Full Title or Meme
Abstract Thinking is the process of creating general rules or concepts that can encapsulate many specific use cases.
- It is often said that there is no problem of computer science that cannot be solved with another level of indirection (or layer of abstraction).
- One abstraction of this idea is that it is the filtering of information about one concept that selects only those details are shared with others.
- For example a Taxonomy is a complete separation of the elements of a set into those that share the same set of attributes. Here an element can only be in one taxon.
- Another way to categorize elements of one set is to build an Ontology of types that permits elements of the set to be in more that one category.
- Once an abstract concept is created it can be evaluated and discussed as a single thing.
- James R. Flynn discovered that as society evolves the concept called intelligence is recalibrated to higher and higher amounts of Abstract Thinking. While it would be possible to say we are getting smarter, you could also just say we are adapting to a changing ecosystem. It is the test that is changing, not the people.
- Clay Risen, James R. Flynn, Who Found We Are Getting Smarter New York Times p B10 (2021-01-27) https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/science/james-r-flynn-dead.html