Plato Processing (Was Re: Who dreams up these things?)

Subject: Plato Processing (Was Re: Who dreams up these things?)
From: "Tom Murrell" <tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "Techwr-l" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 21:20:56 -0400

> Andrew Plato described his non-process as follows:
> 1. Fiddle with the product.
> 2. Blab with the engineers.
> 3. Read materials from similar products.
> 4. Wander around thinking.
> 5. Pet the cat
> 6. Jam a pencil in my ear.
> 7. Eat some Bean with Bacon soup.
> 8. Plant my ass in a chair.
> 9. Bang out a doc.
> 10. Curse at FrameMaker.
> 11. File | Print
> 12. Submit it for review.
> 13. Wash the car.

I, too, KNEW you were a fraud, Andrew. Not only do you have a process, but
your process is flawed. Step 4 will never work. Every right thinking
person knows that proper thinking is done sitting down, preferably in a calm
and undistracting environment.

Also, I cannot pet cats, as I am allergic. A much better process would
invite the writer to "pet the pet of your choice."

You should NEVER jam anything in your ear. You should not even SUGGEST such
a thing, especially on this list where there are so many impressionable
young writers, any one of whom might do themselves permanent damage by
poking out their eardrums.

Um, I could go on--actually it was a bit of fun <g>--but I hope I've made a
couple of points. At some level all "processes" that produce quality work
are about the same. (A rose by any other name.)

And I hope that you will forgive me for poking fun at those who are more
interested in arguing minutia than in dealing with the overall issues. I
have gotten more than tired of the argument over whether or not I should
number a one step procedure. (Look, *I* didn't create that oxymoron; I'm
just referring to it.)

We all have processes that are suited to our temperaments and the needs of
the environments in which we work. Some of us are happy with those
situations; others of us feel prisoners of our processes. Some of us like
them so much we want to share them with others, and we don't understand why
the rest of the world isn't enthralled with our processes.


Tom Murrell
Senior Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
mailto:tmurrell -at- alldata -dot- net
mailto:tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com

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