I went to a basketball game last night with Doc Searls, and after the game we went out for a bite to eat. And we had a long talk, as we always do.
Conversations with Doc are like multi-dimensional tennis. He always hits the ball back over the net. But sometimes he hits two or three. And then I hit two or three. All of a sudden there are all these threads going on, and of course since conversation is mostly linear a lot of them drop on the floor. My mind picks them up later.
One of the things I wanted to say to Doc, who is a long-term outliner guy, is that there's an easy way to spot an outliner. They start sentences like this. There are three reasons for doing this. First, blah blah and second, blah blah and third etc etc. (I heard him doing this several times last night and made note in my mind to come back to this later.)
We tend to put bullet points on our conversations.
I, of course, am an outliner dude myself.
I'm happiest in rattling off lists of things that, together, make up a chain of thought.
My mind just organizes things that way for me.
It's as if it has a secretary that neatens everything up before delivering it to my mouth or fingers (for typing on the keyboard).
If you don't believe me, read the previous piece. :-)
Maybe it's because I'm an outliner that one of my favorite memories is of Coach Fahrenkrug, one of my high school teachers, who once held up three fingers and said, "It there's one thing I gotta tell you guys..." then switched to two fingers and continued, "it's these three things."
With his old school Brooklyn accent, he pronounced the last two words "tree tings."