Sunday, December 11, 2005

Making people believe - Logic lost?

Most humans are very logical by nature, some more than others. Yet all of us have illogical beliefs - we believe in the impossible. Let me illustrate the point with some examples

Remember Spiderman? Spiderman (the movie) was one of the biggest chartbusters (both I and II). Spiderman is bitten by a radio active Spider and develops the abilities of a Spider himself. Have you noticed the following flaws in Spiderman?

  1. He crawls up buildings wearing shoes - how? What holds him to the wall?
  2. He spins a web using his hand, where as the Spider does it using its mouth (saliva), why the difference?
How do logical human beings cope with this ambiguity?

The loss of logic at certain times is not necessarily a bad thing. Science fiction writers have tried to create fictional elements and back them up with logic - remember HAL-9000 from 2001 the Space Odyssey? It has lead to the creation of many new ideas, which scientists have found useful.

Sometimes, our logic limits our thinking. In fact, many people criticize education as something that provides too much logic and narrows our thinking. We start ignoring ideas that are not logical.

Researchers and creative thinkers suggest that we build a fantasy island in which we can override logic. Such an environment promotes creativity. For me cartoons and movies are a good way to enter the fantasy island. But then, in the scientific world, we need logic. Logic proves to others that we are sane and our ideas are not some thing from this fantasy world which is absurd and rubbish.

I think the most critical thing is to find the correct balance between creativity and the ability to back up new creations with logic.

So the next time somebody calls you illogical -- remember, you are just being creative, so smile and thank the person for the complement :-)
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