How I like to think about the world

14 Dec

Contrary to what the title and general theme of this blog might lead you to think, this isn’t going to be about religion or politics, or even any kind of world view; instead it’s about something a lot lighter.

I have a funny way of looking at the world around me. If I’m not particularly focused on any one thing, often when I see something or someone, I instantly think of six degrees of separation. That might not seem strange when thinking about people, but it is when you apply it to objects. How do I apply that 6 degrees of separation like thinking to objects? Well for example I have a pencil sitting on my desk. Now when I see that pencil I like to think of the rubber in the eraser. Is it real rubber? If so, where is it harvested? By whom? Who are the families of those who harvest it? What are their lives like? If it’s synthetic, who manufactures it? DuPont? Who are the workers? Who are their families? What are their lives like? What about the wood and graphite? Who are the people involved in harvesting and processing those materials? What is the history of the forest from whence the wood came? What about the aluminum joining the wood and eraser? Where did it come from? Was a mountain strip mined for the minerals?

I could go on about this pencil, but I think you get the idea. I do this for a lot of things in the spare moments between actual thoughts. I think about these things automatically, without having to force myself to consider them. It’s like a firework. It explodes and goes in a million directions, but only takes a second or two for each streak to reach its conclusion. I thought that my thinking like this might have had something to do with majoring in history, doing reenactments, and working as an archaeology intern. All three of those things get you thinking about the people connected to objects, and what their lives were like.

It’s not always about people though. Sometimes I just like thinking about how something works. I like to explode things in my mind. (Not like fiery boom! explosions, but like engineer schematics.) Perhaps that comes from always building and designing things as a kid. I’m not great at the math behind it, but I understand the concepts of how things work. For the longest time I thought I was the only one who thought like this; then I say this Röyksopp video that really visualized how I perceive the world. I was blown away watching it, realizing that somewhere, somebody also analyzed the world like this and was able to animate this video about it. Check it out:

I really love thinking about the world exactly like in that video. ^_^

Lastly, there is another strange thing I think about a lot that I might as well put in this post. I have this fascination with small rooms. Don’t ask why, I have no idea. I just really love thinking about how I could fit everything into a small space and make it look nice. I do this most often when in bathrooms. I love to look around and think “Ok, how could I fit everything, bed, cooking area, clothing storage, etc, into this bathroom. If I was going to live within only this space, how would I make it look great while still being functional? For fun sometimes I imagine how zero gravity would affect the design and placement of items.

Well like all strange ideas, if you can think of it, chances are people in Japan are doing it. Yep, I just tonight found a cool news story about a man who built an entire house that is no wider than a parking space. His trick was to go vertical. Still, it’s really fascinating.

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