I was talking with a co-worker about how people imagine obstacles that aren’t really there. You ask them to do something perfectly reasonable, and they tell you it’s impossible, because of these imaginary obstacles. You have to first show them the obstacle isn’t there, and then things can proceed. “Oh,” I said, “it’s just like First Sight. Have you ever read the Wee Free Men?” This is a first for me — talking about software, communication, going from idea to implementation…and referencing a children’s book about small blue fighting Scotsmen known as the Nac Mac Feegle, or Wee Free Men. It’s one of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.
The idea of First Sight is that you see what’s actually there, instead of seeing only what you want to see. It goes along with Third Thoughts — First Thoughts are regular thoughts, Second Thoughts are thoughts about the first thoughts, and Third Thoughts are thoughts about your thinking. Kind of meta-thoughts.
If you haven’t read the Wee Free Men, it’s a short read, and a lot of fun. It has so far one sequel, A Hat Full of Sky.
“Nac Mac Feegle! The Wee Free Men! Nae King! Nae quin! Nae Laird! Nae master! We willna’ be fooled agin!”