Immediate vs. Reliable

Ryan posted up a response to my questions around immediate vs. reliable. I have to admit, that’s an impossible question to answer, but I guess that’s sort of the point of the exercise. You can tell Ryan did a lot of thinking around this, and I think his response is pretty inspiring.

The first big thought was around posing the question. He said.

The question you pose is often just as important as the answer you find.

That idea made me think of David Foster Wallace’s now famous Kenyan convocation speech (see next post). In that wonderfully inspiring bit, he talks about how the mind is a wonderful servant and a terrible master. That if we can harness the power of thinking about what we do before we do it, we can end up in a pretty amazing place. I think Ryan was onto something similar. By carefully formulating your questions, you move with intention. It’s not emergent, it’s not post rationalized, it’s just well thought through.

Secondly, I like we’re Ryan started to break apart the standard unanswerable question and graft some of those qualities onto people and methods.

I want reliable people posing provocative questions and processing more immediate inputs.

That’s pretty genius if you think about it. Immediacy and reliability are just concepts, without context they aren’t real. Taking those things and attributing them to who/what/when/how gets you much closer to a designable state. It’s a nice aspirational equation for who you should find and how they should work. Thanks Ryan.

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