Analytical 16: Perspective

7 July, 2017


Getting perspective is one of those ideas that takes something quite complicated and condenses it into a singular expression. Let’s unpack that and get some perspective on getting perspective.

Transcript available
[Music] Everything can be improved, iterated and refined. And if you don't think that's true, maybe you haven't analysed it enough. Calculated choices carefully considered. Absolutely analytical. This episode of Analytical is sponsored by ManyTricks. Makers of helpful apps for the Mac. visit for more information about their amazingly useful apps. We'll talk more about them during the show. Analytical is part of the Engineered Network to support our shows including this one. Head over to our Patreon page and for other great shows visit today. Perspective. That person needs to get some perspective. I heard that recently. Well, yes, well, anyway, I won't say who it was directed But it got me thinking about what perspective actually is. I suppose there's a few different ways of looking at that. (laughs) Oh dear. Anyway, I suppose from an engineering point of view though, it's about how things look, well, from a certain physical angle, like a, well, like a rock. Yes, a rock. Anyway, looking at it from above and from the left and the right, and then from behind, well, they're all different physical angles and the rock will look different from each different angle. Unless it's some kind of freak rock that looks identical, no matter which way you look at it, but yeah, I don't know. Anyway, it's the same rock though, no matter what angle you look at it. Throw it, it's probably gonna put a dent in something. Maybe it's just too obvious. So simplistically, perspective is all about being able to see people, things, situations from a different angle. and typically more than just one. So seeing them in more than one way to get a more complete picture of what's actually happening. You could actually say it's being able to look at many, many perspectives of the problem to fully comprehend and understand exactly what the problem is. So when someone says, you need to get some perspective, It's really a shorthand way or a short-tempered way maybe to suggest that there are multiple points of view or angles in the situation that could be looked at other than the one that you're choosing to see at the time. Okay, still pretty simple. We'll fix that. So let's think about singular fixations relative to perspective. If we consider having a good perspective on something is about a multi-dimensional series of views on something, then the opposite must therefore logically be a fixation on a single angle. So it's far more interesting to ask the question, why do we get fixated on single perspectives, or single angles, single trains of thought about how something should be considered? There have been a lot of studies about this. It seems to come back to the way in which our minds organize our belief systems. The world of rules that we build in our minds is based on simplifications and assumptions. And every now and then we learn something new and it blows our mind, or rather it blows our mind map away and we need to rebuild a new mind map. And I don't mean a mind map like as in a mind map, mind map, like in the thing with the box and the arrows that come out and you say, not a mind map, mind map. Just, you know. So when we see things from a specific view, we gravitate towards that view because it conforms with our mind's map of reality as we perceive it, as we have constructed it in our minds. Perspective in that sense leads to a stronger, more accurate mind map of what reality really is And that's actually a really good thing because it's far more difficult for our mind to be blown So if the structure of the house of rationale that we've built in our minds is an accurate reflection or accurate replication of the reality around us, then there are very few things that can shake that at the foundations. Before I go any further I just want to quickly talk about our sponsor for this episode and that's ManyTricks, makers of helpful apps for the Mac whose apps do, you guessed it, ManyTricks. Their apps include Butler, Kimo, Leech, Desktop, Curtain, TimeSync, Moom, NameMangler, Resolutionator and Witch. There's a lot to talk about for each app so I'm going to cover five of them. Witch, you should think about Witch as a supercharger for your command tab app switcher. If you've got 3 or 4 documents open at once, in any one app, with which is beautifully simple popup, you can quickly pick exactly the one you're looking for and it's been recently updated. So now you can also switch between tabs as well as apps and app windows, with horizontal, vertical or menu bar switching panels, with text search, force switching and much, much more. Name mangler. Suppose you've got a whole bunch of files and you need to rename them quickly, efficiently and in really large numbers, NameMangler is a great tool for creating staged renaming sequences with powerful pattern matching and shows you the result as you go as you build your expression and if you mess it up, just revert back to where you started and try again. Moom makes it easy to move any of your windows to whatever screen positions you want, halves, corners, fractions of the screen, edges, you name it, then you can save and recall favourite window arrangements with a special auto-arrange feature when you connect and disconnect an external display. It's awesome. Time Sync. You can track your time spent in apps or activities on your Mac in a simple and easy way. You can pool your apps by common activities, create custom trackers for non-Mac activities and it's so simple and it's got a powerful reporting feature that shows you exactly where you spent your time so you can plan better and stay focused. Resolutionator is so simple. it's just a drop down menu from the menu bar, but you can change the resolution of whatever display you're on that's currently connected to your Mac. The best part though, you can even set your resolution to fit more pixels than are actually there. And it's very handy when you're stuck on your laptop and you need more screen real estate, it's really good. Now that's just five of their great apps and that's only half of them. All of these apps have free trials. You can download them at ManyTricks, all one word, .com/pragmatic, and you can easily try them out before you buy them. They're all available from their website or through the Mac App Store. However, if you visit that URL, you can take advantage of a special discount off their very helpful apps, exclusively for Engineered Network listeners. Simply use pragmatic17, that's pragmatic the word, and 17 the numbers in the discount code box in the shopping cart to receive 25% off. This offer is only available to Engineered Network listeners for a limited time, so take advantage of it while you can. Thank you to ManyTricks for sponsoring the Engineered Network So we've spoken about perspective and building that that when we get fixated on things how we build that map of reality in our mind But there's something more about that There's also niggling little annoying things which is another aspect of fixation and lack of perspective And it was it's when it's when you know somebody And it's so annoying how this person does this one thing. Maybe it's the way they, I don't know, snort, laugh, or I don't know, squish toothpaste the wrong way or something. If you've been in a relationship for any period of time, you know, this is not a new idea. So how does this always seem to happen? People in relationships, I guess, who love each other very dearly will often fixate on small annoyances. And toothpaste, again, being squeezed from the wrong end. Cups of water being left lying around, or shoes, or clothes, or not washing dishes the right way. It didn't wash it the right way. It didn't stack the dishwasher the right way. Pick a complaint that's trivial and meaningless and people fixate on it. Because it really doesn't matter. There's a million and one different things that are probably annoying on some level, But we fixate on those things. We give them air time, conscious thinking time, brain cycles, like CPU cycles, but for the brain. And we lose sight of the fact that it's pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, which end the toothpaste got squeezed in from. It really doesn't matter. And yeah, the little things can be irritating, but when it happens, is it really that bad? Is it really, really? Is it just a passing frustration that isn't worth getting fixated about? So that's the thing about, I suppose, perspective and fixation. And if you find yourself getting fixated about things, then it's a very bad habit and it's something you need to do something about. And when someone says to you, you need to get perspective or you're fixating on certain things. Well, I take it seriously and I think about it and I try and do something differently. Because the truth of the matter is that when people that you love more than anything in the world die, pithy little arguments and things that you used to fixate on, you used to think mattered, they just don't matter anymore and become meaningless. And that's perspective. If you're enjoying Analytical and want to support the show you can, like some of our backers, Ivan, Daniel Dudley and Chris Stone. They, and many others are patrons of the show via Patreon, and you can find it at, or one word. So if you'd like to contribute something, anything at all, it's very much appreciated. I'd also like to thank Many Tricks for sponsoring the Engineer Network. If you're looking for some Mac software that can do many tricks, remember to specifically visit the URL, all one word dot com slash pragmatic for more information about their amazingly useful apps analyticals part of the engineer network and you can find it at engineer dot network you can follow me on mastodon at chigi at engineer dot space or for our shows on twitter at engineered underscore net accept nothing question everything it's always a good time to analyze something i'm john chichi thanks so much for listening (music)
Duration 12 minutes and 3 seconds Direct Download

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John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.