fbpx

The Power of Sequence

Let’s compare two sentences with exactly the same words: I’m going to eat apple sauce with my grandmother. I’m going to eat my grandmother with apple sauce. Point taken? Sequence matters! It’s not just about words. Take any tune and swap the notes around—you’ve lost the tune. On a practical level, whether you’re planning a […]

Read more »

Hang Loose: A Thinking Skill with Hidden Power

Hang Loose is the name I give to a skill that can help us manage — and make the most of — large volumes of information. Let’s say we have the task of selecting a charity for a company to donate to. From what we know about the company, there could be dozens of charities […]

Read more »

Beating TMI: The Menace of Too Much Information

At first glance, it’s hard to see how there could ever be too much information. The human brain contains about 80 billion neurons, interconnected by some 100 trillion synapses. Measured in terms computing power (a fool’s errand — but that’s a topic for another day) the brain is up there with those famous chess-master-beating, Jeopardy-winning […]

Read more »

Your Thoughts Have Different Sizes

If you imagine your mind as a room that’s furnished with your own ideas, you’ll notice a rather obvious feature. Some of the pieces of furniture are larger than others. Now, the size of each mental objects seems to be obvious: it’s determined by the importance of the thought. That upcoming tax audit is elephant size, while […]

Read more »

The Limits of Critical Thinking

“I wish, therefore I am.” We human beings are creatures of desire. Thinking comes second (if at all!). Our desires shape our thoughts way more than our thoughts shape our desires. What we want from the world conditions, filters, and distorts how we perceive it. To put it bluntly, wishful thinking is the most powerful […]

Read more »

Beyond Brainstorming: A Fresh Approach to Creating Great Ideas

Brainstorming is one of the most popular tools for coming up with new ideas. You get together a small group of people and you set a topic or question, like “How do we reduce congestion in our town?” Everyone is invited to share their thoughts. You’re probably familiar with the rules of brainstorming: there are […]

Read more »

Most Note-Taking is a Waste of Time. Here’s What Works.

You’re a student sitting in class, a consultant in front of a client, an executive in a meeting, an employee at a 3-day seminar… And you take notes. But why? Because you always took notes? Because everyone else does? Because you believe note-taking will help you remember? Here’s an even better question. What are you […]

Read more »

Thinking in Many Dimensions

Your brain is not a computer. Human thinking is multidimensional. It includes reason, emotions, images, memories… the list is endless. To save ourselves effort, we often tend to shrink this dimensional aspect. It’s way easier to maintain our thinking along a single track. People get confused about “intelligence”.  Someone who can recall large volumes of […]

Read more »

The Power of Emergent Thinking

Once I was moving house and I bought a stack of cardboard boxes from the moving company to help. They were printed with large bold labels like “Kitchen” “Clothes” “Toys” “Books” etc. Sounds like a helpful idea? Not for me! Of course, some of my belongings fit under these labels, but many did not. I […]

Read more »

Thinking in Many Dimensions

Your brain is not a computer. Human thinking is multidimensional. It includes reason, emotions, images, memories… the list is endless. To save ourselves effort, we often tend to shrink this dimensional aspect. It’s way easier to maintain our thinking along a single track. People get confused about “intelligence”.  Someone who can recall and handle large […]

Read more »

This One Little Game Will Make You Smarter—But Why?

Brain training is big business, with a multitude of online apps and a huge variety of exercises. It’s also a battleground of hotly contested claims. Studies appear denouncing all brain training as worthless, and these are countered by claims for every conceivable benefit from IQ increase to preventing Alzheimer’s. In the middle of all this […]

Read more »

Thinking is Only Thinking

Brains are not computers: they come with bodies. Whenever we think, the entire body, from head to toe, is in full activation. Check for yourself: there’s a constant flow of sensations running alongside the chatter in your mind. You cannot just think. You also feel. Part of that flow is what we call “emotions.” Emotions […]

Read more »

Why Brains Love Braincat

Braincat looks like a piece of software, but it’s actually a mental process. The software just makes the process easy to do. The Braincat process allows you to take a mass of unsorted stuff — ideas and information — and quickly organize it. Then you can think clearly, and take action.  What kind of information […]

Read more »

Finding Neutral

The biggest threat to mental mobility is anxiety. When we are anxious, we tighten the mind. Few things produce this effect quite so rapidly as an overload of information. Unfortunately the experience of TMI—too much information —has become pandemic, a direct result of digital technologies. Anxiety triggers our fight-or-flight response. This is one of the […]

Read more »

In Praise of Fuzzy Goals

Goals are good, right? And SMART goals are better, of course. Or not. Beware of anything that gets repeated this often, especially when it includes the term “smart” — surely one of the dumbest, most irritating words in the current lexicon. SMART goals, in case you haven’t been told a hundred times, are goals that […]

Read more »

Is Information Making Us Stupid?

Our lives are awash with information: in the palm of my hand, I have simultaneous access to the lifestyle of the Korowai Tribe of Guinea, the interest rate on a 13-week Treasury Bill, expert advice on canine dental care, Kant’s entire critique of pure reason, and my wife’s current location. Does that make me smarter? […]

Read more »
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. More Information