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Frames of reference

March 2022

Every couple of weeks I randomly watch one of Jordan Peterson lecture videos, they are so cool. Today I stumbled upon this one:

Recently I had a discussion with a girl I dated and I still care about. I wasn’t a fight, but our points of view differed diametrically. It was a though dicussion, but I realized we were both rambling about what we didn’t want. Our communication, via our indirection and our fear of confrontation, was mudled.

At some point we did manage to tell each other some version of what we do want. Or at least I thought we did… now I have had a couple of days to try to understand what we both said, the truth is I still have no clue what it means. Behind every emotion there is an ocean of complexity. In our internal logic is choke full of contradictions, this applies to every single one of us.

This is what made this little lecture so damn interesting. I started to explain her arguments to myself (as well as I can remember it). What an eye opening exercise. I think I’m still far away from grasping the full implications of what was said, but at least I think I’m now managing to pull the minimal thread of understanding. Am I happy with the message? not really, but it’s better to live life with eyes open.

Forget now about my relationship troubles, there is a gem of wisdom here to learn: it all boils down to frames of reference, even though the words might be the same, their meaning changes depending on our feelings and moods. To have a recipe to adopt somebody else’s frame of reference is nothing short of a super power.

Extrapolate this to most of the interactions you have on a day to day basis. What a complex and chaotic interaction, on which we (try to) communicate at the velocity of speech. Almost overwhelming, but damn interesting if you ask me.