Inside/Outside: Virtualized Consciousness

They would pass the keyboard back and forth. When one was typing, the other would watch, thinking about the solution. If a solution would come to the person observing, they would not grab the keyboard from the other, but guide their partner to the solution from their partners' perspective.

I suspect that this experience of pair programming, in some ways, lies at the heart of the Agile mindset. It allowed Kent and Ward to create in a new way.


We see the world from our own, unique consciousness. From this internal perspective, we define all others as outside of us. We know our thoughts, but can never know the thoughts of others, or see the world as if we were them. They are the outside. All else is the outside.

**Virtualized Consciousness**

When I lived in Asia I was keenly aware that I had the perspective of an American in cultures that were deeply different from mine. And each country's culture was distinct from the others.

During those years I was working as a consultant. My clients were multinational technology companies. My job was to help them develop marketing strategies for their products in this complex mosaic.

I began to appreciate that, in order to develop strategies that were appropriate for each country, I had to challenge myself to think and see the world, and relationships within it, as if I was from that country.

I had to, in essence, learn to virtualize my consciousness.

I thought of this experience when Ward was sharing with me his experience programming in those early days that were the precursor to Agile. It struck me, that Ward was having to do the same as he worked with Kent. It wasn't enough to find a solution from his perspective, but he had to understand Kent's perspective and explore how a solution might work from that perspective.

In essence, he, too, was virtualizing his consciousness.

Interesting to think about within the context of emerging new scientific concepts of a much more expanded understanding of what we mean by the mind - larger than our brain, larger than our body.

Here is one definition of the mind:

>“the emergent self-organizing process, both embodied and relational, that regulates energy and information flow within and among us.”

Sounds like a closely related concept to pattern languages: objects, and the messages passed between them, that create meaning.

What if the mind is our pattern language of meaning?