If You Knew the Answer, What Would It Be?

Posted Monday, August 15, 2022 by Sri. Tagged TROPE
EDITING PHASE:gathering info...

In moments of stuckness, we sometimes get paralyzed by the thought that we are in an unfamiliar domain and don't know what one is "supposed" to do. However, we also often have some innate idea of what is supposed to happen, so vocalizing that is a good strategem to break out of it. I got the idea from ta TV show called The Unit.


From my blog post Capturing Sequencing and Scheming:

A few days ago I saw an episode of The Unit, a TV show about members of an elite special forces unit. It’s a strangely compelling mix of downbeat military action and women’s drama program; I’ve found that it provides food for thought. Anyway, one of the characters is helping another through a difficult moral dilemma who doesn’t know what to do, and asks for some help. “Here’s what the boss tells me,” he says. “If you knew the answer, what would it be?” So the other character, after a moment of doubt, writes everything down and is immensely relieved. It’s a good trick.

From my blog post Surprise, You Are Already Here:

If you’ve ever been frustrated that you aren’t doing something quite right, take the advice I got from the TV a few nights ago: If you knew the answer, what would it be? Start with what you know. Use your existing processes. We’re conditioned to think that there’s the “right tool for the job”, not to use flashlights as hammers, or screwdrivers as crowbars, and that tends to carry over into our mental processes…there must be a correct way that isn’t the way I’m doing it. If there are no technical and physical constraints, and it’s not going to actually kill you if you’re wrong, then take your strongest asset and try to make the job fit. I liked what Phil Torrone said at SXSW this year, about their acquisition of a programmable laser etcher: When you have a laser…everything looks laserable. We laughed because we knew that wasn’t true, perhaps even imprudent, but joyful in that pure hacker way. But heck, if all you have is a laser and you like using it…why not apply it? I think that productive people may accept this without question.