Married to a former Eng prof who is now a novelist/playwright, I often get exposed to the contrast with two ways of thinking, which I end up trying to assimilate to some characterization as in my headline.
Here's a recent example.
The end-of-evening entertainment is whatever H has ordered from Netflix. This is a good thing for me as I lack H's encyclopedia knowledge of film running from popular to obscure. After a lot of Goddard movies (or "I am curious yellow" only dimly remembered because I fell asleep) last spring, we are into something more accessible: In Treatment.
I can have fun with this engaging shrink show just for Gabriel Byrne, but as one of my psychotherapist friends said, this is the best show about psychotherapy, so less energy wasted squirming and sighing over unrealistic popularizations a la Lie to me.
Whatever we're watching, whether it's the Goddard, Swedish foreign films, and even In Treatment, I often can't watch the whole thing because my sleep debt accumulated early in my professional career hasn't been paid off yet. So my plea is: let's stop watching now and watch the rest tomorrow. But this is uncomfortable for H.
H: "Let's not watch at all tonight, if you're going to fall asleep half way thru."
For a 2 hour movie, I say ahead of time, "Let's watch one hour tonite and one hour tomorrow."
H: "No, I prefer to watch the whole thing, so let's just do it when we have enough time."
I infer: for him, what's important is to get the whole experience, because that's the intention of the author/artist. For me, I'm okay with obtaining the information and the enjoyment while I'm watching.
Second example: reading printed matter.
H insists on "no skipping around" in a book and reading ahead is something decent people don't even joke about.
But most of my reading is journal articles. When I read a journal article, I'm in information-uptake mode, and often go straight to figures and tables after the abstract because I want to make up my own mind about the message. The author is providing information, not crafting an experience for me. I could skip around in the article; read one page now and take it up again next week.
So I propose:
The artistic/creative personality values the creation of an object d'art, with the aesthetic experience being diminished if it deviates from the intended form
For the scientist, information uptake is key, and the need to approximate the holistic experience designed by the author is less important.
What I do, as a scientist, is what I will call "transfer of a reading/watching habit" (borrowing from cognitive studies on transfer of information processing habits, such as the "script transfer hypothesis" which I'm working on with a grad student). I take my information-uptake habit from science reading, and transfer it to TV/films (and sometimes even novels).
Anyone else transfer their information uptake habits?
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