Writing on Guide

I guess a guide is somebody or something that helps you achieve something without actually doing it them/itself. It could be a drawing to how a cake decoration might look, some design on tracing paper to follow, or a dog to help you cross a road because you cannot see. A guide is an enabler then. But I wonder if a guide has to contain more knowledge than the recipient has? Is the idea then to transfer knowledge to the recipient? A weighing scale can be a guide to how your dieting is going but that is just an indicator in a direction. It isn’t telling you how to loose weight but it does I suppose give you incentive and something to aim for.

This can be a problem with guides I have come across. I use Photoshop and Lightroom programs to make changes to my digital photos. People may publish “how-tos” to help you active a result. For instance the guide might tell you have to produce four correctly sized passport photos from a portrait you have taken. But more often than not these guides will say things like, “increase the sharpness slide to 43” or “set the light temperature to 3600K”. I may end up with a nice set of photos but I don’t think it is transferring knowledge unless I know why 43 or 3600K are the right values. Is this the control freak in me? Should I be happy with getting a repeatable good result?

I think it is like the difference between passing your High School public exam and studying maths at uni. Wrote learning of techniques and recognising what things to apply in set circumstances can get you top marks at school but it will only take you so far at university. University demands a deeper level of understanding and knowledge. Then again, you can get to a stage where the situation is so outside your experience that all that is left is the maths and answers that need interpreting. Nobody really understands how quantum mechanics or relativity works but they do, at least within the current human understanding. And therein lies a problem with guides, they can only take you so far. There comes to a point when you have to be a leader yourself to progress further. Is the end point then to become a guide yourself? It does seem to be pretty standard in human life since it seems to be a basic need that we must progress.

Sketch on Guide

Let a compass and map be my guide

Photograph on Guide

These images are taken from one photograph of the night sky. The show the asterism commonly known as the Big Dipper or Plough and how one end of it can be used to identify Polaris, the pole star. Polaris is special because it appears that the sky revolves around it from the ground and hence gives a fix point for navigation when you are in the northern hemisphere.