Tuesday, September 14, 2010

mystery of possibility

Something that has been spinning through my head recently is the realization that I am more interested in what isn't possible than what currently is. This came to me in part as I shifted through my favorite TV shows and movies (e.g. True Blood, Lost, Avatar). And maybe that makes me a fantasy/sci fi geek, I'll have to hit up next year's Comic Con to know.

I was watching this old TED talk featuring JJ Abrams and I feel like he really hits on why using our imaginations and considering what could seem ridiculous is so exciting. He says that the thing that he realized is that perhaps there are times when mystery is more important than knowledge.

Mystery allows the creative side of the brain to fill in the gaps where the knowledge is absent. That small exercise of gap-filling one could argue helps the brain grow more so than the knowledge that was possibly a given and memorized fact. Time recently wrote an article about great schools and in it they talk about schools who assign projects which require both convergent and divergent thinking. Solving a mystery is when the brain takes the hard evidence, convergent thinking, and uses conjecture, divergent thinking, to figure out who done it. Considering what could be within reason is where the brain really gets to explore and grow. It breathes possibility and allows us to create and invent.

Check out the TED talk: J.J. Abrams' mystery box | Video on TED.com

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