The Frameless Picture

Why Extreme Reductionism Is Not The Best Approach To Understanding The World

Abhishek Kothari

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Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

“If you have reasons to love someone, you don’t love them.”
Slavoj Žižek

There are many ways to understand the world we live in. One of the most practical ways to understand it is to put elements of it into a framework. A framework is commonly understood as a basic structure underlying a system, concept, or text. Sure, frameworks are delightful — they are like learning from someone else’s experience. What if you could just put a straw into a genius brain and consume all the knowledge. Very convenient but very biased as well.

An even easier way to understand the world is to use a shortcut called reductionism. For instance, linguistic reductionism is the idea that everything can be described or explained by a language with a limited number of concepts, and combinations of those concepts. If you take this idea further, it is easy to conclude that the stock market (as measured by the DJIA or the S&P 500 index) fell a 3,000 points in a single day because of the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic. Of course, the virus in and of itself was one black swan event that resulted in the bedlam in the market but it is most certainly not the only one. In other words, it could be the straw that broke the camels’ back just not the only one.

However, as we live in an increasingly digitized world, we begin to believe the output that technology delivers to us is real, accurate and doesn’t need further interpretation. I believe it is quite the opposite. We need to use our in built computing power much more to uncover bias and to understand the world as the chaotic, fluid and frameless picture it is. We should try not to put a frame to something that doesn’t need a boundary. In this story, I provide a few helpful tips that have helped me personally and will hopefully help you on your quest to understand an incredibly complex and yet very interesting world we live in.

Biases, Heuristics and Total Misunderstanding

All of our world views are largely a product of the environment we grew in and therefore our experiences. My past guides so many of my present day habits and ultimately…

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Abhishek Kothari

Futurist@The Intersection of Finance, Tech & Humanity. Stories of a Global Language: “Money”. Contributor @ Startup Grind, HackerNoon, HBR