As we encounter a changing world, we will try and orient ourselves using existing concepts. Those are anchored to intellect, bound by value, and navigated by emotions. When we meet another person with different ideas, especially when we attempt to meet in the process, we might need to look at ourselves from the outside.
Why did I say that? Why is this so naturally understood to me? Why is THIS THING generating such a strong reaction in me?
When planning the previous CBS sessions (on NFT's), I thought of being critical as moving from seeing the opposing view to having no opposite idea. It is an awkward ask. We hold opinions, which will be in opposition to others. This point is about the interface between those views; when we outsource language (as digital tools have us do), we tend to lean into comparing outputs rather than meeting in the rendering process. It involves openness, generosity, communication skills, and a lot more, but before anything else – it asks to be able to exit our intellectual base, the walls of the city where our ideas, friends, colleagues exist.
Most of the time, without knowing, we make the walls of that compound taller by citing more books and adding more intellectual gusto. It is by leaving this intellectually built environment, that we fend for our ideas and develop new ways of engaging the world.
Call to Action
Can you leave your intellectual base? An excellent place to look would be the schools you went to, the books you have on your shelves, the commonalities with your network, and any other cultural signal of belonging.
The line between belonging and standing out is one of generous discernment.