Saturday, April 24, 2010

Context

It was Easter Sunday when the latest moderately big earthquake hit Southern California.
And then there were aftershocks for days and days. One on a Monday morning at about 4:15am that was big enough to make a cracking sound in the house and wake me up. Cool. For someone originally from the West Coast of Canada this living on the San Jacinto fault is a new adventure. And now, whenever we're in a building that shakes - maybe a train goes by, or an industrial boiler goes off, or some other thing happens - right away we look at each other and say, "Earthquake?".

Funny. I wonder how long this new context will remain at the front of my brain?

It's the same thing when you buy a new car. For the next few months you see more of the same car on the road than you had noticed before. And when someone does something that puts you out, that's what you remember the next time you see them. No matter what they do differently or better, you have that previous experience stuck in your brain.

So it seems context is a form of memory. That's just it - memory. But remember, it's not the only thing. Not every shake of a building means the earth is rocking and rolling. And that person you formed a singular opinion of, may not be singular at all.

2 comments:

  1. I once had a singular, pre-conceived opinion about you before we met, TST, and it was vague and amorphous, though I didn't realize it at the time. It started to become more clear during our fun jaunt through Chinatown in SFO in 2007 with Susan. But it didn't crystallize into a 'diamond' until I heard you speak before hundreds of people at the ULI convention in Huntington Beach. That's the person I see when I think of 'TST' today.

    ReplyDelete