Five Minds for the future

Five Minds for the Future sounds like a fascinating book. Author Howard Gardner believes that we will need five distinct ways of thinking to cope with the ever more complex world.

He identifies this priceless pentad as: the disciplined mind, schooled in basic subjects such as history, science and art but, crucially, a master of one profession, vocation or craft; the synthesising mind, which can make sense of disparate pieces of information (Gardner identifies this as a key trait of good managers and highlights its importance in the age of the internet); the creating mind, capable of asking new questions and finding imaginative answers; the respectful mind, which shows an appreciation of different cultures; and the ethical mind, which enables one to behave responsibly as a worker and citizen.

There is an interesting bit toward the end of the article where he suggests that freedom of speech should be curtailed a bit to cope with the needs of the Respectful mind. He cites the Mohammed cartoons furore as an example. They should not have been published out of respect for the religion of Islam and its restrictions on the depiction of the Prophet. Which is fair as far as it goes, but he misses the logical counterpoint- those demonstrating against the cartoons should have had some respect for the Western ideal of free speech and not gone around threatening death and mayhem over the whole affair.