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The Power of the Image

Emotion, Expression, Explanation


Edited By András Benedek and Kristof Nyiri

We think primarily in images, and only secondarily in words, while both the image and the word are preceded by the bodily, the visceral, the muscular. This holds even for mathematical thinking. It is the entire motor system, including facial expressions and bodily gestures, that underlies not just emotions but also abstract thought. Communication, too, is a primordially visual task, spoken and written language only gradually supplementing and even supplanting the pictorial. Writing liberates, but also enslaves; after centuries of a dominantly verbal culture, today the ease of producing and accessing digital images amounts to a homecoming of the visual, with the almost limitless online availability of our textual heritage completing the educational revolution of the 21st century.
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Diagramming: Connecting Cognitive Systems to Improve Reasoning


Valeria Giardino

I shall start from an example. Consider the following exercise. Take a common A4 sheet, fold it in half along the longer side, and then open it up again. Now there is a fold in the middle of the sheet. Orient the rectangular sheet in such a way that it has its longer side towards you. Hold firm the bottom left corner and grab the bottom right corner, folding it so that it touches the fold in the middle and the figure obtained is a trapeze (Figure 1a). Then, grab the bottom left corner and fold it on the other side of the virtual line that the previous fold has created (Figure 1b). At this point, you should recognize a triangle: two of its sides are already there. To obtain the last one, refold what is left outside the area of the triangle so that it will be not visible anymore (Figure 1c).

Figure 1a

Figure 1b

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