When I tried to explain a recent technical problem to a visual but orderly friend, it was completely over her head, and I realized something vital.
Visual people (un-math) actually think differently than techies (geeks). Really. It’s not just “don’t want to make the effort.” I experienced the same frustration in talking with other math-oriented friends. They just don’t get it. Perhaps I use too many words, my cadence and syntax is incomprehensible.
Which brings me to the core of my issue. Too many words, in an unexpected order are what baffles most tech readers. (Which, of course, makes them look—and probably feel—illiterate) Thus explaining Twitter’s success.
But it’s the thinking process I’m trying to document here.
The tech/geek is one-pointed, which makes them insistent in their opinions. No stroke of genius for them. No thanks, not interested. Nothing is worth considering if it hasn’t been mined with pick and shovel from solid rock,, fully documented and understood, proved and tested by tech articles in esteemed publications. It’s a cautious, bridge-building approach, carpentered in such a way as to be unshakeable. It’s the Industrial Revolution approach to problem-solving.
The Vision-ary approach which I call problem-solving by looking at Things is messier—Things must be laid out on the floor/table/ or the wall-of-mind—before they can be comprehended, truly “seen-for-being-what-they-can-be.” It’s this approach that is tested by showing you a tray of unrelated stuff, all disorganized, tangled, mucky, not what anyone would want in a sterile environment.
This must be the Hunter-Gatherer approach—kids start this way; some of us never outgrow it. We are the collectors of memories and Things, (which may suggest another approach to the treatment of Alzheimers.)
Perhaps that’s why we hang on to our possessions and some things are so hard to throw away. Do our Things possess memories, do we actually need them to trigger memories of a life well-spent or do the Things themselves possess memories, embued as they are with our thoughts, our handling, our smells, our touch? Do our Things make us who we are? Hunter-Gatherers at heart.
ARE YOU A VISUAL OR VERBAL ORGANIZER?
You can understand humor in a cartoon with no labels.
You keep reminder objects in full view: empty bottles upside-down to remind you to get more.
Keys in familiar place in full view.
Hazard: They get covered, hidden, misplaced.
Note your reaction:
o Going senile
o Frantic retracing
o Loss of hours, days, $$$
When doing normal errands: commuting, shopping, etc.) if you always take the same path and the path is blocked, do you . . . (see above @ panic)
o Try another, and another and another random route
o Sit and stew- do some frantic phoning
o Access Mapquest– but you’re in a tunnel, no signal, so swear off tech forever.
o Finally give up, turn around, go home, take the kids/dog to the park.
Congratulations on your creativity. You can always read a book,
You make lists of things to do, things to get, and lose the list
– Find its habitual HOME, it’s still missing
– Stick next list on your usual pathway
– Your house begins to resemble a board game so you quit inviting visitors, and go out to meet them in public places, and get lost.
– See above at Mapquest.
Just so you know how you habitually think, and can find the resources to deal with it.
This article originally appeared in Fremont Area Writers newsletter, a California Writers Club organization.