Monday, 17 November 2008

Ways of Thinking
























In "Come on Shore and we will Kill and Eat You All", Christina Thompson mentions the Maori author Patricia Grace describing a way of story-telling/thinking "...where the beginning is not the beginning, the end is not the end. It starts from the centre and moves away from there in such widening circles that you don't know how you will finally arrive a point of understanding which becomes itself another core, a new centre."

An Italian told me Italians think in zigzags, an Iranian friend said Iranians start from the outside and work to the centre, but never get there, while a Chinese woman once drew the diagram above to represent Chinese ways of thinking. We English theoretically think in straight lines, though we sometimes get the As and Bs confused - our linear approach is more of a conceit than anything.

Continuing on an anthropological note, how do the Piraha people think? And how do these thoughts apply to photography?

2 comments:

Ian MacLellan said...

Thanks so much both for your very interesting drawing and explanation and that link is fricking amazing.

colin pantall said...

Thanks Ian - ah yes, the Piraha are something else,it seems. I think the Anglo drawing is a bit fanciful - it misses out the real B that we never join our thinking to. We think in straight lines, but never really know why.

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