Here’s a great place to introduce one of the key concepts in all philosophy, math and science: Is the world a continuous sheet of reality, or is it broken into lumps, however small. Smooth vs. spotty, that’s the question?
It might seem a bit academic but actually it’s crucial to the way our mind works.
Numbers, for example, as spotty: there’s 1, there’s 2, there’s 11. They have gaps from one to the next. True, we can fill in a lot of the gap between 1 and 2, like 1.1, 1.2, 1.254, but we can never totally fill it in; just assign smaller and smaller fractional jumps. It’s spotty.
Space, on the other hand, is smooth. There are no breaks or missing sections of space. One part of space transitions without gaps to the next.
Digital means spotty; it’s yes-no all the way, no gradation. Whereas what we call analog is smooth. Take a timepiece. If it is a digital clock, it jumps, it’s spotty. If it’s an analog, it’s smooth—the hands go through an infinite number of shades from one reading to the next.
On the whole, our right brain works in a smooth way. It is spatial and continuous. The left brain is digital and character and therefore spotty. Counting numbers or spelling words, for example, are both spotty, click click click. Those are left brain functions.
But when we look at a picture or photograph, that’s an analog function. We see the picture all at once, not in lumps or chunks. Sure we can look at the tiny figure in the bottom left corner; but we are still conscious of the picture as a whole. That’s the right brain at work.
A human placed in society exhibits this same basic duality. An individual, considered alone, is spotty; we are all discreet individuals. But a human is not really alone; we are part of an interconnecting network of humanity and the even vaster biosphere and therefore smooth! Continue reading