David Kirkpatrick

March 5, 2008

Synchronicity in action

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:13 pm

It’s always cool when little bits of reality mesh together in very unexpected ways.

For example I was reading Seth Godin’s marketing blog yesterday and came across this post:

No user servicable parts inside

That’s what it says on countless electronic and mechanical devices. “Don’t touch this,” it says, “you’re way too dumb to open it… you’ll get hurt”The problem, of course, is that pretty soon you start looking at the entire world that way. Whether it’s web design or Google analytics or backing up your hard drive or just talking to the guys in the plant about your new ideas, it’s really easy to see the world as a black box.Here’s a simple secret of success: ignore the sticker.Figure out how to use the tools that the most successful people in your field understand innately.

Then last night as part of an ongoing science fiction binge I started reading Vernor Vinge’s “Rainbow’s End” and got to chapter eight — titled “No User-Serviceable Parts Within.”

On page 90 of the edition I’m holding a major character, Robert Gu, complained about the building components used in his future world and said:

“… because I can’t see in them. Look.” He flipped a rotary motor across the table. “‘No user-serviceable parts within.’ It’s stamped right in the plastic. Everything is a black box. Everything is inscrutable magic.” 

Made me pause a bit late last night before I continued reading. Maybe Godin is reading some Vinge right now as well.