Reality as negotiated truth…

The endless recombinatory self-invention of social reality.

I went to a party last night and found myself at times quite naturally drawn to stand back and observe the larger context of social circumstance and behavioural flow of the event.

Many conversations gravitated towards the remembrance and collaborative confirmation of details, of dates and number or measurements and assertions of fact or reality; personal, technical, cultural, historical and so on. It was the negotiation of – and triangulation around – the properties, limits and boundaries of a shared language of memory and experience. This unveils a natural human orientation to backstitching the present moment from (and as) a shared memory stored in language, artefacts, experience.

It is almost as though the repetition of facts and metrics by which we clarify and articulate our social relationships is an automatic cognitive reflex, as though the patterns and symmetries of the world are those things through which we must procedurally cultivate an agreed-upon model of truth or reality as a self-replicating social memory that passes through us all as compression waves of complexity.

Watch (and listen to) people – they build their worlds from consensus pools of measurements, observations and adaptive abstractions that orbit around some uncertainty or manifest ambiguity of negotiated truth. It is a little like monkeys grooming each other, just that we prune and preen each other’s belief systems and mental models of reality with, through and as words and their collaborative mental representations.

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