How to make assumptions work for you instead of against you

connect four

A man and a child sit down to play Connect 4.

The man (black) plays 1. The child (red) 5. The man, 2, the child 6; man 3, child 4.

Now there is a game.

The man pauses a second and plays 1. The child, without hesitation, 6. The man, 2, the child, 5.

They look at each other.

The man plays 1 again. The child does too.

“I’m tired,” says the child. “It’s not my favorite game.”

“That’s no fun then,” says the man, and he empties the board. He loves the child, and wants it to be happy always.

The child looks aghast at the pieces on the table, at the game destroyed. Irrevocable irrevocable words.

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Assumptions are like boxers: they look a little dumb, walking among the rest of us reasonable people– oversized and just . . . other.

With other boxers, though, boxers look perfect. Their very appearance screams out how they’ll fight–you think–until they get in the ring, and you see some have even more tricks than you expected.

Assumptions are just like this, I’m sure. They were meant to duke it out, until someone wins, bluntly. This is the way of their ecosystem. Be a natural part of it.

I bet my assumptions could take yours out any day. In fact, hate to say this, but they haven’t lost a match in years. And they’re not even bored about that; that’s how good they are.

Losing a fight to one is like being sat on by a container ship. There’s really not a lot of coming back from it. I’ve been working on that thing where you leave someone you are debating “a graceful out.” But mostly I figure they can work that out after I leave.

How did my assumptions get like this? Well, they got the stuffing beat out of them. Repeatedly By a bunch of clowns. It was disgusting.

So then I had to hang out assuming clowns, until something bigger than them came along to take them out. Which actually proved impossible in some cases: there just was noone bigger.

What can you do, when a clown bigger than you has you in a chokehold, you are totally believing it, and noone will stand up to it?

Ok, kung fu, I guess. I mean, anybody can trip most boxers, given the right opportunity; doesn’t work so well when he or she has you pinned to the ropes though. Somehow at that moment tripping the sucker is the last thing on your mind.*

How I wished and dreamed that someone would come debate those clowns off of me! Some incredibly sensible Rambo, bespectacled probably, armed with a truer truth!

But it never happened. I had to just wait for some of them to die.

Have you ever had to wait for a clown to die? Not fun.

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But anyway, you can assume the crew that was left after that (I call them “The Framework”) is pretty hardcore. Like iron that doesn’t move, I’m told.

This would be an excellent metaphor if scientists discovered that iron, it turns out, is actually very willing to move, but finds no reason to.

It’s weird, not having lost an argument for several years. I think the disbelief of it might finally be starting to wear off. Not sure.

I think soon though, I’ll stop missing it, losing arguments. And not because I’ll be doing it either.

————————

A man and a child sit down to play Connect 4.

The man (black) plays 1. The child (red) 5. The man, 2, the child 6; man 3, child 4.

Now there is a game.

The man pauses a second and plays 1. The child, without hesitation, 6. The man, 2, the child, 5.

They look at each other.

The man plays 1 again. The child does too.

“I’m tired,” says the child. “It’s not my favorite game.”

“Why not,” says the man. “Should we stop?” He loves the child, and wants it to be happy always.

“No,” says the child. “It’s just that I’m pretty sure I know how it goes from here.”

“Really,” says the man, playing 4.

 

——————-

 

*See some post about tripping assumptions.

Shoutout to airplanes.

2 thoughts on “How to make assumptions work for you instead of against you

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