All about EMPATHY

The reading material for second Interspecies class really blow my mind. I really interested and was amazed by the content in Inside the Mind of the Octopus. I admit that before I read this article, I really like eating octopus. Besides, they are cute; they could spray ink to escape (BTW, in Mario Cart, you can use them to embitter your opponents, which is so cute) from other predators; they have 8 legs (or hands) with a bunch of suckers on it; they have a big head, however, I am always wondering what is inside it (maybe just water?).

After the mind-blowing reading, I realize that how innocent I am. During the reading process, I always told to myself “WOW, this is a new one!” , which is really amazing. I put something really fun as below:

1)     Their legs might have intelligence

2)     They used to use one eye to observe like people used to use one hand to do work

3)     They have resemble eye structure as human’s

4)     The possible reason for the division on the evolving of octopus and human is human’s brain evolved onto the way, which demands to be long-lived and social beings.

When the author mentioned those octopuses are neither long-lived nor social, I felt really sorry about them. I think it is so close that they might be human (or I am supposed to be happy for them?).

“What does it feel like to be an octopus?” This is a question claimed near the end of this article, which, this kind of question, I think, should be very important for us to apply into everyday life. Before you do something, after you saw something, ask yourself: What does it feel like to be XXX? What does it feel like if XXX?

In addition, at the beginning of The Open: Man and Animal, the author mentions phenomenon that separate man from the living being.

Two articles, two views. One was written in 2011, another one is talking about the idea, which was emerged in the early time of last century. One is objective with empathy; another one is subjective with bias.

In my opinion, the reason why the former one is more close to the truth is because it is more empathetic. Bias can only blind your eyes and make illusion. Try to jump out of the stereotype and try to comprehend with different perspective and standpoint, which will bring different lights into your eyes and make you smarter. Actually, think about the human history as a whole, as the more empathetic we become, the better understanding toward the universe we got, like geocentrism, theory of evolution and so on.

Actually, before I came to ITP, when I was a design college student, my professor pointed out several times that the importance of empathy for a designer. The more empathetic you could be, the more problems you could reveal, the more problems you could resolve, and the more connective you will find with the world (different from artist).

I think, suddenly, I have got the importance of the idea of this class. Without empathy, human will be less creative even lost creativity.