Thinking Like Einstein: Returning to Our Visual Roots with the Emerging Revolution in Computer Information Visualization

Thinking Like Einstein: Returning to Our Visual Roots with the Emerging Revolution in Computer Information Visualization

4.5 2
by Thomas G. West
     
 

ISBN-10: 1591022517

ISBN-13: 9781591022510

Pub. Date: 10/25/2004

Publisher: Prometheus Books

Albert Einstein once said that all of his most important and productive thinking was done by playing with images in his imagination. Only in a secondary stage did he translate — with great effort, he says — these images into the language of words and mathematics that could be understood by others.
According to Thomas G. West, Einstein was a classic

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Overview

Albert Einstein once said that all of his most important and productive thinking was done by playing with images in his imagination. Only in a secondary stage did he translate — with great effort, he says — these images into the language of words and mathematics that could be understood by others.
According to Thomas G. West, Einstein was a classic example of a strong visual thinker, a person who tends to think in images and visual patterns, and sometimes has difficulty with words and numbers. In his awarding-winning book, In the Mind’s Eye, West discussed the connections between highly talented, visually oriented persons like Einstein and certain learning disabilities such as dyslexia. Now, in Thinking Like Einstein, West investigates the new worlds of visual thinking, insight, and creativity made possible by computer graphics and information visualization technologies. He argues that, with the rapid spread of inexpensive and powerful computers, we are now at the beginning of a major transition, moving from an old world based mainly on words and numbers to a new world where high level work in all fields will eventually involve insights based on the display and manipulation of complex information using moving computer images.
West profiles several highly creative visual thinkers, such as James Clerk Maxwell, Nikola Tesla, and Richard Feynman, pointing out that there is a long history of using visualization rather than words or numbers to solve problems. Citing the longstanding historical conflicts between image lovers and image haters, West examines the relationship of art, scientific knowledge, and differences in brain capabilities - observing how modern visual thinkers with visualization technologies seem to have learned how to cut through the problems of overspecialization in academia and in the workplace.
West predicts that computer visualization technology will radically change the way we all work and think. For thousands of years the technology of writing and reading has tended to promote the dominance of the left hemisphere of the brain, with its linear processing of words and numbers. Now the spread of graphical computer technologies is permitting a return to our visual roots with a new balance between hemispheres and ways of thinking - presenting new opportunities for problem solving and big picture thinking. Thus, he argues that the newest technologies will help us to reaffirm some of our oldest capabilities, allowing us to see previously unseen patterns and to restore a balance in thought and action.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591022510
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
10/25/2004
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
6.22(w) x 9.34(h) x 0.73(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword11
1Forward into the past : a revival of old visual talents with computer visualization25
2Thinking like Einstein on the hokule'a : visual thinking through time39
3Visual thinkers and Nobel prizes45
4Word-bound : the power of seeing53
5When the world plague was stopped by a digital artist59
6Smashing images65
7Is visualization no longer a "new new thing"?77
8Talk less, draw more83
9Unintended, unexpected consequences89
10Artist discoveries and graphical histories95
11Transforming spheres - in three parts101
12Making all things make themselves109
13Enormous eyes and tiny grasping hands113
14Brain drain : reconsidering spatial ability119
15Knowing what you don't need to know125
16Feynman diagrams, spreading illusions133
17Missed opportunities and cheap tools139
18James Clerk Maxwell, working in wet clay147
19Digital artist as hero155
20Is a visualization language possible?161
21Following the gifts : art, visual talent, and troubles with words167
22Nikola Tesla and thinking in pictures175
23Seeing the unseen : concluding remarks187

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Thinking Like Einstein: Returning to Our Visual Roots with the Emerging Revolution in Computer Information Visualization 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago