Tag Archives: daily writing

To Imply vs To Infer

Say you ask a friend, “Are you going to the party on Saturday?” and she replies, “I work the evening shift.” Your friend is implying that she can’t be in two places at once, so you then infer that she won’t be coming to the party.”

Google Design Documents on Conversational UIs

What a great example of an important distinction! To imply is to give meaning between the lines. To infer is to take meaning from between the lines.

How often do we confuse these two?

How often are our words muddled with disinformation? How often do we fail the truth?

I listened to Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson argue over The Truth. Two of the most admired intellectuals of our time cannot even arrive at basic agreement over what Truth is.

Maybe, like Pirsig suggests in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Truth is unspeakable. Our words will always form a fractional representation. The model is always flawed.

Another way to say it, is that we can only imply the truth in our speech. Further, we can only infer the truth from others.

Peterson thinks of Truth pragmatically. It’s only True so far in it provides for the advancement of Life. He calls it “Darwinian”. I like his version of Truth, but the model seems to be lacking for me.

Harris is more materialist. It seems to me that his Truth is deterministic and objective.

They might agree that Truth encompasses the human experience and is greater than human experience.

Of course, I can’t say for certain, because I may not be perfectly inferring The Truth from their words and I might also not be perfectly implying The Truth to you!

We are caught in a web of existential information, trying to create harmony between our models of the Universe and The Truth.

Nobody can directly inject wisdom into your mind. You must mine the texture of your experience. Between the folds you will find veins of gold.

I imagine the Grace of God is to have a conception of reality that is perfectly tuned to Truth. That momentary lapse in imperfection that seems to last forever. What a gift.

Thanks for reading. Hope you may have inferred some wisdom from this.

Feel free to leave a comment below or tweet at me (@justuseapen).

No time.

Between work, the gym, and dance, I had no time to write today.

Or better said, I did not prioritize writing today. I prioritized work, the gym, and dance.

What are you prioritizing? It’s a simple question, because the answer is — inevitably —  what you actually did.

We always have time. The real problem is that we rarely have our priorities in order.

Prioritization is an eternal and universal problem. Time is a gift and only becomes a problem when you’ve used it unwisely.