topic: left/right

LEGO and the digital mind

In a previous post, I argued that LEGO, when it consisted mostly of simple bricks, was a superior creative tool for a child than more modern LEGO with its complex pieces. I have come to a more nuanced conclusion: that though classical LEGO promotes one kind of creativity, it may do so at the expense of other kinds. I still believe that simple, classical LEGO is an instantiation in the physical world of an aspect […]

Mirror mirror on the wall

Mirrors have a sinister reputation that I feel is well deserved. I may have an explanation as to why this may be so – and it has nothing to do with Narcissus! Meanings of the word ‘sinister’ – like ‘misleading’, ‘intending to deceive’, ‘dishonest’ – as well as those that have to do with the ‘left’, particularly the left hand side of the body – can be applied to mirrors with some justification. For a […]

when LEGO lost faith

I believe that LEGO is a toy/tool that once allowed children to build models at a sweet spot intermediate between thought and physical reality, and that, by losing faith in that breakthrough, the company has lost its way. LEGO as I knew it as a child consisted of simple bricks. Complexity was achieved by assembling bricks, rather than being inherent in individual bricks. (Admittedly, the purity of this abstraction was somewhat broken by angled ‘roof […]

why driving on the left may be safer

left traffic in India...

The world is divided into those who drive on the left, and those who drive on the right, apparently in a proportion of one third to two thirds. Although surely it would be more convenient if we all drove on the same side, the choice, made in the past, to go for one or the other, has now been carved into the landscape and could not easily be changed. Does this difference matter? Certainly it […]

the divided brain…

The Master and the Emissary...

The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World is not a self-help book, nor is it one of those books of cod-philosophy that promise amazing (though ultimately ill-founded) insights into the modern condition. It is instead a carefully argued thesis meticulously supported by references to research, as well as by appeals to personal experience. Its core premise is that we possess a single consciousness, but two wills: one […]

knight’s move…

It occurs to me that the moves in chess have interesting parallels to human thought and even to our lives… A rook represents an orthogonal approach – powerful and direct – but inflexible. A bishop has – literally – an oblique approach, with an ability to slice forensically past seemingly solid opposition. A pawn’s slow, forward plodding – with its frail hope of, in the end, overcoming almost insurmountable odds and reaching that butterfly like […]