Geek Speak and the Triple B
In a previous article we covered the internet of things which to sum it up really means interconnectivity. Possibly using the TCP/IP protocol. Financial news correspondents love using phrases which are meaningless, maybe your broker as well. Fancy terms are either lost on the audience or just really means zilch to them. Use real words and a real language. Of course if you have a product and you need to sell it you don’t tell people why they should have it but rather what would happen if they did not have it. Fear is the biggest driving force – the biggest seller – from newspapers, to artillery and sports cars. Imagine not having to fear that your neighbour has a better car than you, that you don’t need cable TV or a motor vehicle with pedals in case you run out of gas.
Most autobiographies will give you a glimpse at the mistakes the author made before or after they became famous. Bill Gates is one. “The Road Ahead”. He does not suffer from ‘swelling of the head’ syndrome. Neither does he use techno-babble speak. Likewise Richard Branson’s “Losing my Virginity”. Both great reads by the way. So why didn’t they use geek speak when writing their books whilst quite obviously they are both technologically driven individuals?
I is a Manager
Many years back I had the displeasure of sitting with a chap whom used to service medical equipment for a living. Using fancy terms for all the equipment he worked on, fancy terms for the money he made and fancy terms for his success. He forgot to tell us that he had just recently been retrenched though. He was a walking talking inferiority complex. Now if he had devised a machine which cured diabetes would have been another story entirely. One of the best technicians I have met seldom spoke. He’d go in, do the job and move on to the next. The worst technician used to give a great rundown of what he was about to do, how he was going to do it and of course with much fanfare and fireworks did half a job. We all know someone like that so this is not something new. They make the world go round.
Summing it up with Thevenin
So why an article on Geek speak? In the world of computers I found the most fascinating teachers were the ones that explained in plain English (or any other language of your choosing). My own analysis, rightly or wrongly is because they understood the concept so did not have to cloak the explanation in symbols and hieroglyphics. Many years back, as a dumb-arsed first year student I asked our lecturer in the electronics class all about Thevenin’s theorem. Of course I had just read up on it so this was a simple test – student vs college prof. I failed dismally – taking an approach which was so simple he made all my understandings of Thevenin’s thereom look mediocre. And of course he made us write a test the following day on this same subject which I then did pass, based on his explanation, not my theories. Here was a guy whom could put an entire book into one easy 60 minute lecture. This sort of sums it up – bullshit baffles brains. Or rather: “Merda taurorum animas conturbit”.
Merda taurorum animas conturbit Vs Geek Speak
The Internet of Things is merda taurorum animas conturbit. Like car torques, horsepower and fuel economy, GPU speed and PMPO. When your avid listener’s eyes glaze over you know you have made an impact. Like the salesman whistling through his teeth when he tells you that “that capacitor is expensive”. What he is telling you is, “man, you must just check my mark-up”. Although geek speak is associated with the computer gurus, BBB is associated with politics and economists.
- Name dropping
- Forefinger wagging
- Using large non-descriptive words
- Output is usually in the form of ones and zeros or Hex and is spoken at a Baud rate
And to close off this round of BBB
When Albert Einstein died, he met three New Zealanders in the queue outside the Pearly Gates. To pass the time, he asked what were their IQs. The first replied 190. “Wonderful,” exclaimed Einstein. “We can discuss the contribution made by Ernest Rutherford to atomic physics and my theory of general relativity”. The second answered 150. “Good,” said Einstein. “I look forward to discussing the role of New Zealand’s nuclear-free legislation in the quest for world peace”. The third New Zealander mumbled 50. Einstein paused, and then asked, “So what is your forecast for the budget deficit next year?”