Visualizing Our Mental Limitations

When I saw this picture on my friend Daniel’s blog, I immediately thought it was an excellent picture of one of the themes that I write quite a bit about — our inability to both predict the future and recollect with accuracy our past. In both cases, we don’t see things as clearly as we think we do.

We see today clearly (the double-six).  We remember yesterday, not horribly but sufficiently to see that it fits contiguous to where we see ourselves today.  We see tomorrow with a little clarity and also how it fits with today.  But as we get further away from both yesterday and tomorrow, our focus becomes increasingly less clear.  What’s interesting though, is that we maintain mental models that assume we have clarity in both directions.  We don’t remember things clearly, but we think that we do. We don’t really predict the future well, but we believe we do (or we wouldn’t keep doing it).

So perhaps a picture is not only worth 1000 words, but also quite a few blog entries. 🙂

[Picture provided courtesy of Daniel Solorio, a designer/photographer here in Guadalajara. Today is Daniel’s birthday and so I thought it was an appropriate day to finally blog on one of his photos that I really liked.  He and his roommate are in a competition to post a picture they take every day.  The pictures are definitely worth looking at.]







2 responses to “Visualizing Our Mental Limitations”

  1. Daniel Solorio Avatar

    Amazing post, matt, thanks for sharing, thanks for your comments, and thanks for this wonderful blog.

  2. […] on a trip. For Americans, it seems more about the destination, but you may recall that I have a Mexican friend, who takes fantastic photos, both of people and things, so perhaps it’s just a male/female […]

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