Last week when I was preparing my resume, I was carefully selecting only the projects, that would, er... well, look good on a resume. I wasn’t actually lying. I just was preparing a refined version of truth about my professional career to fulfill specific goals. But I didn’t have a word for this selective thing, I was doing. While I was searching the word and had almost given up after a while, Rands in Repose came to my rescue. Rands in repose is a blog on software engineering written by Rands, who - in his own words - is “an engineering manager of teams that designs stunning software”. The word I was looking for is Spin; And I found this, when I read his recent post - Truth vs. Spin. As Rands defines it,
Traditionally, the opposite of Truth is Spin. Spin is a pejorative term that comes out of Public Relations land. Spin is the deliberate selection of facts constructed to prove a specific point.
Rands gives an example for Spin - the weekly status report, the piece of literature from the cubicle-dom prepared with absolute indifference.
Go fire up your mail program and find your last status report… Does it represent everything you did in the last week? I’m not suggesting that you didn’t work, but is that all you did? Probably not, so what did you document in your status report? You document the stuff you were asked to document and you document stuff you just want to tell people about. A status report is your Spin on the last week. It demonstrates how you carefully select facts from the week to portray a specific version of the truth.
Of course, I was spinning on my resume. After reading Rands, I started to think of more examples of Spin. I thought I would just write these example all along. But, I am bitten by the Powerpoint bug… And so, Here are the bullets!
- commercials - the root of all spin. If there were ten commandments on Spin, the first one should be “Thou shall never forget the spin quotient of an advertisement” .
- profiles on social networking sites such as myspace, orkut etc. - The second layer in the hierarchy of spin is based on the simple question - “Tell us about yourself”.
- every thing else - media broadcasts, dates, interviews, mobile phones (the official device of spin), mobile phone conversations, sms, instant messaging, e-mail , snail mail, avian mails(pigeons), and telegrams
- and mysteriously in this is list is, that dinner you had with your girlfriend’s parents a few months ago. (Why did you smile so much ?)
According to a recent research conducted by Spinesian University of Spinville, the whole fabric and foundation of human communication is Spin. You just have to look around for spin, and understand the direction, that you are being spun. Understanding Spin is the only way to reach out to your soul and the glorious path to enlightenment - it is the Zen of all human interactions. After all, this blog post, you are reading right now is my flimsy spinning effort on Spin!(You saw this comming, right ? Come on, I mentioned the ultimate spin software - “the mighty Powerpoint”)