So here is my take on the fact that the majority of our thoughts and actions are on autopilot. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. Our habits, routines, impulses, and reactions carry us through our lives so we don’t have to stop and think about it every time we wipe our ass or start a car.
I think we’re in the process of getting so used to the fact that we’re not even conscious of what we’re doing that it’s hard to even realize that we’re on autopilot. It’s hard to remember that we don’t have to think about what we’re doing or why we’re doing it. When we’re on autopilot, we don’t really have a choice as to what to do. We’re on autopilot.
Were we not on autopilot? I’d think the answer would be yes, but the answer is no.
This is probably the biggest challenge in all of software engineering. The fact that even the most intelligent people are not aware that they are on autopilot is one of the major reasons why software is such a hard problem to solve. For most people, it’s hard enough to figure out whether they are driving or typing. For programmers, the fact that we are on autopilot is, by definition, a problem.
It’s not that software engineers don’t know how to solve the problem. They don’t know how to solve it because the problem is too hard to figure out. It’s a function of being on autopilot. When you’re not driving, you are forced to use other senses to figure out your surroundings, so the problem is easier to solve.
The problem is that software engineers seem to be using a lot of “visualizing” tricks, like watching movies or television or playing video games, to figure out what’s going on. I think they forget that they have to be able to make sense of the world around them. They can’t really “see” the world through another person’s eyes.
The problem is that the software engineers are mostly just visual thinkers. They don’t really rely on their senses, and in fact, they’re often unaware of how the world around them actually works. They don’t really have a mental model of reality that they can look to. They’re more of a computer programmer who thinks he’s a movie director.
What they need are people who can use their computer as an observer. People who can use their visual and auditory senses to help them make sense of what they’re seeing and hearing. It’s hard to tell how well visual people really know the world, but they probably do.
I think this is one of the few things that’s actually true. People who are good at visual perception are more likely to have a good grasp of visual details in a scene than people who are good at hearing. But that doesnt mean that visual people always know everything.
There are many theories about why we can’t tell how good a video-game player is at understanding visual details. A good way to see what I mean is to take a look at the list of things we see when we look at a picture of a map. It’s not an easy list, but we can see that people who can see a map seem to be more accurate and detailed in their readings.