Tuesday, June 03, 2008

An Interesting Topic

What is "interesting?"

Every now and again, I struggle with the notion of what makes something "interesting," primarily in relation to discussion topics.

I'm fairly certain that my day-to-day "this is what happened on Friday, and on Saturday I did this" posts are not interesting. Excepting when they catch on some deeper topic (e.g., posts earlier this year about boardgame.girl), the posts are largely devoid of interesting or poignant tales and generally serve merely as reminders, for me, of things I've done.

My ordinary day-to-day itself isn't very interesting to me. Maybe today I read my graphic novel or I read my current novel or I played my current computer or video game or I watched a current TV show. Little of it is out of the ordinary or extraordinary so as to be worthy of much notice.

I often find discussions on meta-topics to be interesting. For example, discussing the notion of interesting topics makes for an interesting topic in and of itself, at least in my opinion. I've always been a fan of metaphysics. Occasionally at the boardgame groups, we refer to the selection of a game as a or the metagame. For me, examination of these broader topics can offer further insight into other fields and have the potential for affecting how people think. I'm not interested in changing what people think. I am interested in how people think and that they think.

When at parties or gatherings with unknown persons, a common topic is the droll "What do you do?" or "What is your profession?" Invariably, my answer is: "I am a patent agent. I write patents and work on getting them issued. Our big clients are X and Y so most of the patents I work with concern A, B and C." Invariably, the response is: "Oh, how interesting!"

I suppose they need to say something, but calling it "interesting?" I usually don't find my work to be "interesting." I suppose a layperson might be enamored of the field and, possibly, even curious concerning aspects thereof, but I really don't have an answer for "Oh, how interesting!" Sometimes I'll choose to relate an "interesting" invention or such, but often I am at a loss for words. "Interesting?" What's interesting about an invention for a communication protocol? Or a user interface? Or a semiconductor? "Interesting" indeed!

I hope this post is "interesting." In my mind, it has the potential to spark the mind of you, my intrepid reader. Did you find it "interesting?" What is "interesting" to you?