Men of the Other Type

Jun 17, 2011

Another golden nugget from Cryptonomicon:

MEN WHO BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE ACCOMPLISHING SOMETHING by speaking speak in a different way from men who believe that speaking is a waste of time. Bobby Shaftoe has learned most of his practical knowledge — how to fix a car. butcher a deer, throw a spiral, talk to a lady, kill a Nip — from the latter type of man. For them, trying to do anything by talking is like trying to pound in a nail with a screwdriver. Sometimes you can even see the desperation spread over such a man’s face as he listens to himself speak.

Men of the other type — the ones who use speech as a tool of their work, who are confident and fluent — aren’t necessarily more intelligent, or even more educated. It took Shaftoe a long time to figure that out.

I couldn’t stop thinking of this passage as I spent yesterday in an all-day planning meeting.