A handy quote to remember

I just read Leonard Susskind’s The Black Hole War : My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics.  I like reading this sort of thing, especially because the current state of theoretical physics is seriously f%^ked up.  I mean, amazingly.  Though that’s a topic for another post.

Anyway, on page 168, is the following (he’s talking about the concept of entropy as he learned it while doing undergrad work in Mechanical Engineering, though that’s somewhat irrelevant):

“Everyone copied it down, but no one understood what it meant.  It was as incomprehensible to me as ‘The change in the number of sausages divided by the onionization is called the floogelweiss'.’”

As a contractor, I sometimes find myself doing work on software within domains that I am not a master of (there’s a joke in there somewhere).  So, for instance, I’ve worked in the finance industry.  Sometimes, there are people who try to explain requirements in terms of their domain knowledge, never quite getting that I haven’t the slightest idea what they are talking about.  Even when they ask me for my opinion on something and I respond (as I did just yesterday), “I haven’t the slightest idea what you are talking about, but if I had to guess, the answer is no,” they seem to think that my opinion is relevant.  The aforementioned quotation perfectly sums up what I’m thinking in those moments.

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posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 6:33 PM Print
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