Story Threads

My last post of 2015 is about story telling and story sharing.
This year I have become more and more interested in the craft of writing. My focus for this interest has been #coachlearning in sport.
I have used my blog as a way of thinking out loud.
Steven Pinker has stopped me in my tracks. He has disturbed me in the best possible way. His discussion of classic style has given my work an orthogonal turn.
The turn has taken me to some fascinating places.
I found a post by Eamon Carey that introduced me to John Maeda’s Laws of Simplicity. Law 10 is:

Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.

Eamon suggests that “We consistently subtract the meaningful and add the obvious”.
This occurs in a world in which there are so many alternatives that compete for our attention. Faris Yakob invites us to value the attention communication consumes “to balance out the attention debts people are feeling”.
In 2015, I have been exploring how to include visual dimensions to story telling and sharing too.
A post by Mike Bostock has introduced me to Jacques Bertin and the semiology of graphics.
A sentence from Jacques’ introduction to his book has given me another orthogonal twist:

a system is polysemic when the meaning of the individual signs follows and is deduced from consideration of the collection of signs. Signification becomes subjective and thus debatable.

I hope to explore in 2016 how a story with text and visualisation written in a classic style can:

  • deliver the essential simplicity of John Maeda’s Law 10
  • stimulate discussion and reflection
  • value the attention given to stories I share.

Happy New Year.

Photo Credits

The Old Steam Engine at Reidsdale (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)


  1. Hello Keith. I was googling a radio music programme from many years ago called ‘Bolero – a musician’s nightmare’ and one of the few results that came up was from your blog. In the blog you mentioned that you listened to a recording of the programme. Would you still have a copy of that recording ? If so, would you be able to supply me with a copy of it ? Obviously, I would cover all expenses if you can only supply a hard copy. In anticipation, Chris W

    • Hello, Chris.
      I am delighted you found my post. I heard the program on ABC Classic FM but regret I did not download it.
      At the time I was struck by the ideas being discussed and the links with sport performance.
      I apologise that I cannot be of help.
      Best wishes


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