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Posts from the ‘Purpose’ Category

Hierarchy.

Not all questions are created equal.

 

Selecting the right question to ask makes all the difference in conversation—want to have an interesting conversation? Ask interesting questions. In teaching—want to get a class, of any age, involved in the discussion? Ask interesting questions. In an interview—if you actually want to get to know your subject, you damn well better ask interesting questions.

 

I met the man who invented graffiti art in February, 2012. He claimed to have been responsible for the first of it anyone had ever seen, way back in the year of my birth. He told me between sips of champagne that he was consulting on a Hollywood movie based on the story of his life. He asked me if I was interested in going to a party in a basement on the Lower East Side. He followed this up with the statement that he would try to keep me safe there, and that a trip to the ER with a knife wound might do as much for my street cred as a poet as a cocaine overdose would. I asked him…

 

SAMO

 

No. It’s not who you think.

 

I share this story with you because I know it will spawn some questions of varying degrees of quality.

For example, “am I telling the truth now?” is less interesting than, “am I lying?” despite both questions ostensibly seeking the same factual outcome. The focus, the motivation, and the nuance are quite different between them.

 

However, both of these are positively dull compared to

 

Do I hear voices?

42

Since I’m committed to carving out this particular informational niche of the digital universe and calling it my own, I might as well do something with it.

If you haven’t already guessed from the titles and brief posts I’ve made so far, I’ve envisioned this space as a space for questions. Why? Because “why” is never as frivolous as it sounds, even when coming in groups of fives and twenties from a toddler. “Why” is, ultimately, how we decipher our world.

About midway through Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy we learn that a group of hyper-intelligent beings (mice) has spent the last 7.5 million years waiting for a computer named Deep Thought to come up with “the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything.” The Answer, as it turns out, is 42. The Question remains unknown. So, the hyper intelligent (and somewhat frustrated) beings commission the construction of another, grander, supercomputer at great expense. Why? To come up with The Question. The computer was named Earth, it was gorgeous, and populated, and eventually ran its program for billions of years until it was subsequently demolished to make way for a superhighway. Just short of producing The Question that everyone was waiting for.

The moral of the story is, as anyone who watched the entire broadcast series of The X-Files or Lost can tell you—

QUESTIONS ARE MORE INTERESTING THAN ANSWERS.

Nobody is getting those hours back. We’re here to produce questions.

Welcome.

Remember, questions. Not answers.