How flexible are you in your thinking?
I found this image above and although it is illustrative it doesn’t encompass much flexibility in approach. So far today I have hinted at pirate-think and the two sides of Walter White. I don’t know what others think of Walter, maybe he is a baddy, maybe he is a goody. It depends upon where you are coming from and which lenses you have in your eyes. There is a line in T-shirts which has a message; “Never underestimate an old guy with a chemistry degree”, so maybe Walter speaks to this sub-set of the population. Perhaps a little punk-rock spirit is reborn if only in mild gesture. I suspect that some find Walter’s “edge” threatening. After all he is a murderer and a meth-cook.
Now I’ll posit something here, it is to do with lack of joined-up thinking. I suspect that people forget the entirety of their prior knowledge in the heat of the moment. Even if we know a fair deal about a person, we can simply not take that into consideration. If, for example, we have previously found someone to be of sound judgement, the moment that judgement is contrary to what we want to do, we forget this. Why? Because it pisses us off slightly. That person becomes the enemy. If they are not aligned, then they are now wrong and very wrong indeed. Our thinking is not joined up with our knowledge. All we can see is what we want, and nothing is going to get in our way. This selective memory is a part of a wider selective perception.
To refer to the above, it is a bit silly to feel threatened by a character in a fictional TV series. We can forget whilst watching it, that it is TV; not joined up. A lot of people are scared about chemistry, labs and explosions and now we have Novichoks to worry about. Someone like Walter could probably knock up a batch of these. Anything which is unknown to us is scary. I have “played” with arsine in the past and that is some serious toxic shit. It is not so scary as a concept to me as it would be to the majority of the population. Hell, they even let me help plumb in gas lines with this, in central Manchester. None of us doing that had any health and safety qualifications, we were just a bunch of young post docs and students, let loose with cylinders of toxic gas. A simple way to keep your average chemist happy is to give them a bonfire, a can of petrol, a water hose and a box of matches; hours of fun. I can remember a number of times when pyro-Alan has freaked people out, but I have been in perfect control of what I have been doing. Because it was unknown to them, they were scared. When I lived in Brixton, we had a few bonfires, all the people in the other flats relaxed after the first one, and we had the odd fire “party” or two after that. Fear of the unknown clouds our judgement. If you knew about pyros and chemists, you could use joined up thinking to get an overview of sorts.
So very often our joined-up thinking fails, we may not even attempt it. All we can see is local to the situation and now, we can forget all of our prior experience. Our thinking can become very selective indeed and once this has set-in we can end far up shit creek without a paddle in a barbed wire canoe.
Having cued this up:
Has my thinking ever failed to be joined-up?
Did this cause problems?
Has my selective memory and selective perception ever caused me to grab the wrong end of the stick and hang grimly on to it as if my life depended upon it?
Could I benefit from a little more flexibility in thought?