Perspective

It may contribute to the creation of a nerd, or serial killer, and separation is the root of a pariah’s persona – but a different perspective can give enormous horsepower towards approaching a scenario. As many of you know, when stuck on a problem it’s often helpful to sleep on it, to get a better perspective.

What is this doing? Truth is, reality presents us with much more information than we can handle. What we perceive is just a portion of what our senses run into. Not being a neuroscientist, I can’t say where, but that information gets filtered, a lot, before you get to take a look at it. This is perspective.

It’s changed by your emotional state, your experience, and your training. Others can manipulate it, sometimes people manipulate themselves subconsciously. To separate perspective from our value system is impossible.

My point is that you can’t depend on your default perspective.  Engineers run into this all the time, especially when troubleshooting a problem. First impressions are almost always wrong. Only by systematically approaching things can you get a reasonable understanding of the situation. For anything more than the very simple, this requires structured thinking, record keeping, and a distrust of non-critical thought. Even when you’re systematic you miss things.

Engineers and scientists both cultivate this (or should) to help them. Too often critical thinking is not applied to situations that would benefit from it.

No one is a Vulcan, not should we be. However we mere humans do get it wrong. I’d venture that we get it wrong a lot more than we get it right. I haven’t heard of anything that I would classify as logical since I last took a math class.

Maybe we have something to learn from our Vulcan friends, the engineers.

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