Everything happens in a certain context. When we refer to “what happens” we usually refer to the actual actions that are taking place, ignoring the context. And yet, context is fundamental.
Lately I found it so important, that if someone asks me if something, anything, is possible, my answer is always “It depends”, no matter how impossible that thing may seem now. Of course, it depends on the context. Things seemingly impossible may actually occur should the proper context is available.
Hence, the importance of context descriptors.
What Is A Context Descriptor?
Any amount of information consistently and predictably describing reality is a context descriptor. It gets easier if we use some examples.
Temperature and humidity are by far the most popular. They are describing a part of the physical context of our planet and, based on their value, we make various decisions regarding our clothing, level of effort, transportation, house insulation, etc. Same goes for the air cleanliness, but this is a context descriptor which became available only during the last decades.
We are not very well equipped to understand our environment, because of faulty hardware and software. Our sensors can capture just a limited part of the information available. For instance, we can’t see in infrared, nor hear ultrasounds. We can’t also identify radioactivity, which is very toxic over a certain threshold, without specific equipment.
As you see, we rely on context descriptors a lot.
But it gets even more interesting.
Systems Of Context Descriptors
If we go to more complex structures, we identify even more complex context descriptors, which sometimes organize themselves in systems. One of them is culture, for instance. It describes interactions in certain groups, as well as values and taboos. If you don’t have access to a specific set of context descriptors, you won’t be able to function correctly in that group, although at a basic biological level, you may be ok.
And probably the more pervasive context descriptor is our own permanent idea about what reality is, from basic parameters like temperature and humidity, going to systems like culture, and expanding to life plans or what we call “destiny”.
So, I find it fundamental to gather as much information as possible, from as many context descriptors, before forming an opinion about important matters. I’m even using an “esoteric” context descriptor for more than 15 years now, astrology, although I’ve been very quiet about it. But it works, in the sense that it gives more information about a current set of events and helps me take better decisions. Nothing is set in stone, all is in motion and thinking in scenarios, instead of certainties, is the best way forward.
Because, should the right context appear, anything, and I mean absolutely anything is possible.
Better be prepared.