Beautiful Math (also, three in one day?)

I’m convinced my research skills are the result of my obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I think all the time I spent researching how diseases and germs and thoughts can spread and impact life and cause death made me someone who, given the power of the Internet years later, could find pretty much whatever needed to be found. Folks at TFN – especially Dan – knows it.

It probably also gave me the tenacity to inch my way through complex pieces of legislation and regulations and laws and statutes with LSG. And, of course, the research that came with that. What do they mean when they use the word “connected device” here? Where is the definition? Under what section? Oh, geez. I have to go back that far? And that, of course, refers back to another statute? Ugh. Okay. Please don’t tell me there’s no definition or they broke them apart.

Tedious, but not as tedious as math is to me. It’s the kind of tedium I can actually enjoy a little.

It’s what I urged a client to give their people more time to perform: research on clients’ products before jumping into content strategy and design. The client will never get a decent product if the producers – the creatives – aren’t given the time to gather, ingest and integrate the information they need to communicate to the clients’ audience(s). Sometimes a simple messaging document and creative brief (if you get one) aren’t enough. You want people who know your product, your company, your values more than a centimeter-deep to tell stories about you. Would you prefer a friend or an absolute stranger with equal knowledge of you to write your biography?

The worst mistake you can make, after having finally gotten someone up-to-speed on your product, is to dump them because of poor performance when not knowing squat. I’ve done it to people before – and I’d hazard to guess I haven’t escaped being the subject of such decisions. Regardless, you’re blaming the employee for your failure to plan. That is, it’s your failure as a leader.

Tedium, complexity – it doesn’t lack in creativity either. Finding hidden treasure is rarely as easy as using Google Maps. Mathematicians’ brains explode the same way other artists’ do when in the presence of a “beautiful equation.” There’s no inherent rigidity there. There are always logical knots to be worked and unraveled and redone correctly this time, hopefully.

Where is this going? Hell if I know. Something to throw against the wall, though. Or down the well! Ha-ha!

I think I’m done applying for jobs for the day. ‘Course, it’s still early. I’ve probably hit a good fifteen to twenty places in Seattle with resumes over the past few hours. Tuesday (or tomorrow, if their company/boss is un-American) is going to be some recruiter’s lucky day.


I wish this book had been around when I was in my mid-teens: The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in ThoughtThough I didn’t know I had OCD then.

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