Have you ever dropped a pearl, and had it noticed as a dropping?

I let this little one go yesterday; “From small pieces piece pictures that link in patterns wide out in all directions, such that a single puzzle piece is your good friendly neighbor to distant and unrelated factoids. A big picture has value coded right in – this is better than that – this is more correct than that – this viewpoint can contain more of factual sensory data than that viewpoint can.. It isn’t an exercise in intellectual domination to have these discussions, it is the act of building personal and communal organizations of thought that make the most sense; include the most data… Did you ever see the Colombo made for TV movies? He would puzzle and puzzle over one tiny little fact. One piece that just didn’t fit. Each puzzle piece that we get has to fit in not just with the adjacent pieces – it has to fit in with everything we have ever experienced or learned. It has to fit in with our totality. If something doesn’t fit in with all of all that we know, then we need to re-create our being in order to accommodate.”

That hint could lean someone towards changing their software, changing their data acquisition and storage mechanisms. Changing their life.

<irritated irony> Or maybe, it is just subjective experience. </irritated irony>

No wonder people get the inclination to raise their voice during conversation.

I’ve been noted as having an ability for metaphor and for making meaningful connections between seemingly unrelated ideas. It is not an innate talent. It is groomed. This is how you can have that.

The habit of seeing interconnections, of owning each bit of information into a wider linked up system, is a useful skill that gets better with practice. For instance what might be the connection between studies that show that women are more attracted to a rugged masculine face during ovulation and to a more feminine/nurturing type of face the rest of the month, and to the notion that porn infantilizes women? If you have the habit to piece little pieces into a wide picture, calling up one image will call up a whole network of inter-related subjects. Women have hormone influenced pre-sets of what will turn them on. That does inform the subject of what turns men on.

Anything can connect to anything. Views on porn will likely somewhere relate to views on education. For instance views on porn will include views about gender and gender differences and this might touch upon attitudes and methods teachers take towards each sex. Views on porn touch upon freedom of personal sexual choice, and this might relate to allowing gay teachers. Views on porn might include attitudes to social norms, which could have a bearing on dress codes in school. And on and on.

I’m not trying to boggle the reader with endless possibilities of inter-connectedness. I’m trying to point out that wherever there is any cognitive dissonance, any tension between ideas, there is a possibility to see and create more interconnections between ideas, to see a bigger picture. The habit of doing so is very practical, in that new connections can be seen, and in that attachment to a particular point of view becomes replaced by an identification with a larger inter-related connection – a bigger picture. You naturally will be flexible in accepting new data, flexible in altering your position, flexible in seeing the position of others, and less likely to defend your stance against facts that don’t fit in with your stance.

I tried to write about thinking through the medium of vision-logic, rather than through the medium of groups of concepts, in this post about writing.

It is very difficult to try to explain that there is a possibility for a way of thinking that is different than average. I find it extremely important to be able to and to habitually see systems, rather than pieces. It’s a habit that can be learned.

It may sound like extravagent magic, but it’s a magic buit into how our minds work.  Our pattern recognition software has great flexibility and reach.  In times of stress we may have a lifetime of memories flash by our eyes.  Sometimes in one minute we have hours worth of dreams.  The mind can pull together enormous quantities of information and organize them – even organize them temporally and create a sense of time out of them.  Having vast visions of interconnections is, or can be, commonplace.

If you scan around the room looking for all blue objects, everything blue will stand out to you. It is the natural function of the pattern recognition software to highlight what you are searching for. In a similar way, when contemplating any idea, all inter-related and possibly connected notions can stand out. The filling system for inter-related ideas works with images. Metaphors spring to mind. A vast array related information comes to mind all at once, often contained by images.

When a few little facts don’t fit well in one little corner of a system, those imprecise associations can radiate outwards into unforeseen areas. It’s important to pay attention to details, and fit things together well and widely. If you feel that porn infantilizes women, and that women are demeaned by images that portray them being sexy by acting childish, you have to fit those ideas in snugly with all possible associated ideas, such as everything you know about the study of beauty and sexuality in humans and mammals and hormonal and genetic influences on sexuality. You have to fit it all together, and feel for dissonance – feel for the places where things are squeaky or squeamish. That’s the only way to really think. Comparing one idea against another is very limited thinking.

It isn’t an impossible task, to take each new piece of information and rest it against all possible related pieces, and to feel for places where there is a bad fit or an especially interesting one. It is a habit of mind that comes from training yourself to be accurate. The mind naturally will see a wider and wider net of associations, by itself, if one decides that it is important to be as truthful and understanding as possible in all things, and if one practices doing so.

Normally people take new information and fit it into their current point of view, or discard it. I’m suggesting a different approach is possible, one with much more utility.

At age 24 my wife and I visited a counselor, for help to discuss sanely our dissolving marriage. Seeing this counselor talk to us changed my life. I saw a new possibility – a new way to be. She did an incredible thing. She listened empathetically to my view, heard and understood it, and at the same time put forth and explained a different view. She embraced my view, used my view as a beginning place to begin to talk to me, and showed me another. Instead of the usual ping pong game of ideas back and forth, she saw the whole picture all at once. Blew me away. That’s called vision logic, and less than 2% of people are habitually at that ability of organizing ideas into networks and networks of networks and meta-net-net-works. Usually we play ping pong back and forth with each other, and try to re-enforce and explain our narrative.