Thinking In Space

People think differently. I don’t mean they think about an issue differently. What I’m getting at is how brains navigate concepts and concerns differently.

Some people have photographic memories and can picture a page out of a book. When they want to think of a definition or the historical background on an issue- poof- the image appears to aid them. But this is not the same as a visual way of thinking. For some people, their thoughts can capture events and spaces in real-time, as they transpire. Take the skills necessary to be an air traffic controller (pre-computers), This type of mind is skilled at keeping track of moving objects in three dimensions. Pretty cool.

It’s really noticeable how differently people think if you are using a map to navigate a city. A linear thinker takes directions one turn at a time. There is no overlay of the cityscape into quadrants to have a general sense of where one should be. As long as they follow explicit directions, all is well. But improvising or getting back on track after an error is too difficult without help.

At the same time, a sense of distance and duration is simply missing. Offhand comments which imply a schedule can be met or a stop can be worked in (it’s the anything is the possible world!) can be aggravating for the minds which navigate in three dimensions. It’s better if those with a sense of direction take the wheel.

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