About this post
Type of technique: assumption finding
Technique in a nutshell: Say you want to list assumptions about the moon, for example. You can set a directive 'name assumptions about the moon'. But you can also modify that directive with set words (such as time, place, person). Thus: 'Name person assumptions about the moon'. Possible answers: we assume only people have visited the moon, we assume that people have gone to the moon.
A Strategy to Find Assumptions
I've been using this approach to help find assumptions.
Imagine a bomb-damaged tree at an old WWII air base - such as Biggin Hill. A number of assumptions are automatically made about the bomb-damaged tree. In the search for assumptions a directive such as:
List assumptions about the bomb-damaged tree
can be made. However, this can be modified using the category headings:
Time (duration) Place (area) Thing (object) Person Doing (Activity) Being (Is) Having (Has) Saying (utterance) Knowledge
If I select 'time' from the category headings I can rewrite the directive thus:
List time-assumptions about the bomb-damaged tree
I reckon that my first time-assumption is that the bomb damage occured during WWII. Maybe the damage could have occured at some other time?
If I select the 'duration' part of the category I make the directive:
List duration-assumptions about the bomb-damaged tree
Which makes me realise I assume the damage occured at one time. Maybe the tree could have been damaged on more than one occasion in the war or whenever.
Using 'person(s)' gives the directive:
List person(s)-assumptions about the bomb-damaged tree
which makes me realise I'd assumed the damage was caused by German bombers. Maybe the tree could have been damaged by a plane colliding with it and detonating its bombs etc.