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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Walking in DaVinci's Shoes

#lenscraft @j4ngis (A Jangbrand) says
Super hero ability I'd like to have? To be able to really see things from another person's view. Found "How to think like Leonardo daVinci" in shelf. If I do - will I also invent the helicopter?

Of course, thinking like DaVinci doesn't mean adopting his Code. But it could mean seeing things through his Lens. I asked j4ngis what his book said about the DaVinci Lens, or what we might be able to elicit from it. He told me that the book was about 7 daVincian principles (habits), and trying to define a complete (creative) person's habits. So he thought it was more habits than lens.

And then (naturally) another good question:
If I use someone's lens - will my thinking change? Will conclusions converge with "someone"? Lens only focus and filter input?

Roy Grubb got his answer in first.
Change, probably. Converge, how? bcs you have different experiences and knowledge from that 'someone'. Lenses focus and filter - yes.
It is sometimes said of great art (including that of Da Vinci) that it causes us to see and understand things in new ways. For some art, this may even be its primary purpose (POSIWID). But of course, there are other ways to give us a new perspective. A good exercise for trainee architects and designers is to force them to spend the day in a wheelchair, or with blinkers that impair vision, or wearing thick gloves, to help them appreciate the requirements of disabled people.

In the novel To Kill a Mocking Bird, Atticus says 'In order to understand someone else you have to try and walk around in their shoes'. If you search the internet for "walking in someone else's shoes", you will find lots of people telling you how to achieve this feat. (I haven't tested any of this advice yet.) For example, an Ancient Hebrew Thinking Cap, which suggests that stepping into the shoes of the authors and subjects of the bible ("looking through their lens") boosts biblical insight.

Initially, it is from our parents (if we are lucky enough to have them) that we learn what to pay attention to. There were some things both my parents paid attention to, but there were also some differences in what they saw. When I walk down a street, I can see the things my late father would have noticed, and also the things my mother would notice. And of course, I am not limited by my parents, so I may also notice some things that neither my parents would see.

Naturally, I don't always agree with my parents' ideas, and my children don't always agree with mine. I can't force anyone (least of all my children) to think what I want them to think, but part of my job as a parent is to provide my children with good lenses, so that whatever they think is based on good sense.

Andrew Townley thought it was a little bit Heisenbergish. "Your thinking needs to change before lens becomes useful, doesn't it?" "Of course. Just thinking about the way I perceive things after I've read something really thought-provoking. Constant motion."

Yup, agrees @j4ngis. A lens will distort my current reality and change perspective. And influence thinking.

By the way, if you really want to walk in DaVinci's shoes, there's a bit more work to do. One of Leonardo DaVinci's inventions was a device for walking on water. (Floats for Walking on Water. See also Gizmag, Jesus shoes.)

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