Memes & The Ladder LO7163

Ben Compton (
Fri, 03 May 1996 10:54:38 -0700

Replying to LO7126 --

re: conceptual vs. linear thinking

When I was 12 or 13 I came to the startling realization that I spent every
minute of my life thinking . . . and my thoughts determined both what I
learned, and the rate at which I learned.

I spent most of my teenage years analyzing the way I thought, and
experimenting with various thought processes, methods, and philosophies. I
came to the conclusion, around the age of 14, that there were two
important aspects to human thought:

(1) What we think
(2) How we think

I prefer to think conceptually (and holistically) most of the time.
However, there are times when I must use linear thoughts (especially when
I am discussing complex issues with linear-minded people), or when I am
engaged in linear activities (such as problem-solving) . However, the
speed at which I can reason through a problem linearly is increased if I
have a strong conceptual framework to start with.

I believe there is a strong correlation between conceptual thinking and
systemic thinking (the ability to identify various systems at play). In my
opinion, the one thing many people in our society has lost, is the ability
to think conceptually. We are such a specialized society, forced to learn
the minutia of our professions, that many people rarely take the time to
even consider the fact that their thinking (thought processes) may not be
as productive as they could be.


Benjamin B. Compton ("Ben") | email: Novell GroupWare Technical Engineer | fax: (801) 222-6991

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