One of my favorite movies released in 2012 was Cloud Atlas. This is not necessarily an easy movie to watch or explain.

That is not the point I bring it up.

In one of the films many timelines, there is a post-apocalyptic setting where civilization is very primitive. In this primitive civilization, the two main groups are an islands main inhabitants—goat herders—and “Prescients” that are very advanced and seemingly from a different planet. Twice a year the goat herders and the prescients meet to barter and exchange information.

The goat herders are extremely curious about the prescients and how they travel with so magically across the waves of the sea. “Twice a year the Prescients come bartering on waves. Their ships come creep crawling just floatin’ on the smart of the old un’s.” Tom Hank’s narrative is magical and mysterious. Just as the knowledge of the Prescients seems to be to the goat herders. In a subsequent scene, the tribal elders can just not resist and more, and the ask Halle Barry’s character—the Prescient emissary—how their ships float on the waves.

She answer the question with complete honesty. “Fusion Engines…..” Everyone in the room nods and the term “Fusion Engines” gets past around the room as if it were obvious and plain. That the answers to the mysteries of the old ones had been finally revealed.

Tom Hank’s goes on to narrate that no one wanted as what a “Fusion Engine” was because they didn’t want to look stupid in front of the gathering.

Tech Talk and FusioOAuth, XACML, Federated Naming….. My point is, as technologists, we sometimes love the mystery and complexity of the language we use to talk about the trends and information we are discussing. It is hard to avoid it. This is complex stuff. There are sometimes no words in existence yet to clearly define to all those concerned how things really work.

Fusion Engines…. Just nod your head and look like it is normal. The reality is, there probably no one that knows exactly what all of this technology surrounding Identity and Access Management is. Further, people who do know are actually happy to tell you and wouldn’t think that anyone is stupid.

So if a “Fusion Engine” moment comes up for you. Don’t be hesitant to ask what is really being talked about. It helps everybody.