Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Finding Interconnections

I keep re-reading sections of a new book that is being published this month. I had an advance copy  and was asked to write a blurb (below) for the cover. However, on re-reading sections, I am again even more amazed at the aptness of the observations of the authors -- telling me new things about people whose work I have admired for a very long time.

The blurb --

For The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain by Brock L. Eide, MD, and Fernette F. Eide, MD, Hudson Street Press, publication date, August 2011.

 “This book is destined to become a classic. After many years studying the talents of dyslexics, I was pleased to gain from the Eides’ systematic investigation a deeper understanding of how and why dyslexics often have a major advantage, working at high levels in many different fields -- and why there is so much misunderstanding among conventional educators and employers. Linking their broad clinical experience with the newest brain research, they illuminate many puzzles -- such as why there are so many dyslexic entrepreneurs, why so many dyslexics choose to study engineering or philosophy, why dyslexics often see the big picture and see linkages that others do not see, why they often think in stories or analogies, and why some of the most successful authors are dyslexic. They explain why reading impairments should be seen as only a small part of the pattern -- that dyslexia is not simply a reading problem, but a different form of brain organization, yielding remarkable strengths along with surprising difficulties. With new technologies and new business models, we can now see how the often remarkable talents of dyslexics will be in greater demand while their difficulties will be increasingly seen as comparatively unimportant. I am enormously grateful to the Eides for explaining why and how this is so. -- Thomas G. West, author of In the Mind’s Eye and Thinking Like Einstein

Some sections from their book --

“Several published research studies support the idea that individuals with dyslexia, as a group, show special talents for finding similarities and likenesses. . . .

“. . . Strength in detecting relationships of correlation or cause and effect is a useful skill in many fields, including science, business, economics, investment, design, psychology, leadership, and human relationships of all kinds. . . .

“. . . Another dyslexic scientist who has demonstrated an acute perception of the interconnectedness of nature is Dr. James Lovelock. Lovelock is best known as the formulator of the Gaia hypothesis, which states that the climatic and chemical components of the earth’s crust and atmosphere interact to form a complex system that maintains the earth in ‘a comfortable state for life.’ Lovelock was the first to posit such connections when he noticed subtle correlations in the variations of the chemical composition of the earth’s atmosphere and oceans. While other scientists before Lovelock had recognized that the earth’s atmosphere was almost perfectly suited for biological life, none had realized that this special balance was maintained by the interactions of a tightly linked network of chemical processes: they’d observed the same parts, but missed the interconnections that form the whole system.

“. . . Lovelock already had a Ph.D. in physiology when his growing interests in environmental science and climatology led him to pursue a second doctorate in biophysics. Ultimately, it was this blending of professional perspectives that suggested to him that the earth’s biosphere might be understood and studied as if it were a kind of physiological system.”  (Dyslexic Advantage, pp. 81-92)

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