February 23, 2007

Context, Perspective and Thinking

"The secret of what anything means to us depends on how we've connected it to all the other things we know. That's why it's almost always wrong to seek the "real meaning" of anything. A thing with just one meaning has scarcely any meaning at all.
Rich meaning-networks, however, give you many different ways to go: if you can't solve a problem one way, you can try another. True, too many indiscriminate connections will turn your mind to mush. But well-connected meaning structures let you turn ideas around in your mind, to consider alternatives and envision things from many perspectives until you find one that works. And that's what we mean by thinking!"

Marvin Minsky, The Society of Mind.

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