“A model is a lie that helps you see the truth” – H. Skipper

“A model is a lie that helps you see the truth” is a quote by Howard Skipper, an American doctor.

Here I try to extend this pattern, replacing “model” by cousin ideas : “pattern”, “structure”, “map”, etc.

So what? A “model” is not the real world, it’s a construction made to help us to understand the real world.

A MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY, right? A map is a LIE, it doesn’t give you changes, colors, moods, light, temperature and life. But it’s a useful, thought, for a purpose…

You can be very serious while modeling things (in Science) and an architect will build models (in cardboard or on computers), but you can also be a little casual “just to see what you’ll see”.

For example you can see each of these things : a school, a couple, or a battle, as : a machine, a living creature, a computer, a kingdom or a business company. If you “apply” your model, you’ll rule out something, but you’ll find interesting things too. Then, trash the model. Because it’s a LIE, of course!

A model is a construction made to help us to understand the real world.

It can be using a structure and also “a way to explain how it works”, moves and evolves. Let’s use the model of “a business company” to study “a married couple”. Who’s the CEO, how does the money flow, what are the goals, etc…

It can be more like a skeleton, a complex map of “what it is”, or a single archetypal word :

  • Mauss studied suicide or gift and made entire books about these. A way to search for “what is common”, the “fundamental characteristics”.
  • Simmel studied the bridge : it links two territories, it is a territory itself, it “shows itself” as a bridge, and it is a “will of connection” (over a river, for example).

Yes, this leads to Archetypes (Jung)

a statement, pattern of behavior, or prototype (model) which other statements, patterns of behavior, and objects copy or emulate

To Forms in philosophy (Plato)

pure forms which embody the fundamental characteristics of a thing in Platonism

and to the most precious diamond : the Symbol.

a symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, object, or relationship. Symbols allow people to go beyond what is known or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different concepts and experiences.

(All quotes from Wikipedia – I bolded some words)

Questions :

Who’s right? Skipper who uses the word “lie”, or Plato and Jung who seem to seek a “pure form”? Is all this a search for a link, common aspects in different things, or are these just tools to explore a concept , moving aside difficulties and details? Are you more interested in details, or structures? Why do we say that there are only a few ways to tell a story (Google : Seven Basic Plots)? What are the “order” games like MBTI, Zodiac or Enneagrams? Is a symbol the tiniest and more radioactive possible model?

Let’s say you’re introvert, fast, jealous, a father, a murderer or a valet. Is it a lie, because it’s true but way too simple (and a label on your face) – then you list the subtilities, the movements, the reasons, etc -, or is it a funny truth which could lead you to make decisions, or find other archetypes to think about?

You can also read : Ecceity

Yeahh, overthinking, I know…

Thanks for reading!






The “Uncanny valley” of Sick #Robots

Wikipedia : The uncanny valley is the hypothesis that human replicas which appear almost, but not exactly, like real human beings elicit feelings of eeriness and revulsion among some observers.

So, a robot should look like a robot. If it’s too close of a human being (“near realistic but imperfect”), it’ll be rejected. Because, probably, your instinct sees something slightly wrong, and therefore the robot seems ILL.

Of course, it’s interesting to try to understand how it works, because it’s more subtle than that. And also : what are the ways to avoid this uncannyness? Can people get used to it?



Instagram : ___bodylanguage___

Why do you blog? The mess of #motivation theories – #blogging

Ah that good question it is, “Why do you blog?”. You can pick another one if you want : Why to you run? Why do you paint? Why do you shop? Why do you have sex?

I use it as a pretext to write about Motivation Theories, which are a whole messy basket of attempts to explain why I do something.

Why do you blog? Well, it depends…

  • You want to grow, to accomplish something
  • You want new competences
  • You want to meet people, affiliation
  • You need to express yourself
  • You believe in it
  • You need more self-esteem
  • You want money, or a job
  • You want power, you want to influence people
  • You want to be rewarded, posititive feedbacks, recognition
  • You want to impress someone, or a group
  • You want to be heard, you want readers, followers
  • You think it’s a way to gain something else, to enter something
  • It’s interesting
  • You fear something, like punishment
  • You need a goal, a discipline, a frame, to push yourself
  • You are pulled, or triggered by something, orders for example
  • You need schedules, to be driven by something
  • You need to be busy, tasks
  • You need to forget something else
  • You want to reduce something 
  • Expectancy
  • You want to meet your future husband or your wife
  • Motivation needs to become words and expression
  • You want or need to explain yourself
  • You search something and you find it little by little
  • You need to be productive, to produce something, to have results
  • You like numbers, statistics, you count visitors, likes, followers
  • You’re drunk

If you want to find more, Google “Motivation“, that’s really funny to dig. At the end, I found one day a single way to express this mess (your reason you blog is a melting cheese of reasons, right?) that could be the ultimate height of social motivation :

You blog, because you want to be loved

Thanks for reading!


The Ravel’s Bolero Syndrome : when you know someone from ONE thing only

Some names are well known for only ONE work, one event, one place.

Dorothea Lange is well known for “this” picture only. Maurice Ravel is linked for ever to his Bolero. The city of Agra with the Taj Mahal. The Korgis have a great hit : “Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime”. Where’s the rest?


I call it The Ravel Syndrome. The structure is : “Something is known for ONE thing and the rest is globally ignored”. It’s not necessarily one work, it can be one domain : for example, Chekhov is very well know for his theater, and nobody knows his short stories.

This dial should lead us to take the wheel, think, and explore. Lange probably took other good pictures, Ravel composed a great Daphnis & Chloe and his concertos for piano are fantastic, Agra is full of great other places to visit. The Korgis, well, I don’t knowww (there are pages of lists of “One Hit Singers” on the web)…

There are two lessons to get from this :

  • This flaw could be called “Hit Laziness”. Let’s enter the house and discover the other rooms, why not try to see what the artist has behind his “hit”. Maybe treasures?
  • “Someone is known for ONE thing and the rest is globally ignored” can be very cruel. I think of Monica Lewinsky, which is probably a much more interesting person than this label you just put on her, in your mind. Hmmm?


Thanks for reading!





WhatsApp Quiet PingPong Images

WhatsApp is a perfect App, so elegant that more than a billion people on Earth use it. I loved it the first minute it was on my phone. I was floored by everything in this App : clean, elegant, simple.

More : Internet, Facebook and some Apps on our smartphones allow us to meet people all around the world.

There is a great exercise you can make with someone living in another country. I call it WhatsApp Ping Pong.

You send a picture to this person, and you wait for the answer. It can be ten seconds later, or ten hours, or ten days. The purpose, to maintain a good pace, is to wait for the image-answer before you send another one.

Your books, the sky, a church, walls, houses, streets : EVERYTHING is interesting, when you watch it from another culture. Voilà.

And if you want, if you’re shy, you don’t need a single word, you ping pong images, only images. This App is such a great tool. That’s sharing. That’s humanity !

#labo #renault #vintage #garage
#labo #renault #vintage #garage

The Extreme Upper Register of the Bassoon, story of the Wrong Tool

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll you eyes.

The opening solo of The Rite of Spring, by Igor Stravinsky, is played by a bassoon playing out of its normal register. It’s written “out of range”, and the result is a quite weird melody.

Musicians and analysts have been wondering about that for years. How to play this machin ? Le Sacre du Printemps, is about primitive rituels, it’s full of danses sacrificielles and other étranges processions. Soooo… I like the idée to play it weirdly, strangled or lost, lost in a forest, œuf corse…

By the way, héééé, you know the bassoon, this instrument : it’s like a tree, un arbre ! It’s long and made of wood, it’s a tree. A tree without the branches, d’accord.

OK that’s useless, but the idée of beginning that “pagan mass” (of mess) of broken dances by this “out of range” melody played by a bassoon is giving me the chills.

Well. OK. So what ?

Francesco Alberoni is an Italian, a professor of sociology. He wrote a très utile book named Falling in Love, which is completely… out of range for him. As a sociologue, he knows how to study collective movements, and certainement pas some couples and lovers. No no no no. Mr Alberoni, vous n’êtes pas du tout dans votre domaine de compétence…

He is NOT skilled to do that. Toutefois, et néanmoins, he DID it ! He used his sociologist tools to study two persons who fall in love, pfffff. Unappropriate ! Fool !

The result ? A classic, a best-seller. And it’s still a best-seller, more than 30 years after the first print. And it’s a great book by the way. Useful if you’re a broken heart – you’ll understand once you need it, trust me…

I let you elaborate the links between le livre Falling in Love and la musique de The Rite of Spring. It’s Tool Time now.

Tool :

Maybe sometimes, in life or at work, in a brainstorming session or in the middle of a battle, you just have to pick the wrong tool. Or pick the usual tool, and use it the wrong way. Use it nevertheless. Whatever ! Zut ! Maybe you’ll explore a new way to lead the victoire, after all ! Maybe you’ll be enough étrange to surprise everybody, allies and ennemis. You go boy and girl ! You go !