HALF-ART: Patterns of waste in politics and art

Business Day Live | Chris Thurman:


Pattern recognition is a crucial part of being human. Other creatures do it too, of course, as do computers. But neither artificial nor animal intelligence has the same capacity as the human brain — not yet — for “patternality”, a clumsy term that anthropologists define as “the ability to discern (and ultimately make) new patterns in the environment”.

Lehlohonolo Mkhasibe with artworks made from rubber tyres. Picture: Sspplied

Patternality has been vital to our evolution and is a prerequisite for ontogenetic development, the growth of each individual. Some people are better at recognising certain patterns than others: a rugby flyhalf or soccer midfielder needs patternality to know how best to distribute the ball; a psychologist or police detective looks for patterns in human behaviour; a doctor uses patternality to make diagnoses; a mathematician or economist looks for patterns in data to derive a formula or make a prediction…


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