Shaping the Way We Think

May 27th, 2011

I’ve been pondering this lately. According to the Whorfian Pinciple, our language both shapes and limits the way we think.

Note: No, this is not a StarTreq reference. Benjamin Whorf was the researcher who is best known for his role in formulating the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Now, Sapir seems to have dropped off the map, and the hypothesis has become a principle (not a law, yet, but a principle has enough supporting research to demonstrate its validity).

Whorf is best known, these days, for the concept that in cultures where there are only three number words (1, 2, many), native speakers have difficulty recognizing the differences between various sizes of many.

I’ve been thinking this through (as best I can, given the limits of our vocabulary), and it strikes me that the idea of discipleship and Biblical worldview play into this concept quite directly.

We live in a society where we literally soak in our cultural language. We tend not to soak so much in Biblical language. No wonder, then, that Christians (or anyone, for that matter) think more like the world, and far less like God.

I’m still processing on this, but I’m weighing the idea of a “verbal detox,” and seeking to soak in a more Biblical language. I don’t know for sure what that might look like, but I’ll keep you informed as I go forward on this.

I’m Here for you, Chuck

May 3rd, 2011

So, Prince Charles is unlikely to use the name Charles when he is King, because Charles I was deposed and executed.
As the future Supreme Governor of the church of England, I think he should choose George-Ringo. It’s the perfect, Anglican response to that Pope guy, who used the name John-Paul.


Organized Assumptions

April 29th, 2011

We all know that person (we may even be that person) who lives and dies by their calendar. It’s worth noting, here, that a calendar is only one way of managing the complexities of life, and making sure that things get done.

My approach to this is hard-fought, but thankfully, it seems to work for me. I owe a debt of gratitude to David Allen and Merlyn Mann for starting me down this path.

Sure I keep a calendar, but that’s only for things that are time specific. Stuff that has to get done, sometime, stays off the calendar and on several project and task lists. Most of my life is fluid enough that I just need to get things done on time, but I do not need to carve out dedicated time slotsĀ  for most of my work.

This approach got me through my PhD program by helping me identify the “what should I do now,” and it effectively set me free from the tyranny of the daytimer. I’ve adapted David Allen’s getting things done model and use a Hipster PDA to keep track of everything. I’ve created several of my own card templates to better fit my life and work.

Don’t buy into the myth that a pricey planner is the only way to manage your life and responsibilities. It may be: Some careers need a calendar focus. The most important thing is to find a system that works for you. In my case, I adapted some of the best ideas from several authors (including Stephanie Winston) to slap together a method that fits me.

If you struggle with organization (as I have) just know that there are tools and ideas out there that can work for you. Don’t despair. Now, go and get your life in order.