Adventures in Communication, Why No One Understands Me.
It is impossible to deny the importance of any microscopy
technique as applied to research and problem solving. However, the foundation
to all our endeavors is and must be communication. What we perceive and understand
with the photon and electron remains a mystery until it is communicated to
Communicate is from the Latin verb, communicatus,
meaning “to participate.” Merriam-Webster defines communicate as, “to
transmit information, thoughts or feelings so that it is satisfactorily
received or understood.” It is the satisfactorily received or understood
aspect of this definition with which we constantly struggle.
A central aspect of successful communication is having shared
goals and terms.
A helicopter pilot found himself confused in a fog over a
major northwest city. Hovering next to a tall building, he quickly drew a
crowd at the upper floors. He held up a clipboard with the printed message:
"Where am I?"
It was a matter of seconds before a pair of binoculars
were located, the message read and a reply formulated. Holding up large poster
board sheets, the office people responded: "You're in a helicopter."
The pilot immediately set a course, flew safely to the
nearest airport and landed.
His amazed passenger asked the pilot how that information
helped. The pilot replied that the information was totally correct and
absolutely useless and where else could he be but the Microsoft building.
There have been times that I have felt like the office