I think there’s a post somewhere in the following observation, but I’m at a loss as to what lesson to take away from it, or how to present it:
Wherever I work I rapidly gain a reputation for being both a joker and highly intelligent. It seems that I typically act in such a way that when I say something stupid, my co-workers classify it as a joke, and when I say something deep, they classify it as a sign of my intelligence. As best I can figure, its because at one company I was strongly encouraged to think ‘outside the box’ and one good technique I found for that was to just blurt out the first technological idea that occurred to me when presented with a technological problem, but to do so in a non-serious tone of voice. Often enough the idea is one that nobody else has thought of, or automatically dismissed for what, in retrospect, were insufficient reasons. Other times its so obviously stupid an idea that everyone thinks I’m making a joke. It doesn’t hurt that often I do deliberately joke.
I don’t know if this is a technique others should adopt or not, but I’ve found it has made me far less afraid of appearing stupid when presenting ideas.