Friday, May 8, 2015

Making sense of that non-commital answer 'Depends!'

If there's one answer that drives us all nuts, it's 'Depends!'

And there wouldn't be a surprise if your reaction to the above statement is 'Depends!'

Actually 'Depends' is such a dependable answer because it seems to tread those fine lines between 'right' and 'wrong'. Our assessment of 'right' and 'wrong' is always so pathetic that we tend to depend on 'Depends!' to save ourselves. And so very often.

I won't be wrong to say that 'Depends!' means 'Debatable but let's not debate!'

Suppose I depend on the old saying 'excess of anything is bad', then I can also say, 'excess of rightness is wrong'. That might also tempt me to say, 'excess of wrongness is right'. And I might so rightly sound foolish with that excess of wrongness.

Anyway, have a look at this 2x2 matrix on the debate between means/methods and consequences. More elaborately, right and wrong means/methods, and right and wrong consequences.

If right and wrong always involve the 'Depends!' answer, then this matrix above doesn't accommodate explicitly the space for 'Depends!'. No?!

How and where do we accommodate 'Depends!'? Of course, between the Right and the Wrong, no?

Let's make some space...

That's the playing field. Plus-shape :)!

See if you can play around in this field. Take an example:

Means/Method = Coca Cola's incredibly frequent cute advertisements saying 'Open Happiness'

Consequence = Obesity among drinkers of Coca Cola

Can you place it in the matrix? And likewise many other things...

This Matrix of Means/Method and Consequence is just one way to make us ponder... Scale and Consequence. Ways of Reminding and Ways of Influencing. And whatever else you can conjure up, here's the plus-shape playing field.