I’m thinking about words today because yesterday (at the U.Lab group at Kings Cross Hub) our conversation turned to the problem of communication and words. A couple of people in the group had been asked to explain to other people what we were doing, but were struggling to find the right words – and the rest of us found it hard to be helpful.
The U.Lab course we did was an online course, with some deep, innovative ideas (theory U) and specific vocabulary. It looked to the future. It addressed disconnects. See – U.Lab – the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
We’re continuing to meet in order to better understand and experience what we started to learn through the course – and what we were learning was reshaping our thinking. It’s a process that is continuing. How then can we share in a few words what we’re doing when we get together?
Words and ideas are difficult things to deal with – with no easy short-cut of taking a photo to capture the reality of them changing shape. Finding words is additionally challenging in the context of rapid change, where cultural perceptions and ideas of reality are shifting beneath our feet and all around us. Where are our shared reference points? How can we explain while we are still making sense of things for ourselves, and when words have so many different meanings depending on context?
These problems were illustrated earlier in Words with the meaning sucked out in Language and thought – this time “growth” and “development”) and in Humpty Dumpty, words, gestures, and me.