Perspectives are NOT ‘datapoints’

We’re taught since our early school days — certainly in our colleges — that the more ‘data’ we have, the more informed we are, and the better decisions we make.

Many of the past iterations of this project revolved around, or tried to revolve around, the collecting of data of different perspectives.

In this age of explosion of data, does it really look like our decisions are better? Umm… well, sometimes, and some of them aren’t. This is evident in that even with so much data, we have extremely conflicting interpretations of the data, to the point where data can often be seen as trivial in actually resolving conflicts we have between us.

The more data we have does NOT equate to understanding — really understanding and really empathizing with — other points-of-view.

To do so requires almost an opposite process. The process of letting-go of data and tuning into the utterly simple, unencumbered, self-evident Truth within us. This allows us to feel what another is experiencing. Practices include what we might call prayer and meditation…and mutually respectful dialog with those who see things differently than us.

That Truth is the same Truth within all of us…and represents an intelligence that’s infinitely greater, and infinitely more empathetic of other points-of-view, than any data that we have.

So is data useless? No, not at all. It can certainly open us up to another perspective. But also data is highly insufficient and potentially misleading — or even sociopathic — as it can obscure the felt connection we have to the deeper Truth within us, and the shared humanity between us.

Perspective Mapper
Ranjeeth Thunga

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