Saturday, March 28, 2009

In the Mind's Eye for Four

“. . . Faraday, in his mind's eye, saw lines of force traversing all space where the mathematicians saw centres of force attracting at a distance: Faraday saw a medium where they saw nothing but distance: Faraday sought the seat of the phenomena in real actions going on in the medium, they were satisfied that they had found it in a power of action at a distance impressed on the electric fluids.” James Clerk Maxwell, A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, 1891, pp. ix-x.

“In examining the influences of gravitation on light, he declared, making another breach in Newtonian physics, that a light ray undergoes a deviation in proportion to the gravitation, so that it acquires the shape of a parabola. He wrote this from his desk--perhaps he looked up at an exceptionally bright night sky as he did so, perhaps his eyes remained fixed on his paper, but it wouldn't have mattered: there was a picture of the star-studded sky in his mind's eye. By thought alone . . . he established the laws that govern this inaccessible world.” Antonina Vallentin, The Drama of Albert Einstein, 1954, p. 55.

“We think that the same mind's eye that can justly survey and appraise and prescribe beforehand the values of a truly great picture in one all-embracing regard, in one flash of simultaneous and homogeneous comprehension, would also . . . be able to pronounce with sureness upon any other high activity of the human intellect." Winston Churchill, "Painting As A Pastime," in Thoughts and Adventures, 1932, p. 312.

“In the mind's eye, a fractal is a way of seeing infinity.” James Gleick, Chaos: Making a New Science, 1987, p. 98.


Welcome to "In the Mind's Eye, Dyslexic Renaissance" -- a new web log that will focus on news and issues related to individuals who think in pictures and have trouble with words. These are people who have lots of trouble in their early schooling but often can be highly successful in life and work --  especially when they are able to use their highly developed visual talents linked to the newest information visualization technologies. The "In the Mind's Eye" part of our title comes from the title to my first book, which will be released in a new edition in July 2009. (We found that a Canadian group was already using the phase "In the Mind's Eye" by itself.) The "Dyslexic Renaissance" part was invented by my son Ben who started using the term some six months ago to indicate the rebirth of interest in the distinctive talents exhibited by many dyslexics.  I plan to include in the blog a series of informal, topical commentaries along with longer, more formal articles -- and a variety of visual and graphical materials. Please feel free to comment and participate. With all best wishes, Thomas G. West