Binary

August 4, 2003

Last month I read de Bono’s Thinking Course on a flight across the Atlantic. I’d picked it up at a used book sale for fifty cents and the topic was intriguing.

Thinking is a skill. It’s like driving; you can get better at it with practice. After you do, you’ll begin doing it automatically. People confuse thinking with intelligence. Bad mistake, for it leads to intelligent people squandering their potential.

Before I recount lessons learned from de Bono, I need to make some independent observations of my own.

There are two types of people in this world: those who can count and those who can’t. Well, that’s not quite right, but it probably seems reasonable to certain binary thinkers. Binary thinkers? People who see the world in terms of either/or. On/off. They perceive situations as black or white but rarely gray.

Most of the things I bump into are not simply bipolar. They contain gradations, maybes, what-if’s, emotions, mitigating factors, and other entanglements. They are analog.

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