AG woz ‘ere

Hey, I’m A.G. Silva, I’m so glad you came!

I have been leaving messages in presentations for years, trying to escape these diagrams where a tightrope walker balances lots of sticks. I think its a metaphor that has something to do with balancing lots of competing priorities at once. I have so much more to show than my tightrope walking skills, and have other metaphors to serve!

Anyway, before I go, I have some things to say about wire-walking, funambulism among friends.

Firstly, those sticks the doodlers give me are actually really helpful, why do they insist on treating them like some kind of burden in the metaphor? Actually, the hardest part for me is balancing without the sticks right at the beginning – from there I am usually alright. That said, carrying loads of sticks on your own is pretty inconvenient even on solid ground, you don’t need my tightrope skills to demonstrate that!

Secondly, the weights at the end of the sticks are quite helpful, providing lots of rotational inertia for me to push against when I feel myself leaning one way or the other. I don’t know why they are often treated as ‘extreme’ or ‘bad’ in the metaphor.

Actually, with a flexible enough balance pole, those weights sag below the rope, and if they weigh enough and sag low enough, then me and they are completely stable together, even in high winds. Even you could walk the rope like this as long as you stay strong. Let me show you!

So stand up straight, and hold the balance pole tightly
Then make sure the weights are attached to a very bendy pole, and weigh enough to keep you stable, then all you need to do it stand perfectly stiff and still, even if you lean a little bit
Ta-da! I can do several with ease
Double ta-da!

But how, to overextend the metaphor on my own now, could we use this as food for thought? That the tensions inherent between extremes can lead to stability, as long as you have a bendy enough pole and enough core strength to hold it all together? That having a balance pole with some weight at the extremes is better than one with the weight evenly distributed (okay, maybe not), but you need both sides extremes to balancing each other out, yet connected to each other, else you come tumbling down?

Anyway, see ya!

AG