Network Thinkers

In intense persons,  [Martha Burge] likens this map to the Internet in that thought is nonlinear, and intuition is utilized when analyzing incoming information.  In those who are non-intense, the internal map is simply a highway system, “with roads leading to other roads.”  That analogy would seem to speak volumes of the challenges an intense person faces.  The search returns millions of hits for every piece of information presented to them and then they are tasked with having to sift through them all to select the one that best serves the purpose at hand.  Intense?  You bet.  ADHD?  Maybe not.
Twila Klein reviewing The ADD Myth: How to Cultivate the Unique Gifts of Intense Personalities

I remember figuring this out somewhere in the early 1980s while driving up the Adirondack Northway to SUNY Plattsburgh where I was finishing my degree in Technology Communications.

I called the difference vector thinkers vs network thinkers, focusing on the forming of webs of connections that hold concepts rather than the direct lines of understanding that focus on routine procedures.    This was a decade before even AOL was hot and long before the public internet.

From my mother observing me in my fifth grade class, pulled up to puzzle an equation on the board that had not yet been taught, watching me solve it, then be bored for the next half hour as teacher went through the procedure for others, to a co-worker noting that most people working on computers use the same technique every time but I used a range of strategies to achieve the same task at different times, I know the issue.

I’m working my way through Ms. Burge’s book at the moment.    We “intense thinkers” — what I have often called “too people” —  always are looking for another insight into how we can understand ourselves and how to become better thinkers in the world.   After all, many of us had to extract the strategies by ourselves, without others helping, and in many cases, with others deliberately hindering.

Her point that non-normative minds are just minds, not syndromes is important.  There is nowt so queer as folk.

And that’s a good thing.

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