Feb 18 2009
In the book, Geography of Thought, author Richard Nisbett puts forward that “those brought up in Western and East Asian cultures think differently from one another in scientifically measurable ways.”
His work looks at cultural psychology through the lens of Aristotle vs. Confucius and linear vs. comprehensive thought. Dr. Nisbett performs several cultural experiments to test his hypothesis which shows markedly different results between East Asian and Western thought. A question occurred to me, which mindset is better suited to the application of cyber warfare?
Linear thinking will look at a problem and begin dissecting it block by block to understand the whole of a thing. Comprehensive thought will examine it a holistic manner ignoring the individual blocks. Is cyber terrain best understood through a sum of the blocks or does the sum of the blocks change its nature?
Jumping around a bit, let’s also look at Kevin Kelly’s predictions on the Next 5,000 Days of the Internet. His lecture was fascinating in many aspects but one point struck me as particularly insightful; all of our electronic devices are simply windows into the “Machine.” Interaction with the Machine is forcing us to share more and more of our personal information and develop different patterns of thinking in socialization. Do these patterns favor Aristotle or Confucius; individualism or collectivism?
Other random thoughts:
- Was Ender’s Game ahead of its time?
- Is there a Geography of Cyber Thought?
- Do the younger Western and Eastern generations present a hybrid of thought?
- Should I drink beer and post articles?
I’ll just leave you with the questions, discuss among yourselves.
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