One of the things I’ve noticed when talking about this book, I’ve done a couple of conversations, and I’ve really enjoyed a bunch of these things because they aren’t debates. They are conversations where I’m kind of riffing with someone else who has a shared value… It’s that kind of “yes and” attitude instead of the “no but” attitude, which is a little bit hokey, but I think it’s a useful way to think about it. Where you’re talking to somebody and there’s this great willingness to build on somebody’s principle, not argue with it.
One final note from Steven Johnson’s Where do good ideas come from? talk I attended on Tuesday.
The idea of “yes and” comes from improvisational theater, where “yes and” is seen as the cornerstone of improvisational technique.
I very much like the idea of riffing with ideas, rather than arguing over a point. Anil Dash calls this “the yes and culture”:
That principle of collaborative and cumulative creation is a fundamental aspect of modern culture in general. Remixing, rebooting, remaking and re-imagining culture require a “Yes, and…” aesthetic.