Sunday, June 10, 2007

Discovery, Progress & Imagination

Walter Isaacson just published a new biography on Albert Einstein, Einstein: His Life and Universe.

Likely a must-read.

Isaacson is CEO for the Aspen Institute and a member of the Board of Tulane University. During a presentation at the university back in March, he said this about Einstein:

"His slow ability to learn how to talk meant he thought in pictures. He thought in images. He thought imaginatively. All the great Einstein breakthroughs are not done by really hard applications of hard mathematical equations but by imaginative thought experiments."

It works this way in every field, it seems to me.

Progress occurs, breakthroughs happen when people are allowed to see new visions, dream new dreams, work on new ways of looking at old problems and experiment with their understanding of reality.

While there may be security in the "hard math" approach, advances come when we allow ourselves and our partners to "see" the future and its ever expanding possibilities.

1 comment:

Stacy said...

I think in pictures, too, but the pictures are somewhat different than Einstein's!