Chapter 11. Making Things Make Sense

Thoughts exchanged by one and another are not the same in one room as in another.

—LOUIS KAHN

Language and “Sensemaking”

WE CAN ACCOMPLISH A LOT OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY WITHOUT HAVING TO CONSCIOUSLY MAKE EXPLICIT SENSE OF IT. We just do it. But sensemaking is a special sort of activity that brings another level of coherence with which we knit together our experiences, think about them, and understand them at a more abstract level.

When we consciously try to make sense of our experience, it is an expressly linguistic activity.[225] Like perception itself, language is enacted; it is something we “do.”[226] We communicate with each other to develop a mutual understanding of our shared environment. Likewise, ...

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