“Experiences shape the brain, but the brain shapes the way we view experiences, too.”
– Dr. Helen Fisher
Back in 2004 one of my friends was really into analyzing people and would construct little tests for us.
I remember one time when he drew a couple of different shapes on a piece of paper, asking people to pick which one they felt most connected to.
One would pick the square, another the circle, someone would feel adventurous and pick the squiggle.
Then he’d proceed to explain what that said about their personality. I can’t remember what I picked, I just remember feeling that what he said sounded like limiting bullshit. It only took into consideration whetever headspace I was in at the time.
But the thing I remember clearest was two friends getting into an argument about square versus circle. One would hail the practicality of the square while the other would profess the perfect harmony of the circle.
The weird thing was that they usually made a pretty good team (they played together in a band) despite their differences. Why couldn’t they just combine the two into a square with rounded edges?
I hadn’t thought about this in a decade but a couple of days ago as I was going through some stuff on my iPhone it struck me: “Hey, it’s that shape. Weird. Not a square, not a circle… It’s a… Squircle?”
So, I went looking for what the shape was called.
There is in fact something called a “squircle” (god, how I love portmanteaus!). But there was a similar shaped called a “rounded square”.
Do you want to see the difference between a rounded square and a squircle?
Whoomp, there it is!
As you can see there’s a slight difference. I just know there’s someone out there who’s an expert on squircles, rounded squares and truncated circles tearing out her hair, screaming at the screen: “Are you fucking blind?!”
And to her I say: “Simmer down, Amy. Don’t get all… bent out of shape.”
A pun that will no doubt make her head explode.
This all lead me to think about how often we’re presented with false choices.
You can either have this or that. You can either do this or that. You can’t have both.
We even do it to ourselves every so often. Thinking that we can only choose between a square and a circle.
What if we combine the two into something else?
So it was with these two friends. They created some amazing music together. Sure, they argued like hell about almost everything but they had one thing in common.
They both wanted the best for the songs. While having wildly different ideas they often found some middle ground that took the best elements from both worlds.
And that’s really where it all happens.
The magic is in the middle.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!