…and…but…therefore (Thanks, Randy Olsen!)

image from the nytimes dot earth blog

“…and…but…therefore” I spoke about briefly on a previous blog post on storytelling.

To remind you, in case you’re interested, Randy Olsen’s book Houston, we have a narrative introduces the world to his astounding idea, that “…and…but…therefore” is a concise way of summarizing an entire story in one sentence. For example, one way to interpret the Wizard of Oz story could be:

“…the story of a little girl living on a farm in Kansas AND her life is boring, BUT one day a tornado sweeps her away to the land of Oz, THEREFORE she must undertake a journey to find her way home.”

Read the book; this is just a taste of the great ideas there-in.

Here’s a counter-example of non-story-telling that illustrates why “And-But-Therefore” is better than most scientific or business write-ups and summaries, that end up being a list of facts “And-And-And.” Can you imagine the Wizard of Oz being an And-and-and?

“Once there was a girl on a farm AND there was a tornado AND she found her way back home.”

I find myself saying “So what?” — I probably wouldn’t read that book.

The NYTimes “dot-earth” blog is a fan of Randy’s as well. Also a worthwhile read.


CMIO’s take:    What is YOUR “…and…but…therefore” story?

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

One thought on “…and…but…therefore (Thanks, Randy Olsen!)”

  1. But…perhaps the whole world is in fact all And, And, And. Its just these damn authors that start inserting their Buts and Therefores to get credit for creating some narrative that isn’t really there. Maybe the Wizard of Oz is boring and we got tricked by the man behind the curtain pulling his But and Therefore levers. And now I’m depressed. ; )

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