Facts and the Stories we tell about them

One of the biggest sources of unnecessary and often extreme friction in human interactions is the assumed context applied to observed facts.

People make up stories to explain an event, based on an assumed context for the event.

Better patterns could be found by asking what actually happened and listening to the participants’ observation of events.  Instead, the facts are mentally re-arranged within some new assigned context which “perfectly” aligns with and supports some new story that is assembled.

First of all, all facts are contextual for their meaning.  Much much much more so than most people realize.   This applies to facts of all shapes and sizes, whatever materials or medium they are composed of.

And humans, drifting around humanoidally as they are wont to do, have a deep tendency to view the world lenticularly – similarly to viewing through a lens,  they see most magnifiedly what is central to them ideologically or closest to them physically. And like Galileo’s accusers, feel they are quite entitled to assume that what they see and where they stand is somewhere close to, or at least within sight of, the center of the cosmos.

The assumed context for any fact, person, or occurrence which comes close enough to be viewed,  is typically some portion of that context which functions as the matrix for all other events which one is accustomed to.

An example of this is laid out in the following story:

An homage to Neville Chamberlain’s umbrella

Have you ever had a case made against you, or gotten a bad review at work, because of someone’s assumptions of a completely different context for a factual event?

If you’re at all intelligent, especially if you’re an outside the box kinda person, I’ll bet you have.

Not so much if you’re a follower and blender inner play it safe type.

I’d like to hear your stories.



For the first time in many years, I had fun at the park. There was sunlight and trees with leaves of two colors – velvet and leather green.  A climbing set.  Small sculptures hidden in plain sight.

First thing today we went to the public plaza auction, and stood amid yesterday’s puddles and today’s entrepreneurs to observe and understand as best we could the trustee sale of the house I’ve tried to live in for the last 22 years.

It hasn’t been a home in so long.

I’d long ago passed tired of living with the debt incurred in the name of Freedom.

Yesterday we thought our best hope was to enter bankruptcy.  But the attorney thought my finance situation is too messed up to declare bk. Now that’s messed up.

The next day, now the uncertainty has been identified, marketed, listed, no longer postponed, sold back to the beneficiary – there is a profound freedom.

And unexpectedly I once again know what it is to have fun.  Delicately, cautiously, preciously, as usual sometimes too slowly.

What do I call my friend and more who said quietly on the phone a few days back “would you like me to be there” ?  And then drove from Sunnyvale, leaving a note for his new client saying he’d be back in few days.

There are circles of light in this moment, shining through the steamer at dinner, shining through now.

Thank you everyone : ]