Creative Outliers – is it just me or have you noticed context is decreasing all of the time. Websites, apps, automobiles, computers and phones all get updated all of the time. And sometimes they seem worse to me but since the old versions are mostly gone and hard to find, it can be difficult to tell.
When most of the world replaced vinyl records with CD’s and we were told they were so much better, this was true in some ways, but album liner notes, graphics and photographs told you so much more about music, musicians and the circumstances that gave rise to them.
To my mind this was a great loss, but the hassles of dealing with scratchable fragile disks outweighed the loss of context, and dare I say it quality at least in the short term. Evidently the new definition of quality has become convenience but more on that in elsewhere and now right now.
As it is easier to tell the difference between things when you can actually compare them, there are many forces at work actively preventing us from comparisons. Have you ever tried to roll back to a previous version of an operating system or an app? It can be done but it takes a lot of effort. The same may be true of mainstream messaging where reality appears to have become a popularity contest. The more times something is said the more it appears to be true. Not to be a party pooper but there are such things as the scientific method, empirical evidence and fact based decision making, where repeatability not simply repeating assertions, is the only way to validate or invalidate a hypothesis. Which by the way is the most direct way to learn, develop and grow. Also remember what was true can be disproven by evidence and facts but not by simply asserting unproven alternatives.
Back to context, and its tendency to unconsciously shift. It is not only the updated user interfaces we encounter that are sometimes of questionable value. Another example is automobiles, which admittedly matter less to current generations than in the past. Although it is true that cars seem to run longer and with less attention, yes they are more convenient. But are they more fun to drive? I a not talking about speed and acceleration, I am talking about how do they feel?
But the most important context of all is our internal reference frame. How do you feel now compared to how you felt before? Richer, poorer, stronger, weaker, healthier,. or having less existential angst and therefore feeling better about life in general.
What is the context of life and how does this connect a story because the stories that we tell us are all about context not just about details we may change the context and therefore the details sometimes change to follow suit to achieve consistency.
Information is worth much more than data in that information generally has units pounds degrees speed where is data is just a pile of numbers. What information has more than data is context. Adding even more context and you can get from information to knowledge. For example 20° doesn’t tell you that much. Is it 20°F or celsius previously known as centigrade. And are we talking about a temperature in Finland or Bolivia and at what time of year? All of these are it in context. In some ways context is everything because it provides a framework for information. Eventually when you have enough context you might actually have some knowledge which certainly is more valuable than information or data. And the very best way to deliver knowledge is through a story which contains a framework or context as well as information and data to fit within that contextual framework. And stories contain something more than context and information and data they contain an experiential component which helps to make everything more emotionally relevant and therefore more memorable and therefore more useful.
Cranking up the contacts to a higher level when an individual has multiple knowledges from experience in multiple fields they sometimes achieve a state where they are said to have wisdom which is the ability to know what to do even in situations that you have not experienced. Certainly wisdom has even more context and in some ways it even transcends particular contexts because it is a meta-level set of contexts.
This is where journaling can help. You can write down what’s happening and how it’s connected to what is around it which is the context and as it shifts and perceptions change you can go back and look at the prior framework and then become more conscious of the context shifts.
We humans want it all. Radio did not bump off newspapers and newspapers did not bump off people talking to each other and television did not pump off radio and the Internet has not bumped off television. We actually want all of these things and they all have value because they will provide context and different contexts.
Sometimes unconsciously shifted contexts cause discontinuities in our perception of what is going on and this can be very annoying. In fact it could be worse than annoying it can be dangerous because conflict often occurs when people are zoomed too far in to see the big picture. if they were to consciously shift their context or their framework to a larger one, than what appears to be an inevitable conflict often vanishes completely.
These relationships between storytelling and context, and conscious versus unconscious shift of framework, have to be managed to avoid blindsiding others and even blindsiding yourself.
Take notes try to summarize refer back to your journals and try to be aware of context because if you permitted to unconsciously shift you may find yourself unable to engage in civil discourse even within yourself.
As humanity is transcending geographic proximity thinking in only a regional manner doesn’t cut it anymore. This is living in a much larger world than our parents did who live in a larger world than their parents did. One question that comes to mind is the world that we are living in too large for us to process?
For people who live within the bell curve it seems so because that is a good reason to give away personal power to authoritarian leaders. And if a person tries to outsource responsibility for understanding what’s going on and says I trust this strong person to know what the problem is and what to do about it, the outcomes can only be exploitation and blame. I and he’s authoritarian figures have to blame because they cannot take responsibility for not knowing what to do which would invalidate the reason for being in power so they do not encourage it to be curious and ask questions a question authority.
Creative outliers do you have a tendency to be curious and ask questions and they don’t always have an easy relationship with Authority precisely because they’re not very good at being blind followers and that’s what authority wants blind following.
Be aware of the context that surround you and how it is shifting. Be aware of the context within you and how it is shifting. At various points of time in your life you will have more or less love, more or less money, more or less power, more or less health, and more or less vitality. Try not to have less context try to have more this does not mean necessarily bludgeoning yourself with the evening news every day this means understanding what is going on in the world by asking enough questions. And the alternative is authoritarianism which is quite resistant to innovation creativity and any kind of progress.
Yes we are going to have to help take care of each other if humanity is to survive and that is the broadest context of all. For in order for one person to win some other person has to lose that breeds a scarcity mentality instead of an abundance frame of mind or context if you will.
If you want to preserve the right to be creative in the future you had better vote today because authoritarians will not like you exercising your right to be creative in the future as it threatens them. They very much would prefer unconscious context shifting and it does appear to be going on in the world right now.
Vote to preserve your right as a creative individual, do not give away your power to authoritarian regimes. Own and take responsibility for your context. And yes you can create your own context as long as you preserve the freedom to be permitted to create.