Eye of the Beholder
If perspectives are so important, how can we use them more intentionally? How do we design ways to see things differently?
THROUGH THE LENS OF TECHNOLGY
Whether the topic is cognition or something else, the kinds of answers we find are a function of the types of question we ask; the types of questions we ask reflect the ways we think; the ways we think are informed by the cultures of the social groups in which we live; and the social groups we live in are influenced by the tools and technologies embedded into their everyday lives.
A QUICK LOOK
Here’s a trick question: What do you see when you look at a leaf? When you look at it with just your eyes, you might see it as part of a tree or a forest or a floral arrangement. Or maybe, it’s just a leaf.
A CLOSER LOOK
What if we used a microscope to look at the leaf under different levels of magnification? Then we’d be able to look at the leaf and see a whole, then zoom in a level and discover that it is simultaneously composed of interacting parts called cells. If we were able to look at one of those cells and zoom in another level, we would discover that it is also simultaneously composed of its own interacting parts called molecules. And so on and so on. The more we zoom in, the more there is to see.
SEEING & BELIEVING
Perspective isn’t just about what we look at, it’s also about what we see. Even if seeing isn’t always believing, technology enables us to see things differently and subsequently to conceive of things beyond what we can perceive with our own eyes. As a sort of conceptual technology, theoretical frameworks can help us see in new ways too.