Tuesday, November 17, 2009

KM India Summit - 2009

Here is my “blog-book” on KM India. Give me my PhD in rambling now.

Right now, I feel like a woman who is going on a one-year trip around the world and needs to pack her bags in no more than one or two hours. Where does one start? H
ow big a bag does one need? What can I afford to leave out? Actually, another way to make you understand how I feel is to ask you to imagine a person with a huge gunny bag full of random and mostly unconnected tidbits. The easiest way to share them with you is to probably just turn the bag upside down on the table and let the tidbits roll out on the table – and, er, lie scattered. Which means you’ll have to pick up the bits that matter to you. Don’t look at me like that.

Calvin and Hobbes : Bill Watterson

I think, in a way, it’s good I had to wait for a while to complete this post, as I had to wade through the work backlog and get it out of my mind to start with. The delay has at least forced me to rummage around in the gunny bag for some key tidbits and present them to you rather than just throw every single thing at you in a random order. But despite the 3-week delay in posting this, I feel like Calvin in the strip below.

Calvin and Hobbes: Bill Watterson

There was many a time I started writing this or filling in the gaps only to end up stumbling and falling because of continuous twitter/email/IM distractions. I finally decided I had had enough and turned off all notifications and made myself invisible on IM so I could peacefully finish this post. Thanks for sympathizing with me. Let’s move on, now. If the purpose of this post is not clear from the title, let me make it clear now - I’ll be making a list of some key things I picked up at the KM India conference - between Oct 28th and Nov 1st 09 - and it’s here for you to filter and take what you want. :-)

To start with, I shared some of the one-liners and other thought-provoking stuff I came across at the conference in the form of one-liners via Twitter a couple of weeks back. Let me try and filter them for you here. But please note that these are in reverse order.

#kmindia I am going to wrap up now. A lot of other people have already shared great tidbits. I may have repeated many. Search for #kmindia [to find all the relevant tweets]

#kmindia HCL conducts empathy workshops wherein project teams and customers understand each other (wow!)

#kmindia Vittal - One can be an apple falling on Newton and trigger off ideas even if one is not Newton himself :-)

#kmindia Vittal - Stone age did not come to an end because we ran out of stones! (LoL)

#kmindia - Use processes for exploitation but not for exploration - Snowden

#kmindia Jagdish - Hospitals have to depend on processes during an operation, not on innovation

#kmindia Jagdish - Music cannot be mastered without a process

#kmindia Jagdish - Average people become better with good systems [better processes]

#kmindia Snowden - Innovation thrives under starvation of resources, pressure of time & perspective shift

#kmindia Snowden - Process should not be confused with adaptation

#kmindia Snowden (What a speaker!) - When you control things, variation and deviation decreases. [Not good for innovation]

#kmindia Cognizant CEO believes that blogging leads to openness, progress and transparency/honesty. [More CEOs should talk like that]

#kmindia - Sukumar- Cognizant has 5 key design principles for KM. Drive Consumption. Freedom. Fun. Workflow Integration. Perpetual Beta [I like this. Good to distill approaches and attitudes into key guiding principles]

Dinesh (Thoughtworks) - Culture is what differentiates organizations, not its business model #kmindia

Thoughtworks's Dinesh - His presentation proves that there is a lot of alignment between the agile culture and KM. #kmindia

Tata Steel looks at 2 types of focus areas for KM [communities] - thrust areas or pain areas and aspirational areas or new ideas #kmindia

Atul Rai of Wipro - Participation and Value forms a vicious circle. #kmindia [The single biggest cribbing point when KMers meet, perhaps? :-)]

Gopi of GE - The future may be about Search + Integration + Unified Communication + Tech. Intelligence #kmindia

Gopi of GE - Indians knew a novel way of remembering the complicated Sin Table through a Shloka - default IP protection! #kmindia

Gopi of GE compared KM processes with the human body's Neurons. Collect, Process, Distribute #kmindia

TCS - Their process library is managed via Wikis and is therefore a collectively managed knowledge asset #kmindia

Eureka Forbes- Knowledge Pearls are diff from Knowledge Gems in the sense that the former are 'born' out of irritation (stories of failure) #kmindia

Prof Sadagopan - Knowledge is a special resource, a liberator and supreme. #kmindia [It’s exciting to think of knowledge as a liberator!]

#kmindia Ashok Soota mentioned that Tiger Woods's mentor won tournaments for the first time after he began mentoring! [That goes a long way to show that one learns more when one teaches!]

Loved this at #kmindia - Create like a child. Nurture like a maniac. Detach yourself like a warrior. Came from GE's Gopi [Philosophical and reminiscent of the teachings of the Gita….]

The KCafe by @DavidGurteen at #kmindia was an example of how simple ideas are as meaningful and important as sophisticated practices/tools

Infosys mentions 3 types of metrics for KM #kmindia. Business Benefits, Performance/Health & Basic Usage/Contribution (can someone who knows verify this please?)

OK. All these were self-explanatory messages that did not need any additional comments from yours truly. Now, here are some thoughts I sort of derived out of what was said and discussed at the conference (or maybe these are thoughts that occurred to me due to some subconscious influence I might not be able to articulate here)
Food for thought - derived from #kmindia - Is starting with dissent a great way to ultimately build consensus? #paradox I think this is a very interesting concept. When you want people to come to a common conclusion, don’t start off by asking them to do so. Instead ask them to come up with their own views, promote rigorous discussions, opposing views and debates and finally arrive at a conclusion/decision. This way, all potential obstacles might be considered beforehand and, secondly, people are going to be better convinced due to the intellectual rigor that they’ve been subjected to.

#kmindia Methinks "Social KM" is the opposite of an oxymoron...what? How can KM not be social by default? Expanding on this, knowledge management by nature is a concept involving sharing, learning, collaboration etc. So, is ‘Social KM’ a term that might indicate KM (conventionally speaking) is otherwise not ‘social’?

#kmindia Maybe we should move from holistic KM case studies and get into the details based on proactive audience surveys. I am, personally, glad to be made aware of KM case studies…but, honestly, as far as I’ve observed most case studies are now becoming predictable. They need to be expanded and dug into for the intricacies – for the real learning. Or, even better, they need to be challenged!

I was wondering about @snowded 's talk at #kmindia. How does one become a chef & not a consultant with a recipe book? Passion? Experience? Natural Talent? Sukumar responded to that and said one needs to be observant and analytical to become a chef. Snowden, later, blogged about it and said a chef understands the principles behind cooking and is therefore much better than a consultant. A chef can adapt to any situation because he knows how to apply these principles. You can read Snowden’s full post here.

Extending that further, imagine this particular scenario - a chef will know what is likely to be a good substitute for an ingredient that is missing while a consultant will probably freeze on the spot and wonder what to do next or perhaps waste time and energy by going out to buy the missing ingredient.

Another thing that flashed on me during #kmindia was “By making everything democratic and ‘collective’, are we going to lose out on esoteric and eccentric ideas from e. and e. individuals?” Are we creating a culture and environment that will neglect or not tolerate something that is undemocratic? Maybe, that’s why, starting with dissent is a great way to consider all perspectives and give them the merit they deserve.

Now, consider this interesting observation I chanced to make while at the conference: TCS has its tag-line as “Promising certainty” – addressed primarily to customers - while Thoughtworks likes to ‘see’ the inherent ambiguity in the world and as a consequence wants its employees to have a passion for and accept ambiguity.

Two other intriguing things that I made a note of were from Snowden.

You can never tell a lie backwards unless trained for it. :-P

Children learn a lot of fundamental things between ages 1 and 6 and then start considering opposing views but are unable to make up their minds on most things until they are 19 or 20. Then, they start concluding on what the world should be like and want to change it to meet their conclusions and perspectives till they are 45 or so. Finally, they become soft and yielding – when over 45 - and are ready to accept different perspectives once more.

OK. Here is some intermediate respite from my random chattering. Here are links to resources from KM India.

- Dave Snowden’s post and presentation

- Madan Rao’s excellent and immediate posts on his learnings from KM India - Snowden’s keynote, Top 12 KM learnings, and the process vs innovation debate

- Sukumar’s presentation on KM at Cognizant

- Dinesh’s presentation on KM at Thoughtworks

Sorry. Will have to bring you back – rudely - to my ramblings now. There was a potentially interesting session arranged for at the conference that however turned out to be a disappointment in some ways. The idea involved groups of people clustering around 2-3 presenters from a certain organization and getting to know about their KM initiative for around 15 minutes and then moving on to the next organization’s presenters planted at various nodes in the room. I loved the idea and was looking forward to having useful conversations with all of the organizations presenting their KM strategies but ended up familiarizing myself with just two organizations’ strategies and not even getting a proper whiff of what the remaining 4-5 companies were doing! All because some people got carried away and continued waiting at the same organization’s desk and asking plenty of queries and refusing to move on to the next node thus depriving the next group of people from getting a low down on things from the beginning. I could only catch bits and pieces of information from the third node onwards as only questions from intractable members of the previous group were being answered. I was left shrugging and wringing my hands for the rest of the session. Think there should have been a neutral observer at each node shooing away the previous group and making way for a fresh session. Or the presenters themselves should have taken up the responsibility of addressing a fresh group rather than encourage the previous group’s questions beyond the allocated time.

From the little I gathered in this session, I was impressed with Mindtree’s focus on personal KM, it’s emphasis on workspace design, connection with nature, brainstorming practices and usage of tools like six thinking hats. I was also impressed with Eureka Forbes’s mature and customized KM practices. It was also interesting to see how L&T was leveraging on KM practices to meet their business needs and operations in a methodical manner.

Going back to the talks (I warned you about the randomness of this post, did I not?) Dinesh’s talk for me was a clear indication of how important it is to have organizational values and culture that is ‘already’ or rather naturally aligned with KM. It can make a world of difference! Thoughtworks believes in the Agile methodology for project management and this methodology, in my view, overlaps with some of the KM concepts. In such an environment, it may be advisable to leverage on the culture and silently blend other dimensions of KM with the existing business approaches and not even label it as KM.

Now, swinging back to the schedule - Snowden’s Cognitive Edge course - on Complexity Theory - was thought provoking and entertaining. I kept shifting between giggles and deep-thinking at regular intervals. Snowden has a nonchalant way of delivering his speech and peppering it with plenty of stories and both subtle as well as no-holds-barred humor. :-) The course lasted two whole days and dealt with a lot of new concepts, theories, ideas and stories. I obviously am not equipped or even allowed to share the entire proceedings of the course, but I will try to share enough to perhaps arouse your curiosity after which you would be able to decide whether you want to explore the topic or not. Like I was mentioning to a friend, you can’t possibly list down something a wise person with a diverse background and decades of experience has come up with in as many years, in a few minutes or hours. First of all, it takes a while to even grasp some of the basics of Complexity Theory and its implications. We’re all used to decades of simplification, organization and control. Complexity theory is radically opposite to what many of us want to experience in life – order, control and predictability. It advises us to allow and facilitate things to emerge. It states that excessive control, standardization and insisting on compliance do not help. Some of the concepts therein are related to social network simulation and formation of crews (On a related note, I once remember reading my blog-mentor Gautam Ghosh’s blog post – many years ago - dwelling upon how Movie crews are formed and dismantled and whether organizations can learn from these methods.)

Actually, if you want a good overview of the basics of Complexity Theory or the Cynefin Framework, here’s a good resource you can look up - Keith’s presentation – It has a neat explanation and illustration of how to read the framework and is well worth your time.

Something I derived out of both Gurteen’s Knowledge Café as well as Snowden’s course is the powerful idea of creating small groups, getting them to discuss something, mixing or juggling up the groups, facilitating the cross-pollination of ideas and obtaining a, if you will, knowledge cocktail that can throw you off your balance, figuratively! ;-)

On a related note, I think organizations should really experiment and explore the concept of Unconferences and design it on the lines of a Knowledge Café.
BTW, the two amusing stories I wanted to share happened off the conference circuit. In the hotel where I was staying, on one of the evenings, I tiredly tottered into the in-house restaurant for dinner. While waiting for my food (which I took a pretty long time to choose) to arrive, I sleepily flipped through the menu card and registered shock (internally) on seeing some of the prices. With no strength to think about anything intellectually demanding, I began forcing my tired brain to list down the various kinds of people who were likely to visit the restaurant. I thought of politicians (imagined some of their faces in the process) and then thought of businessmen, sports personalities, the obscenely rich and people from the film industry. As I thought of the last in the list, the face that I saw in my mind’s eye – for no reason in particular – was that of a local south Indian actor called Prasanna. (I think I even vaguely imagined him flipping through the menu card, laughing and discussing what to order along with his non-descript friends). The imaginary scene lasted half a minute or so and was interrupted by the arrival of the food on seeing whose quantity, I almost fainted – and that was supposed to be half a plate only! Makes me wonder why some of these restaurants imagine their customers to be gluttons of the highest order. So, I trekked through the food with my spoon and fork and managed to chew 1/4th of the provided quantity without any grave danger of the stomach giving in to the onslaught. I then slowly made my way out of the restaurant and back to my room silently chiding the restaurant managers for not providing lighter options for a lone and not-so-hungry diner.

As I stepped out and walked towards the lifts I saw the side profile of a person jabbing the ‘Up Arrow’ button on the lift. (There was no one else around) Guess who this lift-button jabber turned out to be? No prizes for guessing. Imagine my surprise when I noticed that it was none other than the very same Prasanna who had made a sudden and inexplicable appearance in my half-dream! What happened next was very quick and was a surprise to me myself. It was like as if someone else was speaking from inside my head. I screamed like I had just spotted my long-lost brother after ages. I said “Prasanna!!! You won’t believe this! You simply won’t believe this!” And he turned around and looked at me in a confused manner. In retrospect, I think he was expecting someone familiar to him and must have been confused to see an unknown person talk to him like she was his movie’s producer! I switched to Tamil and said “You won’t believe it” once again. Meanwhile the lift’s doors opened and I walked in like a programmed human. Meanwhile, our poor actor was probably bewildered and racking his brains to recall whether he knew me or not. In the process, he almost stumbled at the entrance of the lift probably cursing his memory for deserting him. But there was no stopping me. I continued like I had known him for ages and said “I just thought of you while in the restaurant. I don’t know why I had to think of you because there are so many other actors I could have potentially thought about. You know….what they call sixth sense!”. I stopped for breath and he cleverly used the opportunity to get a word in sideways and ask me “Have we met before? You seem familiar”. I said “No….of course, you seem familiar to me…but…”. He laughed and I smiled and then I noticed that the lift had already arrived at my floor. I continued my funny behaviour and walked out without much ado and said “Have a nice evening” as the doors closed. I think the way I uttered the last word was incoherent but he must have been busy recovering from the incident to even notice what I was babbling. So, that was that. It was only after I made my way to my room did I realize how strange the whole thing would have seemed to him…the way I told him that he “wouldn’t believe it” without even introducing myself or giving him the awed look that an actor normally expects from the general public! Far from it, I probably behaved like he was a student of the school in which I was once the principal. Hee Haw. I do surprise myself!

The second amusing incident was again to do with the hotel I was in. On day 2, I noticed a cockroach of gigantic proportions vibrating at an enormous frequency in the washroom – the good news was that the insect was lying on its backside and seemed to be extremely unhappy with something on the ceiling and not, fortunately, flying around. Having witnessed the above-mentioned scene, I screamed my way to the phone to call up housekeeping and put the aforementioned insect in what I hoped would be its rightful place. After I had told the housekeeping lady that I had a funny request and explained the situation, she responded with a nervous laugh and sent her army along to wage the war. I am not sure what kind of treatment was meted out to the cockroach but there was a strong smell of insecticide wafting into the room for a while. Later in the evening, when I went back to my room, I found an apology letter and three milk chocolates waiting for me on the table. The apology letter, by the way, did not specify exactly why it happened to be there. It just referred to the above-mentioned incident in a very mysterious and anonymous manner and said, “We are sorry for the incident…”. After wondering if the cockroach was a celebrity cockroach that had instructed the housekeeping to not reveal its particulars, I popped in one of the milk chocolates and wished they’d left pure cocoa chocolates instead.

Finally, here’s Snowden’s video on how NOT to organize a children’s party – a satirical story to help us understand how we normally deal with something that’s complex – as if it were something that ought to be well-controlled and directed – and are then surprised about the repercussions!

Let me go now. Enough of rambling for many weeks to come, what?

PS: I realize that I'm quite obsessed with Calvin and Hobbes and will find every possible opportunity to link it with whatever topic I happen to be rambling about.


KayKap said...

Oh dear, oh dear, where do I possibly begin. Okies, so here we go. It gives me the greatest pleasure and indeedy is my honor to grant to Missy NimmyPal this so very necessary and due "Ph.D in Rambling". Of course would like the other visitors on this blog to know that the aforementioned doctrate is not an easy one to achieve and I do not think anyone else could do such great justice to it.
Having said that, it is not as rambling /disjointed as you think. It is beautifully constructed and allows the reader breathers between gems/gold nuggets, your insights/takeaways and analysis.
I would agree that starting off with dissent is a great way to build consensus, simply because it allows everybody to put their viewpoint forward and not have to start off with a yes. Starting off with a pre-assumed yes tends to put people on the defensive and also ensures less than 100% participation. I say this because I have seen dissent in action - we use dissent to get us to a common point /an actionable program on many occasions.

KM per se, is social! But what probably is being meant here is that KM has to go out of company limits/predefined limits, across organizations or right into everything that we do. Media is social, it reaches out to everybody normally, so the term Social Media should also be an oxymoron; it isn't. I think the same analogy and comparative can be applied to Social KM. Just my 2 bits...
You had me cracking up with your restaurant and the follow-up episode and even more with the cockroach. Wish they had left dark chocys, instead, but ...
As you can see this is a long 2, nah 3 bits. Thanks for sharing; you just lit up an otherwise quite stressful day :-)

Nimmy said...

Thanks a ton for leaving these comments, KK! Really appreciate the acknowledgement! Makes up for all the time I spent constructing this really lengthy post!! :-) And thanks for throwing light on the term Social KM....I think I understand what you're saying..! :-)

Caveman said...


Holy Knowledge in a jar of Chutney!!! I feel like a moron whose oxygen supply has just been cut off. Gasp!! That's it!! I'm carrying a roach on my next visit to the Taj!! ;)

It probably has nothing to do with 'Eureka Forbes idea of irritation'; nevertheless, here's a quotation i wanted to share with the author of this wonderful blog:
"You can never direct a living system; you can only disturb it." - Humberto Maturana & Francisco Varela.

Will be back later to debate some of the KM stuff you've shared... i think it's controversial and may not be as logical as it is made out to be. I say this while keeping in mind KayKaps wise observation, "dissent is a great way to build consensus, simply because it allows everybody to put their viewpoint forward and not have to start off with a yes." :)

Nimmy said...

@Jai: Delighted to see your comment, fellow Plummie & fellow C&Hie! :-)

"Knowledge in a jar of chutney"? Ha ha ha! I am going to (re)use that phrase at the first possible opportunity! ;-)

How on earth did you know which hotel I was in? Hats off! :-P

Thanks for that quote...simple and hard-hitting at the same time!~ Disturb! - The living system then decides how to react or respond to the disturbance and may ultimately change its direction...but that's just a possibility, eh?

I can't wait for you to come back with your 'theories' and 'experiences'! :-) Anytime! Discussions with you are fun! :-)Woof!

Caveman said...

Nims, a living system always reacts when it gets disturbed. That’s the nature of the beast.

Okay, now that i’m sufficiently disturbed ;), let’s discuss some of your takeaways from the meet. However, i must warn you that my grasp on the subject of KM is so limited, that i may come across as entirely gibberish-ish and nonsensically devoid of any sort of acumen. Do forgive me for any blasphemies that i may commit. So, here goes nuttin in udder randomness:-

1.If you suggest that a good chef is one who is analytical, that would leave no space for ingenuity in the culinary world, which is highly implausible, because good cooking is all about being uninhibited and creative. For example, if you add ketchup to curd, it makes for one creatively uninhibited dish. A Chef, by virtue of his creativity, always adapts to change and comes up with a brand new ‘pièce de résistance’, while a consultant opens his ‘tried and tested book of principles’ and is stumped when he finds nothing in it to tackle the new situation that stares the fella in his befuddled face. Wow! this is exciting... i started with dissent and it led me to agree with you that a Chef scores over a Consultant. Now if you agree with me too, i’ll be inclined to believe that dissent is actually a great way to ultimately build consensus :-)

2.The belief that if everything is made ‘democratic’ and ‘collective’, it will lead to a loss of new ideas, is misplaced. In fact, it is only a democratic environment that allows dissent; and a ‘collective’ or ‘collaborative’ culture that allows people from varied walks of life to sit together in a room and discuss different perspectives, allowing them to abandon old ideas for better placed ones. However, it is a democratic environment within a non-collaborative culture, as is still prevalent in some quarters of the corporate world and rampant in the public sector, which is dangerous.

3.A lie told backwards is the truth. Therefore, is Snowden trying to say that one needs to be trained to tell the truth? Hmmm.... interesting proposition ;)

4.And finally, my noggin’s been hit so many times with round objects, from apples, oranges and watermelons to cherries and grapes; but alas, my head still resolute to its systematic absurdness, refuses to get disturbed out of it :(

Ah Nims, you forgot.. asterix, dogs, and Bangalore too. Woof! Woof! ;)

Nimmy said...

@Jai: Buahahahaa! Thoughtful comments yet again! Now, get ready for my thoughtless onslaught! ;-) *Wicked Grin*

Yeah! A living system always reacts or responds to an interference....but what I was referring to when I said "it is just a possibility, eh?" is the ultimate change of direction (not the action of reacting or responding per se).

Don't worry about your grasp on the subject of KM. I love such 'random' and 'unconnected' 'disturbances'. They help me revisit the basics and challenge my beliefs ;-)

1. Chef: Well, when people were talking about Chefs being analytical, they did not mean *only* analytical. Analytical ability is needed when one has to arrive at the fundamental principles. The rest of the experience like you indicate could be based on creativity. In fact, a consultant's creativity may be attributed to serendipity but a chef's creativity may be attributed to guided serendipity....if you get my drift. Look...let me give you my own example. As long as I was not aware of the fundamental principles of cooking, I was afraid to experiment for the fear of starting a fire or killing some (I exaggerate, of course)but the minute I understood why some things were done the way they were done, I became braver in terms of trying out new dishes...because I knew I wouldn't do something drastically wrong! What? :-)

2. I quite agree with you that it is a democratic and collective environment that allows for the exposure and discussion of esoteric ideas! Perfect point! But what I am worried about it whether the very same environment will then shoot down an esoteric idea because the majority do not understand it - remember, the power lies with the majority! Think of independent politicians....some of them are great but do they all get elected? Some times, isn't this only because the majority wants to vote for a party rather than a person? Take the case of a corporate culture. If one were to wait for the management and peers to approve everything, things sometimes do not move forward. Many a time, organizations have had mavericks experiment with an esoteric idea and try it out stealthily and then surprise the rest of the organization. Had they waited for consensus, maybe they would have never got started in the first place....

3. A lie told backwards....not sure if you got Snowden's message here, Jai....why do you say it is the truth? Give me an example now...!! [He was talking about retracing what you did from where you ended back to where you started]

Go ahead...shoot me! :-)

Caveman said...

Boy oh boy. This is fun! :-) At last someone as nutty as me to spar with :-)

I hope you don’t mind me disagreeing with you. Because if i don’t, then we wouldn’t have anything to discuss ;-)

Nims, all living systems live in an environment, which has various tangible factors working within it. Therefore, when a living system is disturbed intentionally, the change of direction can always be predicted with near certainty, by understanding the factors at work within the environment. The factors i allude to, range from socio-economic and political, to cultural and climatic features. Q.E.D. :)
However, i agree that the prediction of the change of direction is a possibility. This is because nothing in the world can exist in a vacuum and therefore is prone to the theory of probability.

Okay, get ready to be confused like never before:-

1. Chef: What i understand by ‘fundamental principles’ is that these are laws from an original or generating source. An original or generating source may or may not document the principles that govern a process. However, it is a consultant who always studies and documents a process and then unfortunately gets straightjacket-ed with its blinders. An original or generating source is not capable of analysis or judgement. It is capable only of creativity through serendipity and not guided analysis. Analysis of fundamental laws is the domain of the consultant, not the Chef. Let’s consider the example you gave. As long as you were not aware of the fundamental principles of fire, you had no fear of starting one off accidentally on your meat and thus cooking it to perfection. However, as soon as a consultant studied the principles of the fire you created, walked up to you and informed you that fire can have adverse effects on your life, you gave up cooking for good ;)
In the business world, just as in the scientific and spiritual world, a Chef’s creativity by itself will burn down a business. On the other hand, a Consultant’s analysis by itself will lead to a stagnation of commerce. What is required is an amalgamation of the two within each employee, even while segregating the two roles between different employees. To this end, money must be invested in training every Chef to be a little bit of a Consultant, and every Consultant to be a little bit of a Chef. Buahahahaa! ;) *Wickeder Grin*

2. A collective and collaborative environment never shoots down an esoteric idea. This is where we differ. What i’m saying is that unfortunately organisations in India emphasise greatly on democratic processes and not on collaborative environments to practice them in. How do you know if an organisation does not have an efficient collaborative or ‘collective’ environment? The answer is, when you start noticing that employees love airing their views and disregard another employee’s views, diplomatically. It is very important in this situation, for the Top Management to spend most of their time creating a democratic framework within a collaborative or ‘collective’ environment, while letting the middle and junior management worry more on the running of day to day processes and the inception of new esoteric ideas.

3. A lie told backwards is always the truth. Let’s take the example of you accidentally starting off a fire and cooking your meat. The cooked meat is the ‘truth’. Now, let’s suppose you started adding masalas one at a time to make the meat tastier. Every time you added an extra masala, you were adding complexities to the truth and making it a ‘lie’. When you remove all the masalas from the dish, or retrace what you did from where you ended, back to where you started, you arrive at the truth. The more knowledge you add to a process, the more complex it gets, and more the chances of the process stalling and ultimately failing. From a spiritual perspective, consider this, “Take all that you have in your mind right now and put it into a bag. Tie up the bag and throw it away. What remains, will set you on fire.” :)

Bang! ;)

Nimmy said...

@Jai: :-) Disagree by all means, Jimba! It gets tougher, what? ;-)
OK....let me try and understand your thoughts (stretch my mind till it screams for help)and pick on aspects that I want to understand better or discuss further! Knowing you, here's wishing me good luck and all that rot! He he! 8-)

1. A Chef could also discover these principles on his own and be one of the 'original' sources, what? BTW, why is an original source not capable of analysis or judgment? (Ignorant question?)

In the example given by Snowden, he is referring to Chefs who actually discover the laws and then apply them in an appropriate manner. But his consultants are ones that don't understand the principles but are however familiar with case studies (recipes) and try to blindly re-apply case studies in every context they are in!! Wondering whether you look at these two roles in the same manner that Snowden does - your reasoning may be quite different if your understanding of these roles varies! But I agree that we need an amalgamation of the two roles! :-) And, there definitely are occasions wherein being a consultant is more meaningful than being a chef! Amen to that!

2.On this point, I do not disagree with most of what you say! My only worry is "whether the majority is capable of understanding an esoteric idea". I have in my experience seen ideas being shot down only because the majority does not relate to it. This is in a so-called "collaborative" or "democratic" environment. Going back to my previous response, I'm just saying that sometimes it's good to get started on one's own in the case of an esoteric idea...!

3. Hey, I think we are at different levels here. You're talking at a higher - metaphysical? - level. (Is that the word I want, Jeeves?). I am talking about a simple physical incident. If you went to a movie and told your Mum you went to school and your Mum asked you to tell her exactly what you did in the reverse - chronological - order (backwards) you, apparently, will stumble and mumble and get all mixed up and be unable to rattle it off as it never really happened! But you, apparently, will be comfortable rattling off a real incident in the reverse order if asked to. Snowden was saying you can find out if a person is lying by asking him to explain what happened in the reverse order...if he pulls his hair out somewhere in the middle you know it did not really happen!

Bang! Bang! Bang! Pow! Don't make me think so much now!! ;-)

Caveman said...

Nah... it’s not getting tougher. Nims, I’m just trying to keep it as simple as possible so that you can understand the intellectual discussion we’re having ;-)

1. Of course a Chef can discover the principles on his own, while being the original source of it too. But the moment he starts documenting or analysing the principles of his discovery, he becomes a consultant. For instance, when the first omelette was made, it was created quite by chance. If the Chef then documented the principles behind the making of an omelette, he would move into the realm of analysis, which would close his chances with serendipity on the possibility of creating a Crêpe. However, if he refused to document the principles of making an omelette and not get bogged down by it, he could randomly throw in a handful of flour and half a cup of milk into the batter next time, and accidentally come up with Pancakes!! A consultant on the other hand would be dismissive of the Pancake because as far as he’s concerned, it doesn’t conform to the principles of making an omelette, which he so carefully collected, analysed and suggested to everybody, all day long.
In the metaphysical realm too, the original source only creates, and does not analyse or judge. That is the function of lesser mortal ‘consultants’ like us ;)

2. I agree with you. I too see great ideas being shot down without merit, all the time. However, as you pointed out, this happens in “so called ‘collaborative’ and ‘democratic’ environments,” the identification of which has been outlined in my previous comment.
To start off on your own if you have an esoteric idea is not a bad idea at all :). But, an individual will have to weigh the pros and cons of going at it all alone. Now, let’s say the individual creates something new and efficient by virtue of her esoteric idea; wouldn’t she have to collaborate with others eventually to create the product en masse or to sell the idea? So, don’t you think, it’s a better idea for the top management of organisations to invest more time, money and effort into creating democratic processes within a working ‘collaborative’ environment? In the long run, wouldn’t that translate into larger profits?

3. Okay, say ‘supercalifragalisticexpialidocious’ in the reverse order. I bet you’d stumble and mumble and tear your hair out too. Does that mean you’re lying? Consider this, if you say, “Girl, bathing on Bikini, eyeing boy, sees boy eyeing bikini on bathing girl,” backwards, you’ll still get the truth outta the boy ;) Anyway you look at it, a lie told backwards is always the truth.
If I went to a movie and told my Mum I went to school and my Mum asked me to tell her exactly what I did in the reverse - chronological - order (backwards), I, apparently, will stumble and mumble and get all mixed up and be unable to rattle it off as it never really happened; and the lie that i told, backwards would lead to the truth. Q.E.D. ;)

Bang! Bang! Bang! Boom! KaPow! ;)

KayKap said...

Phew! Now my head is spinning! I was about to comment on something that @ Caveman said, but now I am kinda rendered speechless (read, paralysis of fingers on keyboard while mind grapples with all the analysis up there). Will come back and comment. For the now, thoroughly enjoyed the point-counter-point :-)

Nimmy said...

Inhale. 12345. Start babbling. ;-)

@Jai: OK....now, let's see if this gets simpler... ;-)

1. I believe that a chef does not necessarily become a consultant when he analyzes what he himself discovered. Simply because a consultant has a completely contradictory nature. In this example, he is the one who analyzes someone else's discovery! Q.E.D - He he, you taught me this, ok? And, hey, I think analysis and creativity are not necessarily mutually exclusive! They can co-exist! Once again, take my example....I learned some things about KM in my previous stints. I have documented them....but I don't stick by them at all times. There are times when I abandon something and look at it from a fresh perspective - to suit my current context! I sometimes create....and don't analyze.....but an analysis at a later point of time is worth it as it might reveal an intriguing aspect that had escaped me earlier. Ask Sherlock Holmes or Poirot! ;-)[BTW, ironically, Scorpios are supposed to be analytical geniuses...! :-)]

2.Agree! Must weigh pros and cons. Must collaborate later to scale up the idea. Management must spend time to create a working collaborative environment! :-) I think we are pretty much on the same page here.

3. Hey Jimba...Snowden only says that telling a lie backwards is not easy! And he's not talking about words...he's talking about incidents. I think I am totally lost on what you mean when you say a lie told backwards *is* the truth! :-P But I agree with the proposition that a lie told backwards may ultimately LEAD to the truth and in fact, that's exactly what Snowden intends to say - An attempt to tell a lie backwards is not easy and therefore could as well lead to the revelation of the truth...! Hey...you're not pulling my leg here, are you? Mmm? :-)

Nimmy falls down in a heap. Sshh.

Nimmy said...

@KK: Add one more head to that...mine. Making it a total of two spinning heads. @Caveman is the only soul here with a steady head. ;-)

Would love to see how you add to this, er, mind-boggling discussion! :-)

KayKap said...

@nimmypal, you know @caveman's comment that a lie told backward is still the truth takes me kinda back into Jacques Derrida's theory of deconstruction. In fact this lie-told-backwards is a perfect example where the theory could be used. Perhaps you might wanna explore that linkage :-)

Caveman said...

1. Okay... lets define both ‘Consultant’ and ‘Chef’ to understand this discussion better. A 'Consultant' is one who gives professional advice or services. A 'Chef' or 'Cook' is a person who creates food for eating.
Therefore, a Chef is not concerned with giving professional advice or services. Instead, a Chef is concerned only with creating food. A ‘Consultant Chef’ on the other hand would be a person who gives professional advice on the art of creating food for eating.

Now, i never said that analysis and creativity are mutually exclusive. In fact, i’ve agreed with you that a Chef can be creative as well as analytical. Where my point of view differs from yours is that i believe a Chef ceases to be a Chef when he is analytical. The moment a cook becomes analytical, he is ready to impart knowledge and thus becomes a Consultant or a ‘Consultant Chef’. :p

As stated in one of my earlier comments, it is better to be a ‘Chef who is a Consultant’ or a ‘Consultant who is a Chef’, rather than being any one of them exclusively, while still specialising in one of the two. As for you, you’re not a Chef. You’re a Consultant Chef, because you document, analyse and use your analysis, not to get straight-jacketed in a particular way of thinking, but to create something new. Had you been a Chef, you would never document or analyse anything. %)

Bah! Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and Dick Tracy are all consultants; and i can beat them hands down any day ;) Mindboggling, eh? #)

2. Yup, we’re on the same page on the collaborative stuff, alright. Thank God for that ;). One down, two to go. Phew!

3. But I never ever disagreed with Snowden. I just said what he proclaimed was an interesting proposition. However, not only is telling a lie backwards not easy; telling anything backwards is not easy. I again challenge you to say, “super-cali-fragi-listic-expi-ali-docious” backwards. Are you lying if you don’t find saying it easy?
Okay, now let’s get a little technical. Ever heard of the Ishikawa (fishbone) Diagram? Of course you have. So, what’s it for? It is used to conduct ‘root cause’ analysis. How is it constructed? Well, you start off with a problem (or a LIE) and work backwards to get to the root cause of the problem (or the TRUTH). So, you see, a LIE told backwards, always leads to the truth. Or in other words, a LIE told backwards is always the truth. ;)

P.S. Nims, i’m just trying to make conversation. Otherwise i’d agree with you, because i do. But you see, dissent is a great way to build consensus, simply because it allows everybody to put their viewpoint forward and not have to start off with a yes. And even ridiculous dissent has a way to strengthen one’s belief. Gone too far, huh? :( You may be more like Hobbes, but i’m more like Calvin. So, best of luck ;)

Ring around a Rose, Pocket full of Posies. Aaa-choo, Aaa-choo, We all Fall Down.

@KK: bring it on!! :)

Nimmy said...

@Jai: Atta man! I like the energy! :-)

1. Define a Chef and a Consultant - Something we ought to have done long back, what? :-) I think you have a pretty reasonable definition out there but what I was thinking/visualizing is slightly different. I was imagining a situation where both the Chef and the Consultant are asked to cook something based on a recipe! I guess you did not look at it from this angle?

OK. My bad. You did not say analysis and creativity are mutually exclusive. But why do you want to label the chef as strictly creative and non-analytical? Why black or white? Why not gray? Why not, eh?

All said and done, I like your idea of a Consultant Chef...!
But are you saying a creative person does not impart knowledge and the moment someone becomes analytical, he is ready to share knowledge? When I share a picture I've drawn....I am not analytical...but I am still sharing that 'knowledge'. People interpret the obvious and hidden messages in the picture!(Hope we don't go off on a tangent here! ;-)) But you've just made me think hard....about what 'sharing' involves....the analysis of something? What about music/art/dance....? They make people think too...! Hmmm?

2. Phew!!!!! :-) *Chuckle*

3. No...the reverse logic does not work. All people with a sense-of-humor are men does not mean all men have a good sense-of-humor! ;-) So, it does not mean you're lying if you are having a difficulty saying something backwards. (Now, let's get done with this thing - here you go - docious - ali - expi - listic - fragi - cali -super. Happy? Mock 'Grrr'.)
Fish-bone. Yeah. Yeah. Nice reference! Why is a problem a "Lie"??? Eh? Eh? What? Eh, I mean? You could call it a symptom....but it is not a lie...! And, any which way, we are not "telling" the lie backwards...are we? We are looking at its origin...different from telling it backwards, I tell you!

:-) Brainy cove! Go ahead. Test my brain's limits! Won't take you too long! ;-) Me Hobbes? Nah. Not so wise. A "which cartoon character are you?" game once told me I am Calvin, BTW!!! :-P

Caveman said...

Gee Whiz, this is fun :D

1. If the Chef and the Consultant were both asked to cook something based on a recipe, the dish would be a disaster. That’s because, a Chef is exclusively ‘creative’ and wouldn’t be able to follow a laid down pattern; and a Consultant wouldn’t know what it means to be a Chef and would just stare away blankly at the recipe. What you’re looking for is a Chef who is also a Consultant, or a ‘Consultant Chef’, who can both analyse the recipe as well as create the dish.

Consider this: A Hen creates an Egg. It doesn’t know how to create the egg; it just creates it. However, if the Hen starts thinking on how she creates an egg and documents the process, she’d go onto the next level of evolution and become a Consultant Hen. On the other hand, a Consultant who has been closely observing the Hen lay eggs, could document the process and analyse it, but would never be able to lay an egg, unless he has the creative ability of the Hen. The Consultant can only analyse, document and create conditions that are right for the Hen to be creative.

I am not saying that a creative person ceases to be creative if she starts analysing. What I am saying is that a creative person or a ‘Chef’ becomes a ‘Consultant Chef’ when she starts analysing. And that is the next step in the evolution of being a Chef. However, it is by virtue of being a Chef, that a Consultant remains creative and not the other way around. Therefore, if a Consultant, without experience in creativity, were to try to create something from a recipe, it’d be a disaster.

An artist does not analyse; an artist creates. The analysis of a piece of art is done by a consultant. However, an artist can also consult. But then the artist becomes less creative and more analytical. When an artist becomes too analytical, he typecasts his work into a particular genre, and refuses to deviate into something new, such as ‘abstract art’ for example. The right balance would be for an artist to stick to being an artist, and analyse very little what he creates. This makes him a ‘Consultant Artist’ or an ‘Artist Extraordinaire’, savvy? :)

2. ;)

3. Are you trying to say that ‘all men with a sense of humour don’t have a good sense of humour’ is a lie? Then the opposite of that is the truth. ;) I am glad you’ve come around to my way of thinking. Of course it doesn’t mean you’re lying if you have difficulty in saying something backwards!! That’s precisely my point!! :D Therefore, when i tell my mum in reverse chronological order that i was at school, when actually i had gone to see a movie, and i mumble and stumble, that doesn’t mean I’m lying. That’s the truth ;)

A problem is “complexities that have been built up on an original point”. The origin is the truth. A problem built up on complexities, is a Lie. So working backwards from a problem, which is a lie, will lead you to the point of origin, or the truth.


Bullshit, I’m Calvin, Zorton! Zap! :D

Nimmy said...

@Jai: Fun is this Whiz Gee...! ;-)

1. I think the bone of contention here is the definition of a Chef & Consultant. Listen, a Chef has to be capable enough of seeing a recipe and then following it....not everything he does has to be creative - in that case he can never ever cook the same dish twice!! However, when given a recipe, the Chef in him might want to change a few things rather than stick to the rules or maybe just take inspiration from it.

Coming to the Consultant - he can very well follow the recipe if it is exhaustive enough! But, yes, he might, more often than not, not deliver the goods!

I am not sure I agree that an Artist should stick to being just creative and not analyze what he does. That way, there would be no concept of improvement. Actors get better only when they start studying their performances and understand where they're going wrong etc.

3. Nopes. I don't say that! :-)The bone of contention here is "A lie told backwards is the truth". That is what I am not able to understand or accept...despite all the explanations you seem to have thrown in! And neither am I able to accept that a problem is a lie. What is a definition of a lie - IN THIS CONTEXT? - Something that did not happen. Is a problem something that did not happen? If you vehicle breaks down, you have a problem. And that problem is real...not a lie. Maybe you can try a different example if you think we both are at different levels! :-)

No. Me. Me. Maybe, it's the transmogrifier at work. ;-)

Caveman said...

Zounds! I must have left the Duplicator on for too long! Now there are two Calvins! And the imposter Calvin thinks she’s me! Quick Hobbes, help me transmogrify the imposter into a girl. And Hobbes, i’m done with G.R.O.S.S. So you can be supreme leader if you want ;)

1. You’ve got it wrong. It’s a ‘Consultant Chef’ who is capable of “seeing a recipe and then following it” and “change(ing) a few things rather than stick(ing) to the rules or maybe just take inspiration from it.”

A Chef by himself, is only creative. A Consultant by herself, is only analytical. Merge the two and they make hot food, çava bien? ;)

Who said an artist should only stick to being creative and not analyse what he does? I said that an artist by himself, is only creative. A Consultant by herself, is only analytical. Merge the two and they make sweet and innovative art :D

However, if an artist gets too analytical of his work, he’ll be prone to tunnel vision. Therefore, the need to merge only a little bit of the consultant into the artist; or only a little bit of the artist into the consultant.

Of course actors get better when they study their performances to understand where they’re going wrong. But, if the actor gets over-analytical, he destroys his ability to be creative. Therefore, an actor needs to find the right balance to be a ‘Consultant Actor’ and not either of the two in isolation. To add to this point, a consultant by herself is one who can only guide an actor through analysis, but is incapable of acting as well as the actor. To be creative and act as well as the actor, the consultant will have to transmogrify herself into a ‘Consultant Actor’ :-)

2. ;-) again

3. Okay, since you agreed with me on point two, i’ll agree with you on point three. Deal? :D

Nimmy said...

Gustahikoltakmipishudamaly! I am the one who suggested that the Transmogrifier must be at work. So, I am the original Calvin! Heh heh. (Bill Watterson, of course, is bound to disagree with both of us)

1. That's why I started off by saying the bone of contention is in the definition. Your definition of a Chef is different from my definition of a Chef. My arguments so far have never been based on the belief that a Chef is purely creative. In my imagination, a Chef is creative, understands principles (agree with Snowden) and is observant among other things - which means he is also analytical. What you've done is create a sub-category called Consultant Chef which was never there in the original proposition by Snowden. Going by your definitions, there can never exist a Chef or a Consultant in the real world. According to your definition, like I pointed out earlier, a Chef will never be able to cook the same dish twice! We can only have a combination of these two roles. So, there. No wrong or right! It is about two different definitions, yours being more of a theoretical definition.

Ultimately, life is definitely about balancing the two attitudes. Some of us are more creative and some more analytical...when people with these two different attitudes get together and are able to collaborate in a smooth manner, I am sure great things can happen!

3. Whoa? Really? 8-) Mock Joy!

Caveman said...

Ha! You can’t be the original Calvin! You don’t even know what G.R.O.S.S. is, Plootargian! Thought you’d fool me with your disguise of Miss Wormwood, eh? :O

Spaceman Spiff must avenge the gross injustice meted out to Stupendous Man by the Plootargian!

Wait, lemme set my Death Ray Zorcher to Shake-n’-Bake! Okay Plootargian, be ready to be baked in a percolating pit of putrid pasta!

1. That’s the trouble with Consultants. They get so blind sighted by theories that they cannot use their imagination to think beyond it. Let me quote what you said a few comments back, “Why black or white? Why not gray? Why not, eh?” So, why do you want to have only a Chef and a Consultant, eh? Why can’t you have something that lies between them, huh, huh, why? ;)
You also said, and i quote, “..it is just a possibility..” Keeping that in mind, if we look at the theory of probability, it says that there are only two absolute values, ‘0’ and ‘1’. 0 means something that cannot happen; and 1 means something that will always happen. However, the theory of probability also allows for space between 0 and 1, which comes into the sphere of possibility; a possibility that a situation may or may not occur. Likewise, in Zen Buddhism, there exists between nothing and everything, something called ‘Mu’. This is the place one enters to deepen one's understanding and awaken.

Applying the logic of both the Theory of Probability and Zen Buddhism, we can say that 0 = Chef, 1 = Consultant, and between the two lies a whole range of possibility.

I challenge Snowden’s postulation that a Chef analyses, because a Creator or 0 cannot analyse. That job is of the Chef’s opposite, the Consultant. But that doesn’t mean that a Chef cannot consult, or a Consultant cannot create; a chef who consults or a consultant who creates, shifts away from 0 and 1 respectively and enters the sphere of possibility, instead of being rigid to the 0 and the 1. The best possible situation is for the Chef and the Consultant to meet in the middle at ‘Nu’, which incidentally is the 13th letter of the Greek alphabet and corresponds to the value of 50 or half. It is here in the middle, that a Chef or a Consultant becomes a 'Consultant Chef'.

Spaceman Spiff saves the day again ;D

2. ;) ;) ;)

3. So you agree. Hmmm.... what’s the catch? %-( Mock puzzlement.

Double Zounds! Spaceman Spiff’s Zorcher is no match for the aliens Hydro Bomb! Spaceman Spiff must retreat to fight another day!
Man, i am in trouble now, aren't I?

Okay, jokes apart, i agree with all the takeaways of the KM meet. I’m just trying to make conversation. So don’t kill me.. yet. Please,please, please huh.

P.S. wonder what Jerry would have to say about this whole bone of contention thing :)

Nimmy said...

@Jai: You are an unstoppable riot, aren't you?!! :-) LoL....I pity your mother. I pity your father. I pity your grandmother. grandfather. uncles. aunts. Simba. siblings. friends. enemies. I pity. Hey...just kidding! ;-) You can single-handedly fight the rest of the world, can't you? Atta man! GROSS - Go Read Outside Stuff Seriously? Get Rid of Smiley Snakes? (only thing I don't like about C&H is this)

1. No. No. No. NO. We can have sub-categories. By all means, Jimba! I was just pointing out that, in fact, a Chef is not a pure black-white Chef but a person with multiple qualities. I continued to call him/her a Chef while you changed it to Consultant Chef. That's all.

As for the rest of your comment on this point, er, is it OK if I respond by the 10th of December, 2023? :-) I might anyway have to read it every single day of the rest of my life to understand what to say. Spare me the task!!! Whew! God save all the Consultant Chefs. Please, God? Please?

2.and 3. Silence. Peaceful Silence. I am at the 13th letter of the Greek alphabet now! Hush.

No. You're completely out of trouble. You can never ever be in trouble. All you need to do is to leave comments on people's blogs and they'll never bother you again! :-) Hey...I'm just kidding, OK? Your comments are all as provocative as Snowden's declarations. You and Snowden should have a debate. Would be interesting....er...to watch I mean. ;-)

Jerry - the poor chap is a bit unwell now. Sniff. He might not care. Let him recover and I'll send him over to chew you. Hmph!

Caveman said...


Ha! Juz kidding, too ;)

Okay, okay, we’re both a little bit of Calvin and Hobbes, each. So, we’re better than them coz’ we’re both Calvin & Hobbes! (Do i see Bill Waterson pull out his gun and shoot himself?)


Hey, look, you and snow white are professionals. I’m just a novice and can’t even think in my wildest dreams of taking you guys on. And in any case, i agree with snow white, so what more can i say.


Me too, me too... i also wanna be a part of whatever is happening on 10th of December, 2023. What’s up on that date?????


Jerry: Old boy, get well soon. Chicken soup ought to do you good. Of course, if you’re a vegetarian, you could go in for a vegetable broth. Tell yer ol’ nutty lady to rustle up some fer ya, fella. I know you’ll probably poo a lot with all that soup stuff creating ruckus in your tummy, but that’s good, coz that means that them germs are being flushed out. Looking forward to chewing on a bone sometime together ol’ chap.... and psst! we won’t tell MAma about nothin’ ;)

Nims: lest i drive you up your Cabin wall, i think i’ll call this discussion quits :( until you wanna have a go at another topic sometime :) Will be an honour to chew your brains again ;)

P.S. noticed KayKap? She’s into guerrilla warfare, i say. Hit and Run, methinks. And she seems plenty good at the OODA loop stuff – Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.............. disappear! ;)

Nimmy said...

@Jai: Someone please save me. I might laugh my way to death at this rate! ROFL to the power of 100. God!


Now. I shall personally send a link to snow white - shucks - snowden and encourage him to shoot you (will provide him with the ammunition as well) for this blasphemy. Don't you dare. I am big fan of Snowden, ok? Grr.


Coming to J, interesting to see his crazy (yes, you) friends communicating with him via my blog. Anyway, as long as I get to tamper with the message and turn it into something in my favour before passing it on to him, all's well with the world. Let me see if I can get him some soup, then. :-) Hello, if you think he will let you chew a bone with him, you are totally mistaken. He'll chew you before chewing the bone! Beware!

Did you notice how peaceful the world looks now? *Giggle* Like someone was saying somewhere else in some other context in response to something else...how can I ever make such an outrageous claim - that I have a brain? You got nothing to chew, Jimba. Nothing at all...! :-(

Kaykap: She's gonna kill me for this but I laughed so much on reading your opinion about her modus-operandi. Kkoo...wanna come back and throw some bones on the ground? :-)

KayKap said...

hmmm. I shall think about killing you later at leisure, first this, now stones, sorry boulders.
@Caveman, guerrilla warfare and me!!! I wish...no just went to reorient some poor analysts/consultants internally, and there someone flipped the chef/consultant debate into the pix, so kinda still involved there.
But basically, Derrida's theory looks into the backend, if you can call it that of a structure (literary structure) and analyses/understand the motives and directives behind what is created. For example, Wordsworth's Daffodils basically talks about their beauty, beauty that is being recalled. So in essence understanding that WW is revisting memories helps the reader to construct where that need for revisting came from and how it arrives at the current structure and what its impact is on the reader. A kind of back and forth, back and forth until a satisfactory originating point has been arrived at; thence to move forward into the current, the now and the future. It of course goes without saying that truth for the creator at that moment can be the lie for the reader at another. However, the construction (processes, apps, steps) not.
Enuff bones strewn, eh Nimmy?

Caveman said...

Phew! Free at last! Okay, let’s see what we have here...

@KayKap: hmmm... who’s ‘d’ rida fella anyway? and why does he keep looking up folks derrieres?? Anyhow, i disagree with dis rida chappie, i do :)

You see, when Wordsworth was a young child, his ma once gave him some crayons to put away into a drawer. But young WW had other ideas and ended up doodling stuff randomly on a piece of paper (without recalling anything... from anywhere). This was the stage at which he was a Chef, or merely a creator. It was only when he grew up that he became a Consultant Chef (poet) and started writing poetry that was structured, leading him to recall the beauty of the daffodils he had once seen.

Now i completely agree with you when you say, “in essence understanding that WW is revisting memories helps the reader to construct where that need for revisting came from and how it arrives at the current structure and what its impact is on the reader.” I’ve kinda written something on the same lines at Perception ;-)

However, a creator (chef) can never be analytical like a consultant and is never concerned with documenting processes. For example, 2 parts of hydrogen don’t know why they must merge with 1 part of oxygen to create water. Hydrogen and oxygen never analyse the process of creating water; nor do they document it. They just go ahead and create. But if hydrogen and oxygen ever attain the cognitive ability to rationalise the process of creating water, they’d become Consultant Chefs.

Likewise, if you believe in the mythological triumvirate of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, who essentially represent the three energies – of the creator, the preserver and the destroyer – that govern all forms of existence, you’ll notice that somehow poor Brahma never gets any attention at all! Vishnu, on the other hand seems to get a lot of love by virtue of his avtaars. But it is Mahesh (or Shiva) who gets the maximum attention. A legend has it that Brahma had once been cursed that he would be the least revered God among the triumvirate; and since that day he is worshipped only at one temple in India – at Pushkar, Rajasthan, and nowhere else. However, i’d like to think Brahma is not worshiped because the concept of Brahma as a creator (chef) is devoid of judgement and doesn’t threaten the human psyche. Whereas, Shiva – the destroyer, is judgemental (a consultant) and is likely to wreak havoc if things haven’t been followed as per a process; this creates fear amongst people and they worship him lest he get angry with them. Vishnu on the other hand, being the gentle, all knowledgeable and compassionate one that he is, balances the two opposing forces of the creator and the destroyer, thus becoming a Consultant Chef (or the wise one), who is the most loved and cherished God amongst the pantheon that we have (in the form of his avtaars - Ram, Krishna, et al) ;)

So, although life, or for that matter work, can never function without the three forces of the Chef, the Consultant Chef and the Consultant; to be the wise one, the chef (non-analytical creator) and the consultant (analytical destroyer) would have to meet in the middle to be a ‘Consultant Chef’. And that’s when the Chef and the Consultant’s “....heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the Daffodils.” :-)

P.S. do forgive me for my gibberish... i’m prone to rambling (but i make sense nevertheless ;) ).

Nimmy said...

@Jai: I love the Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara story!! Have, of course, heard about it many a time....but obviously seeing it being 'metaphorized' and aligned with the Chef/Consultant thingy for the first time. Makes for a fascinating read, I say! :-)) Vishnu - of course - is the preserver and hence the great fan-following and request for 'customer-service' (think of Tirupathi). :-)

Caveman said...

Yup, i never thought of that. So very true.

Well, the wonderful lord that he is... he sure deserves it :)

sukumar said...

wow Nimmy. What a superb coverage of an entire event in one post. Well done. Thanks for doing that.

Nimmy said...

Thanks a lot, Sukumar! I'm glad all the rambling is proving to be of some use! :-)

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