Talking to the Collective

Talking to the Collective: Center Square

Some of our problems start with bad communication between individual people and larger entities, like companies and workplaces.

There are tons of texts for managers and marketers concerning the handling of people. There are fewer analyses of the situation for the individual.

(Worse, the successful ones become coopted, like Dilbert(tm).)

I'm a big fan of the notion of social contracts, and the ones between the individual and the non-Governmental collective have yet to be written acceptably.

DefinitionsStuff Companies Can't Say
Stuff Companies Can't DoCYADealing With CompaniesSo, this is supposed to be a revelation?

Cre: 990917 Mod: 000420

This whole "Talking to the Collective" thing started in '96 or so as a "ButtonTalk" document. ButtonTalk was a freeware thing for creating multi-page "interactive text" things where each page links to up to 6 other pages. With that, I created an HTML version which would load as one large document, but would have dozens of "pages." (Remember, this is back when people surfed the web with slow modems.)

The "Cre: 990917 Mod: 000420" you may notice on these pages refers to a version control thing I started on 9/17/1999, to indicate whether/when each sub-page had been updated. And now, I've sort of shoehorned this mess into Drupal's "book" system, which is hierarchical. So I'm keeping the cross-linking and adding an arbitrary tree system to it. And maybe I'll put additional -- and hopefully useful -- stuff at the bottom of the old pages, like this text right here.

To expand on the mission statement a bit, this is an attempt to describe ways for individuals to deal with multi-human organisms. (And if you don't think you've ever been part of a multi-person organism, you've never been in a long line when somebody tried to cut in front of it.)

I run into people who seem to have no idea how to deal with these things. They have no notion that what they discussed with one call center worker might not be remembered in its entirety by the next call center worker. And then these people (the individuals) blow up, hang up and -- if they ever get the nerve to try again -- have to go back to Square One.

So yeah, hostility at telemarketers is the easy part, and one I support. But getting a multi-headed beast to do what you WANT is the tricky bit.