Category: Thinking

I have a right to believe whatever I want -- no, you don't

I have a right to believe whatever I want — no, you don’t

ARTICLE: Amidst our many freedoms, the right to believe in whatever we chose is ill advised. This supposed right is often claimed as the last resort of the wilfully ignorant, the person who is cornered by evidence and mounting opinion. There is an ethic of believing, of acquiring, sustaining, and relinquishing beliefs - and that ethic both generates and limits our right to believe. SOURCE: Aeon ...
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How language shapes the way we think

How language shapes the way we think

VIDEO: There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world -- and they all have different sounds, vocabularies and structures. But do they shape the way we think? In this video, cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language that suggest the answer is a resounding yes. The beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is. Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000. SOURCE: TED via YouTube ...
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Train yourself to be smarter: 12 useful mental models

Train yourself to be smarter: 12 useful mental models

INFOGRAPHIC/ ARTICLE: “A mental model is an explanation of how something works. It is a concept, framework, or worldview that you carry around in your mind to help you interpret the world and understand the relationship between things. Mental models are deeply held beliefs about how the world works.” — James Clear This post contains an infographic which provides a detailed breakdown of mental models. It's a good starting point for those looking for an introduction to the topic. SOURCE: Medium ...
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The futility of looking for happiness -- in the brain

The futility of looking for happiness — in the brain

ARTICLE: When fMRI was developed, back in the '90s, there was a lot of what was called "Blobology": putting people in scanners and hunting around for "Blobs" of activity in the brain. It's viewing the brain like a car engine; the idea that each brain region must do one thing and one thing only.The question is not 'Where is happiness in the brain?' The better question is 'How does the brain support happiness? All parts of the brain are active, all the time. That's how the brain works. The question is how much more active are these certain regions, and is it significantly more active than it usually is?. SOURCE: Nautilus ...
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If you are looking for a new idea, start at the edge of what is known

If you are looking for a new idea, start at the edge of what is known

VIDEO: Where do great ideas come from? This video takes us on a journey to explore a possible scheme that explains the birth of the new. Learn more about the "adjacent possible" -- the crossroads of what's actual and what's possible -- and how studying the logic that drives it could explain how we create new ideas. The video exposes the infinite vista of new ideas and innovations, presenting an encouragingly positive perspective of the future. SOURCE: TED ...
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The triple overload: data, communication and cognition

The triple overload: data, communication and cognition

ARTICLE: We are being bombarded with more data, more communication, and more interruption than ever before, creating ever more demands on our limited time and attention. That can leave us burned out and feeling as though there simply aren’t enough hours in the day for us to achieve everything we need—and want—to do. Triple Overload -- data overload, communication overload and cognition overload -- is a multifaceted problem; three separate yet interconnected issues that plague almost everyone, in every walk of life. Each is a direct result of the explosion of information and technology that has come to define the modern world. SOURCE: Evernote Blog ...
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Your success is never of your own making; chance determines everything

Your success is never of your own making; chance determines everything

ARTICLE: The person born in poverty, with no parental support, who scrimps to put himself or herself through college, finally achieving success through ceaseless suffering, owes their triumph no less to luck than, say, a Kennedy or Prince William. You didn't choose your parents or most of your teachers; and in any case, you might not have been gifted with the self-discipline to learn from them. OK, but what if you taught yourself the self-discipline? Still luck: you were gifted with the sort of character capable of cultivating self-discipline. You still had to be the kind of person able to pursue it; and even if you became that kind of person by the sweat of your brow, you still must have already been the kind of person who could raise that sweat. SOURCE: The Guardian ...
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You can't teach an old dog (or your brain) new tricks: why learning is hard

You can’t teach an old dog (or your brain) new tricks: why learning is hard

VIDEO EXPLAINER/ ARTICLE: The hallmark of intelligence is the ability to learn new tasks. How does the human brain go about the task? The human brain, remarkable as it is, does not go about the task of learning in a very efficient manner. It uses a highly inefficient approach called "Reassociation." We appear to  learn new tasks simply by repeating the original neural activity patterns and swapping their assignments. Although "quick and dirty" it's not the best way to learn. SOURCE: Quanta ...
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