Saturday, October 20, 2007

being an advisee

Hint no 1 - Value
Every piece of advice is worth exactly what you paid for it. This is not a probabilistic rule. This is deterministic and irrefutable tangible fact.
If you get free advice, it means you paid nothing for it. That in turn means it is worth nothing.
Every piece of advice will only get you as much as you paid for it.

Hint no 2 - Signal to noise ratios.
Your signal is what you want. The noise is the extra unwanted stuff that they'll give you anyway ( most of it is free advice, but there are other sources of noise too). If you ask someone the way to the taj mahal, there are some people who'll also tell you the way to the qutb minar. This is inherent in the advice mechanism. People are made this way. They can't help it. Evolution might some day fix the bug. But until then it's noise. Noise is always free. But everything that is free is not noise.

By asking very few people, you get very little signal and a lot of noise. If you ask too many people, your signal will of course increase. So will your noise. Eventually, your brain will not be able to handle that much input. Because brain first takes the signal as well as the noise, then decides which is signal, which is noise, and then tries to dump the information. Most of the time it doesn;t dump it. It just marks the way to taj mahal as signal, the way to qutb minar as noise and stays put. Look what happens when there's plenty of signal and noise. Poor brain is spending all that time deciding which is signal, which is noise, it hardly gets time to use that signal. And when you aren't using your signal, it's the same thing as not having any signal to use in the first place. Artificially, your signal to noise ratio drops.
This is very important. Don't go overboard on getting advice. More is not always great. Quantity is not quality.

Hint no 3: Wisdom and experience.
There's a difference. Wisdom is what you get after experience. Experience is experience. Most of us aren't really asking for wisdom. We're asking for facts about experiene. We're asking for "what did you do in order to get the wisdom. Please tell me. I shall also do that so that I may get the same wisdom". Wisdom cannot be bought. Neither can experience. The experience must be had personally. The wisdom must be got personally. However, someone can tell you how to get the experience. They cannot tell you how to get the wisdom. They cannot. But they try. (Gah!!!). It is important to separate the two.

PS :
Funny thing. I am trying to give out wisdom here. But as my rule suggests, I cannot give it. Somewhere in the above pile of rubbish, there is signal. You have to separate it from the noise ( take the facts about how to get the experience; if there are any). But hey, this advice is free. You paid nothing for it. And rule 1 says ?????????????????????????????????????



Krithika said...

And yes, Rule 1 says, Miss Majesty, that free advice..nah! We all had to go through the 'rigorous' exercise of locating the URL for your blog, and then had to go through the oncoming posts before reading the concerned one. Well, if that's not effort, young lady, what IS effort??

On an afternote, this is just the argument , but seriously, great writing.

Anaztazia said...


glad my blog has readers other than myself. nice to have my ego fed from time to time.i have to hand it to you. it IS effort.

if someone will pay me to advertise my blog, i'll gladly use up all the money to do just that :)

but thanks for dropping by !

Gaurav said...

There's some lovely quotes here, which this blog posting is unfortunately too small to accomodate.