take on "Assuming too much responsibility"
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2000 11:02:09 -0800

"Cummings, Elizabeth" wrote:

> Not to make excuses, because I know that some kids (and adults) are just
> damn lazy and inconsiderate, I did begin to think as Chuck notes here--that
> a lot of people are so accustomed to receiving poorly designed information
> that even when well-designed info comes their way, they are of the mindset
> that they won't get it. This also comes about in situations where the
> subject matter is something that the person has always felt he or she can't
> comprehend. Many of my friends, for instance, say that the mere mention of
> math and stats makes their heads spin, as they recall their many failed
> attempts at taking tests, balancing checkbooks, filing taxes.

Another factor is simple curiosity. Faced with something new, my
first impulse is to study it. However, as I grow older, I'm starting
to realize that this is a minority reaction. Faced with something
new, most people's reaction seems to be to ignore it, deny it, or
rely on an authority's opinion about it.

About the seventh or eighth glass of retsina, I start thinking that
these different reactions are all part of natural selection. On the
one hand, the human species has opted for curiosity as a strategy
for evolutionary survival. So, it needs the curious. On the other
hand, curiosity can be dangerous, or even fatal. So, the majority of
people need to be stolid. It's rather like cautious investing. A
small percentage goes to high risk stocks, but most goes into safe,
steady stocks.

At any rate, it's important to remember that communication is two
way, and requires a certain cooperation on both sides. As a writer,
you can cooperate as much as possible to ensure that communication
is successful. However, if the audience isn't willing to cooperate
by making an attempt to understand, then your efforts aren't going
to be useful.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7189 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"The king works backwards, day and night,
Says you went left when you should have gone right,
Try to do undo what you've once done wrong,
The king works backwards all day long."
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