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Science

Mesofacts

Bookmarked Warning: Your reality is out of date – The Boston Globe (archive.boston.com)

Mesofacts are the facts that change neither too quickly nor too slowly

Reminds me of the ecological phenomenon of shifting baselines (e.g. we killed the salmon slowly enough we don’t notice a huge change in our own lifetimes but the change in three lifetimes is massive).

These are tricky because you don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know your facts need updating.

Same thing happens in my work: people remember the first way they learned to recycle. People will never let go of recycling by number even though we haven’t done that in over a decade – it’s intuitive and memorable – which makes it all the more important to work upstream and simply get rid of the numbers on plastic packaging, to cue a change in the facts.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at tracy.durnell@gmail.com. She/her.

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