There is reality and then there is your point of view on it. Your perspective depends on that fact of reality and it depends on you — how you see the world and how you are looking at this, how you are. You want to get an accurate read on that reality, so that you can learn and understand it better. But you cannot escape the fact that you are you.

When there are more people, there will necessarily be more perspectives, even if the observed fact does not actually change.

Different views of the same

Is the glass half full or half empty? Maybe neither? How about the color of that dress? Which woman do you see in the picture? There are countless examples.

When more than one person look at the same thing, they often end up with different views, conflicting beliefs. Sometimes the differences are tiny, sometimes they are vast. Sometimes they are so subtle, it requires effort to find and clarify them.

A coin has two sides, regular dice have six. Both also have edges, perhaps corners. Those are just some aspects of those things and often there are many more.

Blind men and elephants

The parable of the blind men and the elephant goes like this:

A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: “We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable”. So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. The first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said, “This being is like a thick snake”. For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said the elephant, “is a wall”. Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear.

The observers all fundamentally examined the same thing. Unbeknownst to them, they were in fact examining different aspects of that same thing. In the end they were all a little bit right, they all individually discovered part of the answer.

This happens a lot.

In your head

Things get trickier when we are not talking about a physical thing. Consider the aspects of an idea or thought or concept, something that fundamentally exists only, because we think about it, because we find ways to describe it.

It is difficult to have a perspective on things that we cannot see. What are we looking at, after all? Adding more people, it is that much more challenging to ensure we are all referring to the same object of discussion.


It is about reality. Whether it is a physical thing, a problem, opportunity, thought or idea. To learn about it accurately, you need to ensure you are thinking about what you ought to be thinking about, what is, not just what you believe it to be.

Start by defining it, by making it visible.

Question it, question yourself.


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