Understanding is a kind of ecstasy.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
How do we become motivated to understand?
How do we become interested in understanding ... oh, I dunno, any idea, something, anything?
How do we become interested in learning?
The words "persuade" and "influence" are in that pile of Legos I dumped on the floor recently. The question, "How does persuasion work?" is one of the underlying themes of my writing here. It seems to me we often think about persuasion as an additive process. We provide facts, figures, and information. We build a case. Sometimes we try to make the process overwhelmingly additive. We blast information from a fire hose. We try to bury each other under piles of words.
This just occurred to me now, while writing this post: Sometimes persuasion seems more like a process of elimination, a process of removing barriers.
Sometimes (perhaps often?) persuasion occurs when we remove barriers to understanding.
So maybe we should ask ourselves the question this way:
How do we remove barriers to understanding?
This piece added by etbnc at 3/26/2008 04:25:00 PM
Friday, March 21, 2008
When I was a kid I often built things from Lego blocks. I kept my unassembled Legos in a gallon-sized plastic bucket. Whenever I began a new Lego building project, I would sit down and dump the entire bucket of blocks all over the floor in front of me. Scattering a gallon of Legos takes up considerable floor space, but it seemed the easiest way to find the pieces I wanted to assemble. That, and they made a satisfying whoosh, roar, and clatter as they tumbled out.
I knew folks who took a similar approach to assembling large picture puzzles. I have several essay projects that I intend to construct here eventually. Since I consider this blog as a staging area for my other web site, I thought it might be helpful to dump my bucket of Legos here so that we can easily find the building blocks for future essays. So, here we go: (Whoosh! Roar ... clatter)
But it can be difficult to perceive the difference.
locus of control
in-group / out-group
Lord of the Flies
We all believe we're doing the right thing at the time we do it.
People who say they are "open-minded" usually are not.
People who say, "My door is always open", often say they are also open-minded.
People who say, "You don't have to like me, you just have to respect me" don't really know how liking or respect actually work.
On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.
On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a 14 year old boy.
Or a 40 year old man.
Or 40 going on 14.
Nobody knows -- but one often suspects.
Trying not to participate is a form of participation.
The most basic task of every human is to be human.
Everybody thinks those two statements make them look good.
Defending a castle of belief
Swimming in a lake of information
Kurt Vonnegut's Galapagos
disparity by design
evolutionarily stable strategy
Ants know how to live like ants.
Bees know how to live like bees.
Some fish swim in schools, but they don't attend school to learn how.
Humans evolved as a social species.
Look for a bigger picture.
There's usually a bigger picture.
What do the Amish understand that the rest of us do not?
preventing involuntary simplicity
The Fifth Discipline
lessons from the beer game
steering a sled
learn the rules of the game
see the mechanism
then turn the system inside-out
Be careful what you wish for.
Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.
Policy makes a poor substitute for sound judgment.
We probably look pretty silly from the point of view of an anthropologist from Mars.
This piece added by etbnc at 3/21/2008 01:15:00 PM