Interface Clash

I have always known that people have interfaces. People have ways in which they model their interaction with the Universe around them. Sometimes it is their language, they way in which they speak to each other. Sometimes it is their body movements, they way in which they hold themselves. Sometimes it is via the rules of their custom, the way in which they were raised. Sometimes it is the way in which a lover or friend taught them. Sometimes they pick it up from a book, or a magazine, or a pamphlet, or a piece of nearly random graffiti half-glimpsed through a train window.

I think there are other interfaces, other ways in which people interact that aren’t necessarily so easy to spot as language or motion. I think sometimes, it’s just how the people are that makes the interface work or not work as it will.

A person can be beautiful, brilliant, possess the world’s largest heart, and be wise beyond ken. But if the interface isn’t right, none of that matters — there will always be sparks and conflict and a spreading loathing, sometimes concealed, sometimes not, sometimes not even acknowledged. Two people may be virtually indistinguishable from each other when arrayed with their friends and peers, but when faced with each other, the interference of incompatible interfaces becomes an opaque curtain of furious discharge.

The trouble, I think, that can happen here is when a simple incompatible interface is mistaken for more than it is.

Specifically, when it’s mistaken for something that indicates who is right and who is wrong.

Some of the world’s greatest battles have started out that way.