Being in Space |||

Brief, Prompt, Practices

Below is a chapter in progress on the difference between briefs and prompts (for people, not algorithms). I start by posting the earlier text on the difference. These chapters will be available in full (and follow-up exchanges) for paying subscribers.

A prompt is a question pointed inward, asking for language, and results in getting to know oneself better. For example: what bores you?

Briefs ask for collaboration (with another person or knowledge). It is anchored in a gravity (situation) and converges on a shared space. For example, what is the secret of a work-life balance?

A prompt is a question pointed inward, asking for language, and results in getting to know oneself better.

Prompts create a space for high-context confusion by limiting collaboration. We can’t understand each other fully when addressing a prompt because it points inwards, seeks meaning, and, by design, does not have language.

We all sit next to each other (meta-psychically) but are looking in different directions. Questions that are intentionally meaningful but only to the self ask us to bridge a meaning-space with the world. By sharing inner meaning, we are immediately shot out of a place of belonging into a place of authorship. We are forced out of the social grooves that kept low context collaboration in place, and we are now guided by our intuition while looking for words as bridges for thirdness; once we have those, we will be able to listen to ourselves speaking and learn more about ourselves while next to others.

On the other hand, briefs are not interested in meaning; they are about finding utility in existing meaning. Current forms of being, places, and channels that anchor a collaboration. That is the function of ice-breakers and traditional team bonding: to create a cohesive (singular) form of belonging. This form of belonging gives comfort and social support but will introduce cost to changing outside it. Once we change outside an existing knowledge frame and way of being, we are more creative but belong less. The benefit is that integration will require the capacity not to belong (or be liked, at the very least alienated, Adlerian).

There is some connection between the ability to avoid seeking belonging and creativity. Creativity is an inner state; once a thought exists in language, it moves to production. Prompts seek creativity; briefs bring production (with creativity sometimes clamped in there).

Eventually, the pursuit of creativity is meant to be self-reinforcing. The output asks for more reflection, and on it goes. In a way, we will be prompting ourselves. And that is what a practice is—an active habit of self-knowledge.

Up next The Mission: Self-Actualization I am slowly putting together longer-form ideas into some shape–maybe an artifact–and will share longer writings here (chapters) for paying members. Imagination Acting on your opinions will necessarily generate dissonance. When deploying a new way of looking at reality, it will discern things, people, and
Latest posts Fixed Utility Convincing Generality Imagination Brief, Prompt, Practices The Mission: Self-Actualization Movement Changing the world by Changing yourself Texture Verticality Talking About AI Recreational Communication Average Value Communication What is Work: Library, Scholarship Writing Places 2024 Updates Advice Creativity Branding Open Source Commodifying Articulation Signals Plateaus Choreography Inquisitive Dualities Field Obviousness