A Trace in the Sand
by Ruth Malan
What's a Trace?
My Trace is a playground for developing ideas, for exploring architecture and the role of architects. It is a journal of discovery, and traces my active reflection. I've been journaling "out loud" here for over eight years. To get a sense of the span, calibre and contribution of this body of work, there's a selection of traces linked here. When reading a trace in isolation, it may feel like you've been dropped into a thought fray unprepared for the action that is already in progress. It's okay. You're smart, and my Trace assumes that. You'll get your bearing quickly. Just give it a chance -- maybe a little September? or August? August was more chunky. September, somewhat spunky. Like this:
Not that August was without -- I mean, who else titles a post about the Single Responsibility Principle
One day someone will notice that I do stuff like that, huh? But what about the content? Take the Object Synonymous trace. It's an unassuming, playful little trace that carries more than its weight in big ideas.
Oh yeah. This is worth digging up again:
Smile! Or. Smile?
Oh, well... at least the writing here is... energetic... and certainly does not stop at clarity and logic:
Last month the balloon that lofts my ego high enough to write out loud in public, was punctured with criticism of my writing and a pointer to a writing analysis tool to help me improve it, so indulge me a little and at least give me energetic, okay? Thank you. You're very kind.
London -- ARE. YOU. READY?!
I am sooo looking forward to working with many great architects during the "Architecting: it’s (not) what you think" workshop at the Software Architect Conference in London (October 14)! Gulp -- impressed that the workshop filled so quickly.
My take on 'splainin' is that we are wired to connect, to help, to be collaborative and yadda good stuff. Sara wrote an awesome poem on oxytocin for homework last night (the wonder of deadlines, you know), and she won't let me have it to share with you, but here are the last two lines:
Given all the other ways we're wired -- fight or flight lizard brain defense routines, and all that -- I'm all like "Moar oxytocin! Moar oxytocin!" Go look at photos of your kids when they were bubs.
But splutter. Splainin Ruth. You were splainin. Yeah. Yeah. I'm just preparing the ground of your mind a little, ya know. Take another look at those baby pics; gaze into the smiling face of your loyaly dog.... ;-)
So. Take wanting to help, and expectation biases, and voila. Condescension. We offer help to the stereotyped image of a person we hold, instead of investigating whether that help is even in the ballpark of being helpful, or if, because it bespeaks a view of the person that diminishes their abilities, it is an insult that says in actions what hurts louder than words.
Anyway. That's how I mom-splained 'splainin' to my teen when she came home hurt and rebellious at her first experience of this lubbly phenomenon. She took my 'splainin zeal in stride, and didn't let it dent her dignity, so far as I'm aware. I hope you're as tolerant. :-) The thing is, 'splainin is fine most of the time. It might be boring and tiresome, but not necessarily hurtful. It's just when it hits the core identity of a person that it really pins one to the wall in pain. Splain some obvious tech concept to a bright nerdy girl based on small-minded assumptions about girls, and it's going to hurt. Because the assumption hurts. That sort of thing.
I also write at:
- Bredemeyer Resources for Architects