Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gestalt



Some years ago, James Burke did a British television show called Connections. Showed up on PBS in the U.S., and was a fascinating exploration of the idea of gestalt, i.e., wherein the whole is viewed as more than the sum of its parts.

Above, a couple of classical optical illusions: Do you see a white vase? Or two sillhouetted faces? Easy to see both, if you look carefully.

See the old man smoking a pipe? Look a little closer ...

Burke would start with something like a flying buttress on a medieval castle, and through a series of clever links, show how it ended up in the development of television. I was always agog as I watched the show, as much for Burke's crisp and cleverly-offhand narration as the way things hooked together. This led to that; that led to those; those to these ... it was wonderfully-entertaining and never dull.

On a much smaller and more insignificant scale, my recent blog postings have been linked.

A comment on "Happy Feet," about old shoes, led me to post a picture of my oldest T-shirt, which has the sanskrit symbol om painted on it.

This brought up the .357 Magnum S&W gun grips upon which I scrimshawed the om symbol.

Which in turn brought up the rap song featuring a .357 S&W revolver. From a T-shirt to a rap song, in three steps. The six degrees of Kevin Bacon ...

Nothing major, just interesting to see my own mind work ...

2 comments:

ksmaguro said...

That show was great and I believe (like almost everything anymore) they are available on DVD.
Nice personal series by the way.
Jay

Jason said...

I loved what little I saw of that series. It is exactly the way my mind works.

It may not always be in three easy steps, but my brain tends to go from one subject to another along the weirdest of threads.

Long conversations with me tend to be confusing to the point of pain for people who can't just go with the flow. :)