Einstein on growth and Taylor on making sense
At first, I thought the Einstein quotation was a great riff on growth, and I only used the first part of the title of this piece. Then I reread Andrew's note and thought again.
Narrative (story-telling) is important in getting your message across. Art obviously plays a big role in effective narrative, from poetry to graphic arts to music (why do you think many commercials showing elegant products feature classical music?). (I read something about that last point recently, but I can't find its source. If anyone knows who blogged about it in the last few weeks, please let me know, and I'll credit the idea.) Art has a way of unleashing emotions and feelings we struggle to express in mere words.
But there's another side, too; we've all read of people who have told great stories unsupported by fact, reason, or, in some cases, ethics. Perhaps we ourselves have been mislead by such stories in the past.
That's why I think it's important to blend stories and reason grounded in data, not necessarily at the same time but certainly in the same deliberation, which may be spread out in time. I suspect we all have our own biases towards one or the other, even as those biases may shift from time to time. That's why I like the PGP approach advocated by Edward Tufte, even as I realize the risk of formulaic approaches to remove all the life from the artful (and perhaps the rational) side.
Use your art to make the rational come alive, and use your reasoning to guide your art in ethical directions and for ethical purposes!