Merlin Mann at 43 Folders points us to an interesting book called Mindfulness and makes reference to Jorge Borges’ (one of my favourite writers) famous list of 14 animal types (includes embalmed ones, stray dogs and those drawn with a very fine camelhair brush). Merlin points out that our ability to categorise and re-categorise is a fundamental skill.
Merlin’s post triggers a couple of thoughts. Richard Nisbett’s The Geography of Thought illustrates that westerners view the world differently from Asians: westerners are taught as children to see the world as nouns (look Johnny, a truck); Asians are taught to view the world as verbs (look Emiko, clapping). Yes, we all categorise but we should be mindful that different cultures do it differently.
Mindfulness is a word used extensively by Karl Weick. The sensemaking process begins when something is noticed and mindfulness enables us to notice what’s happening.