Unknown Unknowns #22 - Liminality
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Unknown Unknowns #22 - Liminality

Liminality is "the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a rite of passage".  I first heard of the term on twitter, there's a handle @liminal_warmth.  Once it was defined for me, I started seeing the concept all over.  I now think of the learning process as a infinite recursive cycle between a trial and error phase and a principle-defining phase.  Whenever you shift from one phase to the other, you're in a state of liminality.  Today, I saw the term for the second time.

This Week:

I wrote two pieces this week.  One was a longer form essay on some realizations I had during quarantine.
The second was a response that I had to a tweet from my friend Louie Bacaj.

Something Interesting:

Louie's newsletter is the most underrated newsletter I follow.  Here's a short essay he wrote on how conventional wisdom is a lagging indicator.

I saw liminality for the second time in Laila Faisal's essay Reflecting on Gaming.  She also introduced the term "illusio" to me, the concept that you must play the game in order to understand the values and stakes.  This fits in neatly with my thinking about learning.  You have to experience something in order to learn it.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer the negative elements in your life, don’t sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy!” — Dale Carnegie

Questions, suggestions, complaints?  Email me me at [email protected].  Feedback welcome.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with a friend or two.  And feel free to send anything you find interesting to me!

Have a great week,


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