Most of what we think of these days as making connections seems to be in the form of Social Media. I am in that school as well, using social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to establish my brand and distribute my content. The original meme of the internet was the web concept. The burgeoning interconnection of people, data, systems, etc.
Today I am thinking about the main character in one of my favorite books. Don Hogan in John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar is a synthesist. He can pull together the connections between seemingly unrelated events, data, cultural and social experience and recognize emerging patterns. Today we would call him an analyst. Synthetic, in fact, connotes fake, man-made, poor quality. Today we want ‘all natural’,’artisinal’ and ‘non’modified’. Sure, I want my food organic.
But to me to synthesize means to create. To make something out of nothing. To create a whole greater than its parts. Ever since reading that book, I have aspired to be a synthesist. To help others make connections, cognitive connections and to create. What that has led to, for me, has been a sense of perspective and the development of a mind set that looks to see how things relate, especially to unite those things that might appear disparate on the surface to evolve new solutions that are not readily obvious.