What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.Carl Sagan, from the Cosmos episode “The Persistence of Memory”
Left, right, analytical or creative, it's all one split brain.
To be in your own thoughts — language, like headphones, delivers a sense of privacy.
Of course, no thinking is linear. Neurons are always crashing into each other, trying to connect and build new avenues of ideas.
The whole of brain waves is greater than the sum of its parts.
But knowledge presents a key constraint in the gobbling of information — it requires a dishwasher of synthesis to make even more sense of the apparent world.
What’s most dizzying is experiencing nothing. Whatever your neurons are up to this very moment determines what you do next.
Said Henry David Thoreau, “Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”
Walking boosts creativity. If you ever get stuck in a creative rut, science shows that you should go for a stroll to get your endorphins moving.
As learning scientist Marily Oppezzo notes in her TED presentation below, walking generates twice the ideas. Even if you walk and then sit, your mind will continue to generate novelty.
But you can’t just walk forever, nor should you run. You should discuss your ideas out loud; the good ones will stick around. If you really want to remember everything discussed, record the thinking session on your phone.
So, how do you walk and brainstorm?
- Pick a problem/topic for brainstorm
- Walk at a comfortable pace WHILE you are brainstorming
- Generate as many ideas a you can
- Speak and record your ideas
- Cap your time
The chair-based lifestyle is not only killing us, but it’s also stifling good ideas. Go for a walk to freshen up your pattern of thinking.
In the New Republic, writer Matt Ford rightly argues why we should be in awe of the blurry photo of the black hole. It's not about the picture as much as the effort in went in to capturing it. Context is king.
This level of cynicism is better understood as ignorance. The image itself might indeed seem unimpressive. But judging it as you would any other digital photograph, shorn of all context and understanding, would be shortsighted. One also has to consider the thought and labor behind its creation. The photograph might not depict the horror of galactic destruction as some expected, but it represents something even better.
Think about it: A group of mostly hairless primates, stranded on a rock circling a nuclear spark, used radio waves to photograph an invisible sun-eater so far away that a person would have to travel for 55 million years at the speed of light to reach it. It’s hard to not feel a frisson of awe at the scale of the feat. This context is vital to fully appreciating the image itself, in the same way that the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling is even more impressive when you know that Michelangelo spent three years of his adult life bent over backwards to paint it.
Put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care.
What looks like a dubstep rave is actually styrofoam dancing to sound waves in a massive flexiglass pipe. The faux mosh pit is the result of a process called sound looking which demonstrates what audible vibrations may actually look like.
Watch the entire video below.
What the mind believes, the body can achieve. Look no further than a placebo who’s sole power is in its real effects.
If it’s broken, only then do you fix it. But placebos work just as an app’s colors dupe the brain into submission. The slightest taste of sugar helps the medicine go down.
The placebo is cleverer than any of us. It works for no other reason than the belief that it’s supposed to. We are skilled storytellers, especially when we’re full of shit.
Dancing with the algorithms, yielding results random but time-saving. How else are we to discover all these gems in a sea of content?
From Spotify to Gmail, we accept the recommendations to curate and speak for us. Playlists generate themselves, email answers itself.
Predictive life is human, stung with errors.
The computers and their code are often over their heads, impractical and sometimes stupid.
But in combination with human neurons, the computer gets closer to the truth: that we just need help deciding.
What appears random at first is the marriage of a happy accident.
“Who you are depends on what your neurons are up to, moment by moment.”— David Eagleman, The Brain: The Story of You