Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Observation on Fish

There are advantages and disadvantages to being a big fish in a small pond, and there are advantages and disadvantages to being a small fish in a big pond. On balance I am probably the sort of person who prefers to be a smaller fish in a nicer or at least more interesting pond, than a bigger fish in a pond that's claustrophobic or has poor water quality. Maybe that's true of most people (and that's why they build cities). But it's not necessarily what everyone would choose. It does seem to mean that, given a small pond, I'm willing to do a bit of digging to make it bigger, at least if I think the water quality could be improved or I might like some of the new fish.


ghost said...


I think no matter how big a fish you are, it's worthwhile periodically asking yourself is there anything you can do to improve the quality of the water? I think it's also worthwhile being open to helping other fish and indeed being helped.

David Bailey said...

The advantage of being in a small pond (that is, a local venue with a limited proportion of "new faces" each week) is that people know and respect each other more.

So it's easier to introduce and enforce rules about things like floorcraft.

Example: Danny at Carablanca is as committed as Charles at Eton to run a harmonious and respectful milonga. But Charles - I think - achieves this harmony more easily. And I think this is because there are less strangers at Eton milongas than at Carablanca.

Well, that's my latest theory.

msHedgehog said...

I was actually thinking more about work, and also about cities and small towns, than tango directly. Absolutely, in a small pond you don't need to be so big to create some order. That's just social physics, I guess. The optimal size of pond and the fish you want to have in it depends quite critically on what you want to achieve (thinking about work again - I've worked for companies of various sizes). In a big pond you can have the situation where there just aren't any big fish, which is good in some ways and bad in others. In London I'm not sure there's even a pond.