In the Preface to his book about his life and magic, Tricks of the Mind, Derren Brown describes a visit to the London Aquarium. After a while looking at the various creatures floating silently in their tanks, he realises that the little name plaques beside each exhibit are also printed in braille.
Which gets him musing about how in the silent, odourless, aquarium, where each fish floats behind an identical smooth glass panel, that if you’re visually impaired, your experience of visiting the aquarium would largely be of reading a list of fish.
Brown’s hope is that Tricks of the Mind is insightful, useful and thought-provoking. ‘I would hate to leave you with just a list of fish,’ he says.
I think of this often. I commend it as the ultimate sense-check: ask yourself, am I giving people something worthwhile here?
Or have I just written a list of fish?