October 18, 2006

Never Assume Rationality

The minor to medium changes continue to take place on this blog, as I work to make it more navigable, search engine friendly, etc, or to better represent what people can find when they do drop by. Most clearly, the site now has a title identifying it as a "Silicon Valley Blog" with a focus on technology, sports and politics. Many blogs are successful through niching themselves in a segment that is underserved, while others largely cater to friends and immediate family. This one, so far, is in between. It's not heavily marketed, but people should know what they have found.

Another addition is a slogan (for now) that says to "Never Assume Rationality". It derives from a conversation I had with a coworker nearly five years ago, where the two of us were debating internal strategy and how we could pitch a concept to those at higher management levels. When I questioned how it possibly could be turned down, and wondered aloud as to one individual's reaction, I was told that my big mistake was in "assuming rationality." If I came in with the fundamental expectation that those around us were rational, I could be blindsided. Instead, the new approach was to make the case and withstand all potential objections, be they rational or not.

We don't live in a Mr. Spock world of black and white, logical or illogical. Much of what we do requires the input and/or approval of others who may have widely different viewpoints, goals or expectations, and though we may both be trying to act rationally, our own actions can seem way off the mark to others.

Additionally, on a more fun note, it's not entirely rational to devote so much energy and value to non-essential things such as sports, or technological gadgets. One's "fandom" for the Oakland A's, for Apple Computer, or for one political party over the other can sometimes border on the irrational. And here, at least, that's okay. As a blogger, I'm not a journalist. I don't need to be impartial, and I don't need to be rational. So don't assume I will be all of the time.

Listening to ''Cherry Pie'', by Underworld (Play Count: 4)