Friday, September 29, 2006

What's in a name?

Why The Tree? Well, believe it or not, I had resisted Scott's (the unintentional blogger) requests to begin blogging solely because I did not have a good name for my blog, and I figure you really only get one shot at naming your blog. I mentioned this while teaching at my church last Sunday evening, and this name came up. Here's why:

Frequently, when I acquire a new piece of information, I mentally take the time to correlate it with other related pieces of information. This process is very intentional, and the image in my mind is that of hanging the new information in the tree that represents the sum of my knowledge. It's not a great picture, since trees don't really interconnect, but the image dates back very far in my past, and I am not likely to replace it at this point. I mentioned this while teaching, and hence the suggestion.

This process has been both good and bad for me. Good, because the correlation process probably helps me to retain information more effectively. Bad, because it makes it very easy for me to overestimate what I know. I draw very rapid conclusions, and I have to be very careful not to assume that my conclusions bear the force of fact. For years, when someone told me sonething, I would respond with "I know" rather than the more accurate "Interesting", or something similar. I think one reason I did this is related to this correlating process. Someone tells me something, I correlate it to what I know, begin using it to draw conclusions, and it feels like I know it. Of course, this could just be a weak attempt at explaining away a behavior that irritated nearly everyone that I came into contact with for years. I think I have stopped doing this for the most part, but you would probably have to ask my friends to know for sure.

2 comments:

Andy said...

I don't think I've ever heard you say "I know" to the point of annoyance, but you are, of course, overconfident.

the-unintentional-blogger said...

I was going to say the same thing as Andy, except I was going to say "but you are, of course, annoying".

Maybe I should have stuck with my original instincts and not said anything at all, ya' think? : )