The Assumption Game

I bet you assumed this post would be about assumptions after reading the title. Well, while is is generally frowned upon to assume (you know what they say) in this case you would be correct. I’m not going to be talking about mindless, commonplace assumptions however; rather I am going to hopefully cause you to question some of the things you assume everyday. Whether you actually question or not, I’d like you to at least take the time to think about what some of your own assumptions are through this next week, and perhaps drop a comment with one of your own.

The next part of this post is going to be a little exercise with assumptions. It’s simple and often got a good laugh out of some friends of mine at the lunch table. For lack of a more creative name, we’ll call it the Assumption Game. Here’s how you play: state something that is assumed. It doesn’t have to be a logical; in fact the more illogical, the more entertaining. If you’d prefer to be logical, that’s okay too. Either one will satisfy the goal of the game: to think about the things we take for granted, and to outline the very specific set of conditions we are used to functioning in – once you get a hang of the game, you’ll be able to come up with a lot more ways the world doesn’t work than the ways it does.

I’ll start:

  • We assume that the sun will keep burning and providing warmth and light for us throughout our lifetime.
  • We assume that the computers we’re all staring at won’t suddenly burst into flame or start singing opera.
  • We assume that the pens we write with in class won’t start crying because they failed the test, even when we do.
  • We assume the food we eat won’t morph itself into a baby panda in our stomachs who decides to crawl out of our mouths the next day.
  • We assume that the water we drink is fact water, and not cytoplasm wrung out of the plants that live underground and control us like robot toys children get for Christmas.
  • We assume that the paper we write on won’t burst into flame due to the tiny dragons flying around our heads that we had assumed to be insects.
  • We assume that the light bulbs that light our homes and dorm rooms aren’t spying on us, sending tiny Morse code messages to our alien overlords out right before they die – hence the flickering.

I think you get the point. I could go on for hours just listing things that are increasingly random and illogical, but in the context of this game, they become the truths of the universe and the actual truths become the falsities. It’s an interesting thought exercise, and one of the easiest ways to “deconstruct the universe.” It also causes you to think about the simple things you take to be true without ever really thinking about them. So whether due to active or passive deconstruction, it starts to peel away the glazed-over way we blindly accept the commonplaces of we’re presented with. It causes us to analyze the everyday, and in a lot of cases that’s one of the most exciting ways to experience the world: open your eyes and see what’s already there that you’ve never looked at before. If you’re having a hard time figuring out where to start or what that means, try the Assumption Game.


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