04 August, 2009

Magic reporting.

Invertebrate: "Ted? That reconciliation spreadsheet you do - is that based on some kind of mathematical - "

Ted E. (genuinely surprised): "No!"

Me: [coughing fit]

Invertebrate: "So where does it come from?"

Ted E. [blank]: "I run the report."

It's always "the report", no matter what's being discussed. This is just one of the many challenges involved in trying to make sense of anything Ted says, because it's almost invariably devoid of context. That quote by Clarke about any suffiiciently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic? Now you know the kind of person he had in mind when he wrote that.

1 comment:

gregor42 said...

"ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" - Charles Darwin, 1871

In 1999 Justin Krieger and David Dunning did a study at Cornell University demonstrating that the less skillful had a tendency to both overrate their own abilities and fail to recognize expertise in others.

Fits your pal there like a label on a specimen, no?

The study results:

I like to keep a printed copy handy to disseminate at opportune moments.