Friday Flashback: Twelve Ways to Think Differently

In May 2005 I wrote this post that, after it was picked up months later on Digg and other popularity lists of web articles, turned out to be my most-visited article ever:

yinOur minds are like our bodies — fail to exercise them and they atrophy and break down. We live in an age of specialization, where we are encouraged to narrow our interests and our activities, to focus and limit ourselves to doing things at which we are very competent. So parts of our brain get a lot of exercise and other parts very little. What’s worse, this can actually narrow our comfort zone, the range of things we enjoy doing or thinking about and are competent in. Many of our cultural activities and artefacts: political debates, win/lose competitions, hierarchies, laws, religions, ‘best practices’, systematization, uniforms, and monolithic architecture and design — all tend to reinforce ‘one right answer’ thinking that discourages and ultimately excludes and prevents us from thinking differently. Even the mental exercises we do as we get older are designed to stem the loss of analytical skills and memory rather than broadening our thinking or our thinking ability. We live in a world of stultifying sameness and uniformity: physically, ideologically, intellectually.There is little motivation, little day-to-day need, to exercise the parts and processes of our brain that rarely get a workout.

Read the Twelve Ways

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One Response to Friday Flashback: Twelve Ways to Think Differently

  1. Karen says:

    I’d love to attend. As a student of open space, it’s not quite priced for me…but perhaps I can see about scaring up some help. Do you know if there will be any “open” parts of this event in which those in the area with interest/passion in the topics can participate?

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