Life itself is a continuous process that connects outside to inside and not-me to me. Once the outside is in -- say, in the form of "facts" -- then we need to connect them. Likewise food. Since I have diabetes, my body can't on its own connect the dots between carb and cell. If I don't take insulin, then the carb-dots just pile up until I croak.
It seems that something similar can happen with facts or knowledge or data. Yes, we always need to connect the dots between them, but also, we need keys to assimilate these into our substance, otherwise they just build up like too many carbs. As Eliot rhetorically asks,
Where is the life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
I'm just winging it here. No plan. Or better, just riffing on the motif of "connecting dots." Or, trying to go meta and connect the dots of dot connecting to something beyond their mere connectedness.
I'm also not explaining it very well. You could say that any "narrative" is an attempt to connect the dots. In the case of art, the narrative presumably comes first, in that the artist will choose and structure the details and characters in order to support and disclose it.
Conversely, in science the narrative is supposed to always be subordinate to the facts. The facts will supposedly "tell us" their narrative, even though they never actually do. Facts do not speak, much less for themselves. If they could, then human beings would be utterly superfluous.
Any fact you care to name must, in order to be one, be situated in a prior narrative, AKA metaphysic. A metaphysic is your ultimate narrative, and thus, your ultimate connection of dots.
And now it really gets strange, because most people operate without any conscious metaphysic, and most of the others deny that metaphysics is even possible. Trouble is, you have to connect a (literally) infinite number of dots to conclude that the dots not only aren't connected, but can never be connected. Rather, they're just a bunch of random dots. Said the random dot.
For example, atheism. A-theism is really a-connectedness, and in a big way. Put conversely, think of all the dots that theism connects: all of them. Including the biggest dots we can imagine, e.g., time and eternity, absolute and relative, God and man, man and man (via an interior love as opposed to mere exterior juxtaposition), and much more.
Knowledge itself, for example, in classical Christian metaphysics, is our own apprehension of the intelligibility implanted into things by God. It is how and why knowledge is possible: any act of knowledge testifies to the connectedness between intelligence and intelligibility -- from God through objects and into us. To know something is to connect the dots. Always.
And now I'm thinking about the Trinity. As we know, this word is not mentioned in scripture. Nevertheless, it is surely there, only in the form of dots that were discerned and connected by the apostles and early fathers. The Father had to be connected to the Son, and they in turn had to be connected to the Holy Spirit, in such a way that they are coequal persons in one substance. There is no way to connect these big ol' dots but with the principle of the Trinity.
Come to think of it, much of early Christianity consisted of dot-connecting, didn't it? The first thing the early Christians did was to consult the Hebrew scriptures, thereby discovering hundreds of connections -- i.e., prophecies, typologies, and synchronicities. And what is a synchronicity but God punning around? And what is a pun or witticism but a connection of dots, say, between "Peter," "rock," and "Church?"
What is the connection between "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," and "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God."
Consider what's going on there: two ultimate examples of dot-connecting. However, they can't be contradictory. Rather, we have to somehow connect to dots between them! It must go something like this:
"In the beginning is God-and-Word, distinct but inseparable. This Word is with God and is God; thus, God's Isness is always a Withness. In the beginning the God-with-Word creates the heavens and the earth. And it is always the beginning."
Man is such an inveterate storyteller that he might as well be called... Homo storian or something. It's what we do, which is to say, try to connect the dots. They say -- they being the tenured -- that it is strictly impossible for us to connect the dots, and that it is an exercise in premodern naiveté to think otherwise. But I do think otherwise, and I don't think it's because I'm naive.
If you want to simplify your life, you can just stipulate that God is the ultimate connecter of dots and be done with it. Trouble is, if you reject God, it hardly means you have abandoned dot-connecting. To the contrary!
And this is where the left comes in, because what is the left but a frenzied gang of tyrannical dot-connectors? Let's begin with Marx. He starts with the principle that connecting the dots is impossible, because God doesn't exist. Getting you to believe in God is just a way for the ruling class to control you with a fake narrative!
But then Marx goes on to connect all the cosmic and historical dots, only in such a way that it justifies tyrannical control by a ruling class. Gosh, almost like he naively projects his own bad motives into the religious or something!
It's enough to make a fellow suspect that religion is our primary bulwark against the tyrannical dot-connectors of the left.