Context Is Everything

by | Oct 23, 2023 | Newsletter | 63 comments

I often get asked about an image I’ve had cause to include in several of my articles over the years. It depicts a television camera capturing a knife attack in such a way as to completely flip the reality of who is attacking and who is being attacked.

In case you haven’t seen it before, here it is:

I would happily credit whoever created this image, but I can’t. It’s been floating around on the internet for decades now, and I’ve never once seen it credited to a particular artist. It has, however, been posted and re-posted so much that it’s generated its own lore at this point.

Some say that the cameraman framed both of them.

Others insist there’s a gun pointed at the cameraman’s head, just outside the frame of the picture.

Whatever the case, it’s easy to see why the image has generated so much interest over the decades (and continues to do so, judging from the feedback in my inbox). It’s because it perfectly encapsulates a point that I will now spend thousands of words elaborating: context is everything.

If you have already internalized this point and you understand how this insight has been weaponized by the powers that shouldn’t be, great! But here’s another point to consider: we can use this insight about the importance of context to our advantage.

How? Allow me to explain. . . .

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