Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Making the Bilateral Sausage

That's how I spent my Monday and Tuesday. Well, more accurately, I sat at the table while others made the sausage. As I sat there I thought with a bit of an internal smirk about all the films depicting tense diplomatic discussions in dimly lit rooms with things beeping in the background. Representatives are eagle-eyed and armed with an entire list of esoteric answers that their savvy interlocutors immediately understand. People declare, "Good God, man!" regularly, or at least when the Brits are at the table. Diplomats reference opera and minor invasions in some medieval war while sipping martinis and/or issuing warnings of certain doom. And something is always on DEFCON 5. It's all very Aaron Sorkin.

No one ever says, "We'll get back to you with that." Or, "I don't know." Or, "Let's try this." It's never working out the kinks, only finding answers to the big questions. Why focus on the details of, say, double taxation when you can move straight to solving a nuclear standoff?

For the types of issues that fall onto my desk, you actually end up talking about technology. And by "you," I mean "the people with you who know something about technology," because that's never me. Well, technology or death. But today was not about death and I wasn't doing the talking anyway. Which was good. Because it was about technology. Death I can do, technology...well, I think I've made my point.

No nukes involved. Very few things were beeping. No one referenced the Ring Cycle.

I don't imagine we are going to find ourselves in a nuclear standoff with Estonia anytime soon, and that's for the best. Not only would we have to deal with radiation yadda yadda, but turns out us government types lack the dramatic chops to make any of it very suspenseful in the big screen recap.

1 comment:

Christina said...

Estonia is number one in cybersecurity! I realize that probably wasn't a point of negotiation, but you don't mind if I comment on your blog with random irrelevant facts, do you?