Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The analysis of Analysis

I have just been to a session about philosophy, a sort of lecture, and the instructor has gone into the topics of analysis and synthesis. His idea was that analysis is not a good thing, and over-analysis is of the devil I guess (kidding :)). Even though I agree that analysis can be overwhelming at some point; the fact that you break down something into every tiny little spec of detail related to it remotely or otherwise, I do believe that proper analysis is a good thing, as long as we keep the bigger picture intact.

In the case of normal analysis, we pick up an idea, a person, an object, a concept, etc, and break that down into tiny little pieces. Each an idea of its own that could be broken down into tinier pieces. We keep doing that until we reach a point where we find what we need; maybe a conclusion, a cause, an effect, or a prediction. The other side of analysis would lead to so many details that are completely irrelevant to any conclusion we may need. Or worse, lead us astray from what we really want to know about the subject under analysis. So the idea would be to try and capture the picture as a whole, and see it as it really is.

I’ve attached this video that I think has moved me ever since I saw that movie. It’s from the movie Accidental Hero, 1992.


Accidental Hero Movie opening, 1992

What I am concerned about in this scene is having all those details that we try to find to figure something out. We expect to figure something out. There has to be something to be figured out by tearing a story to pieces! But the fact is life isn’t really about that. I’m not saying we shouldn’t analyze, dig deep, try to understand, and most importantly, ask questions. I’m not saying that we should take things as they are either; but how about do both? We should learn in order to be able to analyze. We should figure out what details are relevant and what details aren’t. We should put together the things that matter in order to reach some conclusion about what we want; an opinion for example. This would be constructive analysis, and I think that this is what the lecturer wanted to reach at the end of the session: don’t take things for granted, and don’t dive into details until you drown.

I think this is very wise, but I have a different opinion that I believe I have reached through some of my short experiences in life. I am a person who analyzes too much. I had that said to me numerous times by people who dealt closely with me. I think it would be evident for those who hadn’t in fact dealt closely with me if they had read my entry All By Myselves! And yes I have been overwhelmed by the details of the analysis more than a few times. But since it is a serious flaw, I decided to turn it into an opportunity. I analyze things, I analyze them so thoroughly that I end up seeing what maybe other people don’t see, or what they see and mark as irrelevant. After my analysis, I try to mix and match all those details, the irrelevant as well as the relevant details, and sometimes, I come up with something different, something creative perhaps, or just an idea that everyone seems to have missed. Come to think of it, isn’t that what inventors do? Isn’t that the higher level of thinking we should adopt in trying to solve the problems of life?

Bottom line, it is good to analyze as long as you know what you’re really looking for. If you find that little tiny detail that changes a problem into an opportunity then you should analyze till you find it, and if you can’t find one detail, try putting a couple together and see how it turns out. In other words, think 3D and maybe you’ll be able to see things more clearly. So for me, I like analysis as long as I don’t get lost.

Technorati Tags: ,,

Did you like this?

No comments:

Post a Comment