Killing Two Stones With One Bird


Oftentimes I swap up the words of a familiar sentence, like the one in the title. The real expression is, as we all got taught: “Killing two birds with one stone.” I always thought that killing two birds or a bird for that matter is cruel, but that’s not the direction I’m taking with this post

I want to talk about defamiliarization, and how creatively seeing things differently can cause a disruption, which in turn, can turn into a disaster or a beautiful outcome. Either way, I think it’s better than leaving things how they’re ‘suppose to be’ and letting the bird get kill.

If you Google the word defamiliarization you will get this: Defamiliarization or ostranenie (остранение) is the artistic technique of presenting to audiences common things in an unfamiliar or strange way in order to enhance perception of the familiar. Somewhat similar to the concept of jamais vu (opposite of déjà vu).

People always react funny when I swap up words, they get like a software error or something. That’s a disruption, a small one, but people can’t help but notice what you say, put a weird face, and then correct you. Do this often enough, and whenever people say the expression you changed up, they will certainly remember you.

This, of course, is a very small example of the influence of swapping things around. Sometimes, it’s the very reason why things end up making a huge impact in the world. Take Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus for example, the very reason Grameen bank worked, he said, it’s because they learned how a bank operated, and then went on to do the exact opposite.

Another beautiful example is the avant-garde art movement of Cubism, lead by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. This massive disruption not only influenced other painters, but other artist in the field of music and literature. All these artist had to do, was swap things around, be playful. This in turned caused a defamiliarization, and thus a huge impact.

There’s a very thin line between being perceived as a fool and being perceived as a genius. I rather be perceived as a fool for thinking differently and swapping things around. After all, I’m not the only one.

Very often, I swap things around, from my morning routines to how we do things at Enso Expeditions. I invite you to do the same, it will make your life more interesting and creative. And who knows, maybe at some point you can cause a huge positive impact on humanity. I know the chances will be higher.

I hope you start swapping things around very often. I hope you use your creativity to solve social issues. The world needs more of this. So let’s kill more stones and fewer birds.

Are you killing the birds or the stones?

Happiness much,

Hansel | @hanselps