Inside and outside the box

As we start on any new project, I find myself writing two very different types of documents. One is for people with technical expertise. The other is for everyone else.

For example, if you are going to apply for a patent on something, you need to use very technical and specialized language. If you don’t, it will get rejected by the patent examiner.

The same thing goes for a paper for a technical conference. The people reviewing your paper have no patience for fuzzy language. They want to see exactly how you are doing what you are claim to accomplish.

But consequently, what you write for those audiences is nearly indecipherable to most people. You are employing highly arcane language, which in many cases includes commonly used English words that have an entirely different meaning in this context.

But also you need to explain to the world why you are doing the project, and what it will mean if you succeed. At that point you are essentially talking to millions of people.

What is weird is that in both cases you are talking about exactly the same thing. Only one is the view from inside the box, while the other is what the same thing looks like from outside the box.

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