Discover more from Intersectional Thinking
Thinking in 480p vs 4K
internet friends turned muses and some casual time travelling
Hello intersectional thinkers 👋
Greetings from Tokyo, where spring is in full bloom 🌸
What’s the natural landscape like where you are located? Let me know in the comments :)
1 unexpected intersection
I’m an obsessive collector of unexpected metaphors like:
“Radically isolated, like a streak of bacteria hidden in an Antarctic rock…”
- Double Blind
Metaphors are true acts of intersectional thinking, effortlessly connecting seemingly unrelated ideas like isolation, bacteria, and Antarctic landscape.
So, as the writer of a newsletter called Intersectional Thinking, I owe you more memorable metaphors.
Here’s one I came up with earlier in the month:
Thinking in 480p vs 4K.
The idea is about the value of a knowledge worker.
It’s not derived from how well you can synthesize information.
Rather, it’s how you can give definition to words with that synthesized information.
Or: how do you take a 480p concept and make it 4K?
Tommy Lee (who happens to be “metaphor/analogy obsessed”) sparked this idea with an illustrative anecdote about shared language when we met up IRL, upgrading(?) our own pixelated conversations to the full 3D surround sound experience.
Here’s the gist of Tommy’s anecdote:
Say you had to give me feedback on this week’s newsletter.
You might tell me: “This part about cherry blossoms feels a bit boring. I can’t quite pin down the reason, but it could be better.”
Okay, this is helpful to know. But I don’t know why that part was boring, or how I can improve it. So I’ll take a stab in the dark and hope it lands.
Now, say you and I both saw Ellen Fishbein and David Perelle’s framework on POP writing where they say memorable writing happens when you are Personal, Observational, and Playful.
Now, if I ask you for feedback, you’ll know exactly what to tell me.
“The cherry blossom bit is Personal but it might benefit from a splash of Playful because the rest of the newsletter is heavily Observational.”
Many times, the problem isn’t the lack of knowledge, but the lack of a shared language to describe that knowledge.'1
As I sat on the Seabus heading home after our coffee shop meet up, I realized:
Before Ellen & David’s POP writing, a memorable sentence looked blurry in 480p. It evokes a positive but vague sensation.
But now, that same sentence pops in 4K with Personal, Observational, and Playful. I can name why it popped, how it popped, and what to do next to keep popping.
The knowledge worker redefines concepts into sharper focus – so more people can see with 4K vision.
“Language shapes the way we think and determines what we can think about.”
- Benjamin Lee Wharf
Who else found it weird that you could go back in time to change history? This means the future you went back in time from actually does not exist because things have changed.
This is known as the Grandfather paradox where “inconsistencies emerge through changing the past".
Well, Ted Chieng in the wonderful story of “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” shared an alternative theory to time travel where you cannot change the past. The consequence of this type of time travel is beautiful - read it in Exhalation.
The idea itself came from theoretical physicist Kip Thorne (a fascinating rabbit hole to explore):
1 visual Zettelkasten
Writing from conversation fuels the soul. Let’s chat in the comments or DM me on Twitter!