CHAPTER3EMBODIED

Decorative image

What our eyes behold may well be the text of life but one's meditations on the text and the disclosures of these meditations are no less a part of the structure of reality.

WALLACE STEVENS, 1951

To create better information, we must enter into a dialog with data. Creating information and exploring data are partner endeavors. Together, these activities form the humanize-probe cycle that powers all data storytelling. To wade into this cycle is to submerge yourself into the pool of data chaos, resurface to consider what you found, and dive in again with a better idea of what treasure might lie beneath. First, let us get our toes wet by pausing to consider how we think about, and navigate about, the world of our experience.

Stretch Cognition

When we encounter a never-before-seen object or meet a strange situation, we mostly do not panic. Instead, we stretch what we already know to help us understand what is going on. Our ability to extrapolate what we know to what we don't know is the secret of our success. This power—called analogy-making, category extension, and metaphor-mapping—helps make strange things familiar.

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