Stephen E. Arnold: As Different Types of Thinkers Emerge Collaboration Is Key

Advanced Cyber/IO, Collective Intelligence
Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold

As Different Types of Thinkers Emerge Collaboration Is Key

June 21, 2013

The article titled How an Entirely New, Autistic Way of Thinking Powers Silicon Valley on Wired discusses the possibility of a new way of thinking. “Pattern thinkers”, those who think in patterns, whether consciously or unconsciously, are separated from “picture thinkers”, who are more aware of aesthetics. The article cites such famous examples from history as Van Gogh, whose paintings of the stormy night sky matches the formula later discovered for turbulence in liquid and Jackson Pollock, whose abstract painting style involved flinging streaks of paint onto massive canvases which were later found to be coherent fractal patterns. The article explains,

“Michael Shermer, a psychologist, historian of science, and professional skeptic  – he founded Skepticmagazine — called this property of the human mind patternicity. He defined patternicity as “the tendency to find meaningful patterns in both meaningful and meaningless data.” …The three kinds of minds — visual, verbal, pattern thinkers — naturally complement one another. When I recall collaborations in which I’ve successfully participated, I can see how different kinds of thinkers worked together to create a product that was greater than the sum of its parts.”

The article argues that it is finding the balance of these three types that has made for the great innovations, such as Pixar– and the lack of balance that has spelled out disaster for other projects, (the article cites the IPhone 4 antennae). We are not sure if this is a positive or a negative approach.

Chelsea Kerwin, June 21, 2013

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