Take the leap.

Gulliver’s Travels

Last night I was pushing my son home in his stroller, and bargained a story in exchange for my glasses case, which he was snapping open and shut in ways that were dangerously close to destroying it. Given my aversion to accumulating “stuff,” I did not want to go and get a new case just because the one I had was broken in a fit of play. So when he handed it over, I tried really hard to think of a good story. Not finding anything original coming to mind immediately, Gulliver popped into my brain.

“Then the Lilliputians tied him up! His hair, his hands, his feet, with their tiny tools, and they put so many things around him, that when he woke up, he couldn’t move!!!”

“Why!?”

“Because he was tied down!”

“Oh.”

And later, he would go to a place where he was the little person! Imagine that! Going from one end to the other, extreme to extreme, and finding that all along the way the only thing that’s different was his….

Perspective!

And finding that Orangutan Swing dialogues are about giving people space and time to think about and consider new angles, whether bird’s eye, or worm’s eye, or simply scalar, I hit upon an insight.

We are going to go out and reread Gulliver’s travels.

Put that on the library queue, I told Akira when we got home.

It’s time to revisit some stuff, because metaphor is important! Because metaphor helps people understand what this whole dialogue design thing is about! Because without dialogue, the little Lilliputians might have been stamped and stuff, but with conversation and understanding, they weren’t! Imagine! What if…

And there is more to say here, but I don’t want to spill before I get a chance to revisit the book, and process some thoughts, so you guys get the “best of” notes instead of my rambles (like this one.) Still, I’m curious — what do you think about the idea of Gulliver and his travels and perspective, and dialogue, and thinking about how to set up the problem so you get some great results instead of just mediocre ones like we do in so many projects in our day-to-day jobs at work because no one is thinking or saying, “Hey, this could be soooo much better!”

?,

DK