Keep Two Thoughts

Personal essays

Referred Pain - Essay from Newsletter 4

Doctor it hurts when I do this…

The problem isn’t always where the pain is

I have an amazing group of tech reviewers for my Functional Programming book.

Last week I sent them chapter two and something about it felt off to me but I couldn’t identify it.

Their comments were amazing and helpful. They ranged from typos, to setting something in the wrong font, to not giving the reader what they need in the sample code to continue with an example.

But they kept coming back to problems they were having in a couple of sections.

I knew where it hurt - now I had to figure out how to fix it.

Sometimes your knee hurts because you’re walking funny because of a pain in your hip or foot. The problem isn’t the knee and fixing the knee won’t help.

You need to look beyond the symptom to try to find the cause.

I tried two solutions.

I moved two sections up to the front of the chapter. They didn’t belong where they were and that’s why people were complaining about the sections on either side of them. Now they all read better.

I’ve also added an experiment called “ABDCE” - “A Badly Drawn Comic Explanation”.

I haven’t heard feedback about these yet, but I think I’ll leave them in for now.

Essay from Dim Sum Thinking Newsletter 4. Read the rest of the Newsletter or subscribe

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