Here’s a claim: We should think of any phenomenon as a potential locus for a Choose Your Own Adventure of inquiry. (I thank Edward Packard in part for this view, and for filling my childhood with many hours of gaming and conditionals way before I knew how much I would continue to love gaming and conditionals as an adult. Particularly with this book.) As I’ve mentioned before, we can have many interpretations of any datum or data to lead us to many distinct, rich questions regarding how to better understand the material. Issues are rarely black and white; they depend on us as thinkers to interpret and explain what’s going on with them in order for everyone to better understand their significance. What’s important to understand is how we are interpreting data: what our personal acquaintances with them afford us and how we are framing everything. We must establish boundaries for interests (how we think about things and topics in specific disciplines, for instance), but these boundaries are prudent–they help us hone our thoughts and allow for deeper analyses. The real issue is trying to establish the boundaries we can set for ourselves given the subject of inquiry and the adventure on which we wish to embark.
Here’s a very short game we can play as a model for the potential of adventurous inquiry: