by | Jan 30, 2022 | Change, Learning |


In mathematics, to extrapolate means to estimate beyond the known dataset or observable range. There are different methods of extrapolation, however there is a sense that what we know will be repeated or the trajectory will be followed.

We don’t just do this in math. We tend to try to do this in relationships. However, instead of extrapolating with empathy, we extrapolate by putting ourselves in the situation. “I would never do that.” “If it were me, I would do X.” The thing is, it isn’t you. We need to try to imagine being the other, with all their baggage, fears, joys, and history.

Or we often make value judgements on situations we hear about. “That is not appropriate” and so on. We place our value system on the other. Often it can be more helpful to observe behaviour as an indication of values. And yes, they may different than yours, but perhaps that judgement isn’t helpful. Is the behaviour consistent with the values of the other?

Extrapolation can be a useful, even powerful, tool in mathematics and in life. The key lies in the dataset you extrapolate from.

Photo by Carsten Carlsson


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