Mental Crystallography

Brains organize things into familiar patterns, which are different for different people. This can make communication tricky, so it’s useful to conceptualize these patterns and use them to help translation efforts.

Crystals are nifty things! The same sort of crystal will reliably organize in the same pattern, and always break the same way under stress.

Brains are also nifty things! The same person’s brain will typically view everything through a favorite lens (or two), and will need to work hard to translate input that comes in through another channel or in different terms. When a brain acquires new concepts—even really vital ones—the new idea will result in recognizeably-shaped brain-bits. Different brains, therefore, handle concepts differently, and this can make it hard for us to talk to each other.

This works on a number of levels, although perhaps the most obvious is the divide between styles of thought on the order of “visual thinker”, “verbal thinker”, etc. People who differ here have to constantly reinterpret everything they say to one another, moving from non-native mode to native mode and back with every bit of data exchanged. People also store and retrieve memories differently, form first-approximation hypotheses and models differently, prioritize sensory input diff