When diving into a new field, how can you keep 'thinking outside the box' as you learn the traditional knowledge in a field? As you learn the patterns of thinking that a field promotes, I think it's hard to think outside of those patterns in the future. How do you maintain originality in thinking and avoid paradigm blindness? Some ideas inside. [more inside]
I am looking for resources on the learning styles of famous inventors and thinkers? [more inside]
Who are some people you guys read who think about the issues in an intelligent way and are unafraid to make a contrarian argument when it makes sense to do so? [more inside]
I have ADHD with a lot of OCD symptoms. I think the ADHD is primary, and the OCD symptoms are my lifelong coping reactions to feeling overwhelmed all the time and making endless mistakes. I'm now on Adderall, and it has illuminated how much the OCD slows me down and burdens me, but at the same time, many of my OCD behaviors are rational. They help me catch my many mistakes (while writing or in life) when my ADHD is at its worst. I need strategies to pull myself out or to help me immediately recognize when I'm spiraling. [more inside]
How do you deliberately learn how to make better decisions whether it be your personal life or your professional life? How do you get better at making decisions that you take rarely - i.e. whom to get married to, what business to start, where to go to school, etc. [more inside]
Are there books that explore different schemas or ways to make decisions? [more inside]
I need ideas for being productive/organized although I have a scattershot mind. [more inside]
Greetings. I seem to have a terrible case of negative rumination and I cannot impede my negative thoughts at all; this jeopardizing my work ethic and academic studies. I would greatly appreciate some pragmatic tips and positive thinking advice. I'm not sure how to stay optimistic and positive about the world and myself. [more inside]
Does anyone know of some really good books on critical thinking? I have read some different books on the topic over the years but I find myself to be lacking in this area still. Are there excellent ones out there that anyone would care to recommend? Thank you in advance for your recommendations.
How do you keep yourself from growing mentally flabby, falling into lazy thinking, defaulting to mindless entertainment, devolving into a decreasing attention span and ability to focus?
I have a very mentally taxing/stimulating job. When I get home from work, I can't muster the mental energy to do anything but surf the internet. Even a supper with more steps than 2 (open and heat) seem overwhelming. Physically, I feel fine. I'm not physically tired, just completely mentally tapped out. It's starting to cause some tension in my relationship because I am no longer pulling my weight around the house. Leaving my job is not an option: it pays well and I love the work. I am looking for ways to have more mental energy at the end of the day to perform multi step tasks around the house and/or socialize. Any tips? Organization? Meditation? How do you get (more) stuff done? Thanks!
I’m helping to design a retreat for a small non profit and would like suggestions for short (~15 min) videos or articles that encourage shifts in thinking or attitude. The TED talk by Dan Pallotta (“The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong”) is a good example. [more inside]
Have you ever had a class (or similar structured educational experience) that actually taught you to be better at logic and critical thinking? If so, how'd it do that? [more inside]
As a working artist for shy of a decade, I'm starting to feel like I'm hitting walls most of the time I make, which is making artmaking frustrating. Suggestions for how to rekindle love and patience for the process and start climbing up the next hill? [more inside]
I was curious as to how many visual thinkers there out there? If there are any who are willing to share their information on this post, I am curious as to whether you have always been a visual thinker or whether this was something you developed? Visual thinking seems to be one of the better ways to process information. [more inside]
I'm looking for some resources to help me develop my skills in clear thinking. Any recommendations? [more inside]
I recently learned that the brain starts out with a lot of fluid intelligence (the ability to acquire new skills and knowledge) which decreases as time goes on. I'm 21, and it has reduced a bit already—but it's never too late to start. How can I take the most advantage of this and build the right foundation for my brain while I'm still young? [more inside]
What are your favorite 'deep thinking' blogs, websites, and resources? e.g. Less Wrong (on rationality), Farnam Street (learning from what others have already figured out), Raptitude (on getting better at being human), Ribbonfarm (experiments in refactored perception), Cal Newport (study/learning techniques), etc. [more inside]
First off, this isn't a "what do I have?" question. I'm being treated for inattentive ADD and some depression and anxiety. Long story there. But one thing the meds haven't addressed yet is the ability to deeply analyze something and not just pop off the first thing that comes to my head. [more inside]
We are a couple in our mid-50's and are looking for some specific things in our next move; more temperate weather than the North East where we are now; progressive thinking people, good food and a thriving food scene, ability to buy a house for less than $350K, low property taxes ( less than $5K) within driving distance (45 minutes is the max) to a major airport and open-minded people. We are both entrepreneurial and active, love the outdoors and nature and want a small yard for a garden and to be near some kind of water be it a large lake, river or coast. We are considering Portland Ore. or Durham NC. We are still working and work for ourselves. Anyone have an opinion on either or both?
What are you thinking about all day? [more inside]
I've become an unhappy Grumpy person. I would love some suggestions on positive music and notebooks, calendars which have inspiration positive quotes ? I just need some motivation in times of stress. Some blogs on positive thinking would also be useful. Thanks to all!
How can I avoid analysis paralysis in decision-making and pick what's "right for me" more consistently? How can I minimize regret? [more inside]
I still remember vividly the moment that I got the idea of entropy in information theory; I spent weeks seeing the world in those terms, and playing out the implications (as I understood them). Likewise Nietzschean "eternal recurrence" -- not just as a hypothesis about things repeating on a cosmic scale, but to see if the world and history can be taken as a choice, as something we can affirm. What are your favorite deep, rich, meaningful concepts to think with? (They don't need to be scientifically accurate, necessarily, or something you personally believe -- just things that offer the pleasure of understanding, for you.) Links to explanatory resources, or explanations in the comments welcome, or just names and starting points. [more inside]
What is the most moral way for me to treat or respond to someone who acts in a way informed by less progressive values, given that they may not have had the opportunity, resources or upbringing to learn how to question their own thinking and biases? [more inside]
I want to use this image for a critical thinking exercise in my classroom. I once saw a series of images that depict, what I remember to be a series of images that reveal more information as the frame pans backwards. But I can no longer find it. [more inside]
I have a friend who has ADHD primarily inattentive type and struggles with multitasking in both work and home life. Rather than being the hyper person that most of us visualize, he is the exact opposite, very slow and methodical with some rigidity to how he must follow certain rules. My buddy has been struggling in his work place, because he constantly feels overwhelmed. He does see a therapist, but it doesn't seem like any of his issues (at least in the work world) are getting any better. He told me yesterday that people are constantly telling him that he is not present even when he is at work or at home with his wife. It must really be frustrating for him because I know him to be a good guy with good morals. From a brain perspective, it's kind of a bummer because he does take adhd meds, but he is constantly overwhelmed by everything and he tells me that people seem to get frustrated with him even though he is trying. When we hang out, I mainly validate and offer him some understanding. Any suggestions on how to help my friend? [more inside]
I keep having sleepless nights because I can't slow my thoughts down. What techniques do you use to help you quieten your thoughts so you can sleep? [more inside]
What are the five cognitive biases that everyone should know? [more inside]
My critical reasoning skills are inadequate. Two examples within, as well as a request for books, websites, activities, or routine patterns of thought to help me develop these reasoning abilities. [more inside]
My supervisor has pointed out to me that I tend to take language very literally, and it's impeding my performance at my job. Help me rewire my brain!
My supervisor has pointed out to me that I tend to take language very literally, and it's impeding my performance at my job. Help me rewire my brain! [more inside]
Can you help me cultivate common sense? I am very book smart - gifted/high IQ, excel at work, etc. I am relatively street smart - no walking down dark alleys at night, etc. But I fail spectacularly at common sense, and I've given a few examples below. [more inside]
Is there an encyclopedia or wiki of idea generation and decision-making strategies? [more inside]
The way I research (academic or otherwise) is increasingly incompatible with the tools I have. Reams of handwritten notebooks, and hundreds of word docs vs a highly tagged website only add to my self-created confusion. I'm drawn to Tinderbox software as a possible solution, but as an adamant PC user I'm locked out. How do you order your research? / How to write-up my PhD now my brain is fried? [more inside]
Please help me find the critical thinking textbook my grade-school class used in the early eighties. [more inside]
I really, really liked the flash game 3 Slices, recently posted on the blue. I also loved Lemmings. What other flash or internet-based games would I like that I can play on my (old) laptop? [more inside]
I have trouble breaking through my mental block on the path to weight loss. How do I mentally adjust myself towards an exercise regime and stick to it? Special self-loathing snowflake details inside. [more inside]
Ex-girlfriend jealousy, my-own-brain-originating-type. How do I break jealous thought patterns? [more inside]
How can I encourage someone to think more critically without coming off condescending? [more inside]
Please help me rid myself of these dark thoughts. [more inside]
How can you change how you think and analyze things? How do you think and analyze things in different ways? [more inside]
How do animals think? I was watching a cat in our garden the other day, and I wondered how it thought as it doesn't have language to think in. Then I thought: yes, but when I am working on an (easy - not cryptic) crossword, sometimes I am not thinking in words (if this makes sense?) [more inside]
How do you judge if you can afford something? [more inside]
How do I learn to think and react more quickly, especially in surprise situations or high excitement and/or stress situations. [more inside]
Life is unfair, complex, illogical, closed ended, open ended, difficult, and when _____ happens, I try to think my way out of it until it hurts. Effective tools for limiting obsessive thinking? [more inside]
I've come to the conclusion that the root of unhappiness/strife, etc. is what goes on inside my own noodle. In addition to meditation (and, with apologies, excluding western religion) how to tame The Monkey Mind? How to better control the quality of one's thoughts?
I've become habitually prone to categorizing mankind according to various schema, many of which are informed by social science. The problem is this brings polarized and hierarchical thinking, and I suspect may be the illusion of intelligence. I suppose I am easily seduced by "frameworks". Can you recommend any books that address this issue, or could at least break me out of this tendency?
What is it called when you make a mistake because you are thinking faster than you can speak/type/etc.? [more inside]
Anyone know this questioner's conundrum? the statement I'm searching for describes the attempt of the speaker to "not think of you" and subsequent efforts to avoid the seemingly inevitable results of thinking about the elephant when trying like crazy not to, heeding the exhortation "DON'T THINK ABOUT AN ELEPHANT!". My inclusion of the elephant reference is as a descriptive aid, not part of the musing of the speaker, by the way. Tao? Buddhist? Zen? Certainly meditative, but all I got on Google were answers pertaining to present-day songs and the like..... Ugh. It is something of a brain-teaser, but highly enlightening in its treatment of helping one get around the mental chatter that seems to predominate thinking. Or, not thinking, in this case. I can find it in none of my books, nor on the net. I can't be the only one who has read this. Not certain about the era in which it originated, nor country, although if I were to speculate madly I'd say Japan, perhaps? Arrrgh. Frustrating. Damn ADD. Thanks, folks-I'll try and check back in ASAP.
I am a thinker. I want to stop thinking too much (over-analyzing) and start doing more. Any how to or tips? [more inside]
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