Opportunity makers with + for others — doing something smarter together for the greater good

I have two allies, named Andersen and Anderson. I met Andersen after I met Anderson, and so I told Andersen about Anderson… and now I want to tell you, too.

As it turns out, Andersen told me about Anderson’s TED Talk — and you need to go and listen to it (it’s less than 10 minutes) before reading on … in order to understand the connection between how what Kare Anderson said is related to I want to say here about patterns.

As you watch, listen, read (or whatever) to the story Kare tells, you might want to pay particular attention and notice how crucial language is in making connections between people (for example: Kare mentions how one person in her story was particularly articulate).

I never could have predicted that Andersen would turn around and tell me about Anderson’s TED Talk. But as Anderson notes, our previous interactions had laid the groundwork for a trusting relationship to develop… and therefore Andersen apparently felt good about sharing this information with me, with noting it, pointing it out, and remarking that it might be something that I might enjoy and want to pay attention to.

Now let me get to the point about patterns (you’ve already watched, listened, read or whatevered — right?) Every sentence anyone writes or speaks is a pattern — and this pattern describes connections that the author (or speaker) notices in the “real world” (or IRL — “in real life”). There is a lingustic concept referred to as the valence of a word (or term) — a word’s valence is the number of connections this word requires in order to be used correctly (i.e. meaningfully). For example: the word “twitter” requires a subject — the person or thing engaging in this activity.

Anytime someone mentions “twitter” (or indeed any other word), the person on the receiving end of this message automatically thinks of words that are required (or even just strongly implicated) by that word. Words do not really exist as islands (this notion, again, is based on one of the great insights of Ludwig Wittgenstein). We can only use any word (“correctly”) insofar as we are able to recognize patterns. This goes beyond the notion which George Lakoff drew attention to with the “Don’t Think of an Elephant” meme. When you think of an elephant, you are also sort of forced to think about the elephant’s environment or natural habitat. Thinking of an elephant without a place for the elephant to exist or without air which the elephant is able to breathe is a misunderstanding of what an elephant actually is in the real world … — you could even say that it’s a misunderstanding of reality.

In this vein, all business is social business. Society regulates all social interactions (including language). I have even pointed out before that language is actually not dependent on society — perhaps it is the other way around. In my view, language exists as a natural force — much like the elements in the periodic table exist simply because that is the way nature works. When two or more elements create a chemical bond, they do something. They enter a relationship. They follow a pattern which we can choose to recognize or ignore. Do not become an ignoramus in your business or other activity. Be aware of the patterns which exist. Embrace them… — and dare to try understanding them, and try to understand them even better tomorrow than you understand them today.

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1 Response to Opportunity makers with + for others — doing something smarter together for the greater good

  1. Pingback: I neither Like nor Want to Talk About Me | Nooblogs

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