Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.

So what does this phrase from an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation have to do with CEDIA?

You can find out in my latest post on the CEDIA blog. Hopefully you’re planning to attend the #CEDIA16 trade show, September 13-17 in Dallas. You can get a free pass when you register using the code DraperAV16. And when you get there, stop by and see us in booth 3010.

Meanwhile, on with the post!

“Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.”

CEDIA_StarTrekThat phrase is from one of my favorite Star Trek episodes. It was an episode of The Next Generation, entitled “Darmok.”

In “Darmok,” we find Captain and crew of the starship Enterprise trying to communicate with the Tamarians.

The problem is, they can’t understand one another. It isn’t a question of the sounds of the two languages. The Universal Translator allows them to understand one another’s words. It’s the way they use those words that creates the problem.

That’s because the Tamarians speak only in allegories. The crew of the Enterprise, however, having no previous knowledge of Tamarian culture, don’t know the stories behind what the Tamarians are saying. So, when the captain of the Tamarian ship holds out two knives and says “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra,” Picard is stumped.

Does this type of exchange sound familiar? How many times have you been trying to explain something to a customer—perhaps it’s a design idea, or maybe even something as simple as how to use the fabulous systems you just installed for them—and they look at you as though they don’t understand a word you’re saying?

Or, perhaps this conversation sounds like your dealings with manufacturers, as you try to figure out how their latest and greatest works, or how the latest version is different or better than the last three.

It might even sound like your accountant’s efforts to get you to better understand the business side of the business, when all you want to do is get back out on another job and what you really love.

To read the rest of my post on the CEDIA blog, click here.

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