Communication is hard. Cultural context matters.

Came across this article:

Found these parts interesting:

Whether the speaker concludes from the aforementioned interjection “This asshole thinks I’m dishonest” or “This person really loves my story” depends on shared culture–they just know what is meant, maybe without even knowing how they know–or on their heuristics leading them toward interpreting it as cooperative[3] rather than combative.


What it often comes down to is people with fundamentally different, perhaps totally irreconcilable, values systems assuming “malice or stupidity” where the real explanation is values mismatch and miscommunication.


Communication is hard. Like, really hard. Brain-to-brain state transfer is impossible, so we rely on an untold number of tools, signals, assumptions, wild guesses, and luck in the hopes that we can get someone else’s black box to generate something vaguely similar enough to our original for practical purposes.


This is the essence of culture. People drawn together by shared values, with history, lore, customs, speech, and thought all their own, working toward a common goal.

Communication is hard. Cultural context matters.

Assume the best out of people’s intention.

Cooperative mode first, combative second. Life is simpler that way.

Also published on Medium.

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