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Interesting post (and replies). A lot of what I read here is a stepping point to philosophy, religion and belief structures. Men (yes, yes and women, kids and all other humans), frequently seem to feel the need to explain the world (universe) around them. And by God we will (oops, sorry that is one of the explanations used). So for this discussion we need to define what “good thinking” is that will be needed in general education.
Good clear logical thinking is frequently promoted as the way to go, so mathematics is touted as a good tool to practice with (cool, but why do we need imaginary numbers? – could we be missing something?). Programming allows us to manipulate multi-dimensional arrays, welllll, ok it really is just linear memory containing ones and zeros in repetitive patterns we imagine will represent what we perceive as a multi-dimensional object in our universe. Oops, what about the idea of multiple universes (oh, oh, universe does not have a plural does it?)
What we do with our perceptions, feelings, and experiences determine how we think. When we run up against a new situation or idea, we need to integrate it into our experience in a manner we can accept and apply to our lives. These new inputs cause us to extend or change how we perceive our world. Our application of this information allows us to change our world, or our perception of it.
Abstraction is something we do naturally since we cannot experience our world directly. Sight is merely the abstraction of the physical world around us by interpreting light bounced off real world objects. Touch is the abstraction of the real world objects as interpreted by nervous impulses detecting pressure and temperature. Smell is the interpretation of very small particles as they contact mucus membranes and their effect is transmitted to the brain by nerves. Hearing is the translation of vibration of the molecules surrounding the eardrum, and nerves sending a set of pulses to the brain.
Once you start thinking about how abstract our very lives are, those who can program and do math, need to look at others who think artistically, or emotionally, or intuitively in a different light.
An interesting thought, how are others abstractions different from our abstractions of life?
Thank you for a good and thought provoking post!