A technical writer's job is to write manuals and a manual's job is to solve chaos. Therefore, a technical writer’s job is to solve chaos. That has been the definition of my job for a long time, and in my fantasy I rank it as high as police officers and firefighters or as low as professional snow shovelers, depending on the mood.
But taking a step back, ALL jobs in the world are geared toward solving chaos. Teachers help students organize their knowledge base. Biologists and other scientists untangle the mysteries of natural science. Bookkeepers sort inventory and straighten financial status. Consultants tell their clients how to clarify complicated situations. Artists, no matter how entangled their works may seem, try to create a perfect world that can stand on its own.
Well, then, how come our world is still so…chaotic at large? In the world where everybody is busy solving the small mysteries around them, larger issues never cease to pop up. Food shortages, nuclear hazards, the steady increase in the jobless rate, an ever-increasing discrepancy between the rich and the poor. The list goes on and we are already apathetic about collectively reaching any sort of goal as human beings.
We spend most of our waking hours trying to solve this and solve that, yet those daily acts do not transcend to larger issues. Why?
Maybe it’s because we don’t want to solve issues—completely.
What we are accustomed to is the act of solving, not eradicating problems (maybe it’s because we have never enjoyed how it feels to eliminate all problems…but that’s another issue). If we solve everything at hand, what’s left for us to do? Retire peacefully in a small condominium? According to my parents’ generation, that’s not as fulfilling as governments and tourist agencies preach.
We enjoy what we do too much, which is endlessly tackling problems. I cannot help but think that that’s probably why our collective minds do not work together to solve the larger chaos that exist in our lives. Technically nothing stops us from solving major problems, such as war, but maybe people aren’t ready to give up the adrenaline rush, no matter how devastating the outcome is.
Are we going to continue destroying our health, society, or earth at the expense of doing what we have been doing?