A metaphor designer on how to come up with and test metaphors that will work.
One of those great texts that start with a question that is so simple that it never even occurred to you to ask yourself – and that then takes you into a fascinating realm you didn’t think you’d be interested in. How do our brains cope with cuts in movies, a sudden change of everything that you see, something that never happened in the 3.5 billion years or so that it took our visual systems to develop?
Free will — its existence or absence — has been a matter of heated debate for philosophers and neuroscientists for decades. Is free will, after all, a capacity of the brain that people can lose — and that can be given back to them by means of implants?
I had already decided on this documentary to be this week’s top story, when NASA released the first image of Earth, as seen from Mars. It’s an overwhelming image, our planet being reduced to little more than a pixel. This is what the 16-minute-documentary «Overview» is about, named after the overview effect. It’s the mind-changing effect astronauts described to have experienced upon seeing Earth from above. And make no mistake, they have gone no further than the moon – imagine how overwhelmed Curiosity Rover must be.
Our world has become so complex that you can only have a good understanding in a very narrow field. You need to specialise. It’s what most of academia is telling us. This essay from Aeon makes a case for the opposite, claiming that we are «at our best when we turn our minds to many things». One of the key sentences almost reads as if it was copied from the Weekly Filet’s (non-existent) mission statement. «Over-specialisation eventually retreats into defending what one has learnt rather than making new connections.»