Sunday, June 6, 2010

Thinking About Thinking

I finally feel like I have a better understanding of my thought process, its benefits and weaknesses. When I solve problems, it's more visual and spatial. I visualize all the components of a problem and then it's like I try to ram them all together in my brain. If they all fit, then it's like there's a click, and if it doesn't then I try other configurations or focus on in on a particular part. It sort of feels like there are really gears turning in my head, and I get an answer when they're done turning. I think a strength is that since I am thinking about the whole problem at once, sometimes it's faster because I can find the root systemic problem faster. A weakness is that if the problem is big and complex, I can't figure out where to start. Then I wait while it stews sometimes over days or even months as my brain lets parts of the problem settle into different configurations eventually finding something that works. Thus, I'm almost guaranteed to come up with an answer but it might take a really really long time since it's not a very conscious process and it's very touchy feely. In order to speed up this process I have to make an effort to be more methodical either by using other kinds of thought processes to pick where to start or just trying to be more consciously aware of my thought process to reduce redundant thoughts. Reducing redundant thoughts by writing things down or drawing diagrams has been somewhat effective, but learning to use other more linear and methodical thought processes has been more difficult since I rely more on memorizing the steps.

Big weakness of this process, though, is that it's not really connected to the verbal part of my brain or the social interaction part of my brain so I can't explain with words what I'm thinking while I'm thinking, and I can barely even communicate at all while I'm thinking. After I have come up with answers, I then have to go back and think about how to explain the answers in a totally separate process. It's been getting better, but being able to communicate by thoughts and my ideas is definitely something I'm still working on.

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