Saturday, September 11, 2004

High Context experience

This entry has nothing to do with investment or Warren Buffett. I had just finished the book a couple of days ago and found reading it to be a high context experience:
Context: High and low context refers to the amount of information that a person can comfortably manage. This can vary from a high context culture where background information is implicit to low context culture where much of the background information must be made explicit in an interaction ...
To digress further, I found these humorous stories of high and low context interactions:
Here's another way these differences can be observed. Jack, an American, is in France. He takes Marie, a Frenchwoman, out to dinner and a show. Afterwards, she invites him to her apartment. It is midnight. She serves coffee and cognac. Jack starts talking about all the things they have in common. He stares meaningfully into her eyes. He tries to cuddle closer to Marie. Marie says, "Relax, Jack. You are going to spend the night. Don't rush it." Jack thinks he's a great Casanova. He does not know that the context has already determined what content-- sleeping together or not-- will ensue in this situation.

Jules, a Frenchman is in America. It's the same scene as above, only Mary is an American. Just after coffee and cognac, Jules jumps on Mary. Mary is horrified. Jules does not understand. He has just received all the context markers for seduction. He does not know Mary expects a lot of content, before cutting to the chase. She wants to know what they have in common, to discuss their relationship, to share details of intimacies, and to exchange medical records, before she can switch to the context of a romantic entanglement.
Anyway, Beyond Culture has more to say on the subject. And, if you like the book, you ought to check out The Silent Language, and The Hidden Dimension. Oh, I almost forgot, Warren Buffett Portfolio is a good read too.

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