The Law of Wires

The Law of Wires 150 150 Ben Coker

The Law of Wires

Have you ever noticed how, when you look behind your computer or your TV, there are a whole lot of wires that are all tangled up?

Even though when you connected things they were all laid out separately.

That’s the ‘Law of Wires’ – they will get tangled up!

Now of course, from time to time you and I disconnect and reconnect things perhaps in a slightly different way without ‘reorganising’ the wiring, but nonetheless, even when we’ve left it alone, the wires still seem to get tangled up.

I’ve even found wires in the mix that have been disconnected at both ends!

A few meticulous people have ‘cable management’ systems to prevent this happening so that their wiring is always neat and tidy.

But there’s a downside to this as well – it’s more difficult and takes longer to make the changes that are needed from time to time.

But the thing is that all those ‘wires’ that we use to make electronic stuff happen are simply a means of allowing one element of the ‘system’ to communicate with another.

Some of the wires are one-way, such as a power cable, and others are two-way, such as an ethernet cable that allows data transfer in two directions – and of course, you can use a power cable to transmit data as well.

It’s the same with all communication.

The vast majority of communications links, however they are effected, have some sort of cybernetic feedback loop allowing messages of one sort or another to travel in two directions.

But what about us. What about you and I?

You see, all living things communicate in one way or another all the time, and yes, there is evidence that plants communicate as well as animals.

And we know that humans, you and I, are not only communicating with others but we are also communicating with ourselves.

(We don’t know if other animals do this but people are working on it.)

You and I are aware that, all the time, there’s a conversation going on in our head.

Arguments, speculations, inspiration, analysis – some of it ‘productive’ some of it ‘counter-productive’, some of it ‘negative’, some of it ‘positive’.

We can’t really stop it, although we can slow it down by meditation and the like; and of course, it even goes on while we’re asleep although we only notice it when we’re ‘dreaming’.

But it’s not really organized, however much we’d like to think it is, it’s all tangled up – until we do something about it.

Then there’s our communication with others – and there are two elements here.

First, there’s how you and I communicate.

How well do we listen to what others are saying – or are we instead, communicating with ourselves to formulate how we’re going to reply?

And when we’re speaking to people, individually or in a group, are we paying attention to whether or not they understand us – or are we speaking in a language that we understand but they may not?

Second, it’s about our network of relationships with other people, individually or in groups.

How are we connected? What’s the nature of the connection, what’s our channel of communication attached to each strand of the network – how do we actually communicate with them and do we expect a reply?

You and I have close relationships that demand more communication than those which are more remote.

Now apply the Law of Wires

How are your lines of communication?

Are they rigid like a well-ordered cable management system – difficult or ‘too hard’ to change – ‘set in concrete’?

Or are they all tangled up?

Look at your internal communications system and look at your external relationship and communication networks.

In both cases you and I need flexible communications systems and processes – adaptable to our internal and external objectives. Adaptable to things that happen inside and outside.

From time to time we need to get in there and untangle the wires, maybe disconnect some, maybe connect some new ones, maybe discard some of the old wiring that no longer serves a purpose.

I’m checking out my wiring.

You too?