Monday, January 5, 2009

Strength Can Be Weakness: Note to Readers

A quick comment on why I won't be posting on Tillich again till next weekend fits the general stated purposes of this blog: showing how the "point of view we take with respect to what we don't or can't know" has a big impact on our lives. In this case I'd like to make the point that something I can't know because it would require giftedness in an area where I have ordinary gifts (at best) makes me innovative in a significant way. For, paradoxically, lacking giftedness can be a gift--and since very few of us are gifted in all areas, think of this post as an incentive to love yourself and others for all of your, and their, quirks and deficits.

(For those of you who wish that I would write in simpler prose, you already think of my areas of giftedness--logic and language--as a deficit that impacts clear communication. That is, I display the reverse of my claim that a lack of giftedness can be a gift: the presence of giftedness can produce a deficit too. And viewed from the outside, it might not be apparent whether a person suffers from too little ability or too much. For instance, I recall well an English professor who celebrated a paper that I handed in in which I finally wrote in a style that he found suitably easy to read. Annoyed, I told him that since I didn't have anything very interesting to say, I thought I had better at least follow his advice. Life really is quite fun.)

To the point. I have rather poor visual intelligence. As a consequence, if I am to think of a way to accomplish a goal that requires visual intelligence to conceive, it will only be really simple ways of accomplishing the goal that I come up with. But, assuming that there is such a way, simplicity is often good thing. It tends toward elegance, and structural integrity, and, practically speaking, relative ease of manufacture. And by eliminating complexity it can mean saving in areas like weight and resources.Simplicity can be really cool! And you can think of my deficit of visual intelligence as functioning like "conceptual gravity" attracting only really simple solutions to problems requiring visual intelligence, well then my simple mind (visually) is a good mind.

I will have to wait till next weekend to post further on Tillich, because I had a breakthrough in designing my next rowing prototype. It's really simple--and will save resourses and cost and make for greater efficiency and will look a lot better than my previous design. And all that because I'm not very smart in the way most relevant to creating that design. Very cool.

Well, I half lied. The other reason why I won't be posting on Tillich till the weekend is that I have to do my year-end bookkeeping for my little startup company.

But let's focus on the positive. Dumb can be smart. Or if you enjoy focusing on the negative, in which case it is negative to focus on the positive, smart can be dumb...


More Tillich on the 10th or 11th. And I do hope that this doesn't convince any of you that Tillich is too complicated to be worth the effort. You see, not everything worth knowing is simple...

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