Layers of Thinking

Time challenges generally direct our energy to what is visible, here called the Surface, or in another context, the "text". It is apparent; we unconsciously presume transparency: what you see is what you get. Those willing to go further will reach the the Sub-surface, or the "sub-text", in which what we saw on the surface might only be a shadow, or a simple rendition, of the true complexity of a situation. Armed with a tenacious "need to know", we may probe for the Bedrock, the true ground of a meme, a story, a situation, to be sure we really grok the totality of layers that comprise a situation, relationship, complexity.

Knowing all three layers is essential when the stakes are high.

What you see easily


In the case of the Plan, the surface is what can be found easily, such as official documents from public sources. Examples here are the SJC Comprehensive Plan and its many appendices, the Uniform Development Codes, and (with some digging) any changes to the Plan required by law or created by a formal legal process (example: a relevant county resolution).

What you have to dig for


What is left out of the Surface is all the wrangling that led to the adopted ordinances, codes and resolutions. Also left out are the implications of these legal findings and documents. Even the wrangling and implications are often incomplete, masking even deeper layers of motivation and meaning.

What is really the foundation


The Bedrock describes the true ground that supports the Sub-surface and, from there, the Surface. Absent a refreshing and penetrating look at the foundational assumptions and historical evolution of memes, ideas, concepts, laws, cultural expectations, etc., the true story will remain hidden.