kitchen table math, the sequel: remembering what you understand

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

remembering what you understand

Reading through the whole-brain thread I've just come across this observation by Tracy W:
Understanding is good, but it's only momentary. In my work I often spend hours trying to understand a problem, and then finally getting the flash of insight. And I've learnt that when the flash of insight comes I need to write it down and store it somewhere I can find it again, because otherwise I forget.
There's a terrific scene in Mad Men built on this premise. One of the copy writers stays up all night working on a brilliant idea for an ad campaign, and then, the next morning, he can't remember what his brilliant idea was.

The punchline: with Don Draper glowering and Peggy Olsen nervously trying to cover for her colleague, the guy finally cracks and says, "I had a brilliant idea, but I don't remember it."

There's a beat while the audience waits for Don to blow up.

Then Don says, "I hate when that happens."

1 comment:

Independent George said...

I remember that scene in Mad Men. The equivalent lesson in I.T. is, "Remember to write up your comment lines."