Wednesday, October 12, 2005

My Two Things

I just discovered The Two Things. It's a site of pure genius. "For every subject, there are really only two things you really need to know. Everything else is the application of those two things..."


The Two Things about Advertising:
1. Get people's attention
2. Overwhelm them with charm.

Some of them are profound and really seem to peg a discipline's essence:

The Two Things about Non-profits:
1. You have to look like money to get money
2. Everything is mission-critical

The Two Things about Advertising:
1. Get people's attention
2. Overwhelm them with charm.

Some are like simple, lovely poems or haikus:

The Two Things about Boxing:
1. Hit.
2. Don't get hit.

Some (many) are funny:

The Two Things about Biology:
1. Evolution is the process through which genetic structures that are better equipped to reproduce viable copies will tend to proliferate.
2. Except for the Platypus.

I tried writing some of my own (below), about the things I do. After coming up with each of them, I asked myself "If I was allowed a third thing, what would it be?" In every case, a third thing seemed less important (and not really essential) than the two I had already listed. So I asked myself, "What if I was only allowed one thing?" In each case, one thing didn't seem enough to describe the job.

The Two Things about Directing:
1. Know the story.
2. Watch and listen.

The Two Things about Teaching:
1. If the student doesn't learn, it's your fault.
2. The student is not required to do anything.

The Two Things about Web Design:
1. People have short attentions spans.
2. People can't read red text on a red background.

The Two Things about Acting:
1. Learn your lines.
2. Listen and respond.

The Two Things about Animation:
1. Timing.
2. Patience.

The Two Things about Storytelling:
1. Lie about anything except psychology.
2. If it doesn't move the story forward, axe it.

The Two Things about Drawing:
1. How does the line you're drawing affect the immediate area of the page surrounding it?
2. How does it affect the entire page?

The Two Things about Programming:
1. Does it work?
2. Could another programmer understand it?

The Two Thing about Marriage:
1. Her.
2. Me.

1 comment:

graycie said...

This is lovely. I especially like the Two Things About Storytelling --

Your Two Things About Teaching, while holding a great deal of truth, could also be supplemented by another perspective:
The Two Things About Teaching
a) They're not civilized.
b) I am.