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Developing your brain and improving performance

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]
posted by markbao on Apr 10, 2014 - 6 answers

 

What are your favorite 'deep thinking' blogs, websites, and resources?

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]
posted by markbao on Mar 27, 2014 - 9 answers

Help me think better!

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]
posted by anonymous on Jan 12, 2014 - 8 answers

Considering moving from the NE and wonder about Durham NC

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?
posted by privatechef on Apr 29, 2013 - 25 answers

Brain surgery

What are you thinking about all day? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 17, 2013 - 28 answers

Help me become more happier and optimistic

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!
posted by happiness01 on Mar 17, 2013 - 18 answers

Decisions, decisions...

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]
posted by Seeking Direction on Mar 4, 2013 - 25 answers

Explanations of your favorite deep and meaningful ideas

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]
posted by the brave tetra-pak on Mar 4, 2013 - 32 answers

It's not their fault they think that way, right..?

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]
posted by Conspire on Feb 8, 2013 - 20 answers

Can't find pictures of army that reveal progressively more information

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]
posted by swimbikerun on Jan 25, 2013 - 8 answers

Inattentive ADHD

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]
posted by nidora on Dec 12, 2012 - 12 answers

Give me your sleep / relaxation tips

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]
posted by sodium lights the horizon on Sep 12, 2012 - 54 answers

What cognitive biases should everyone know?

What are the five cognitive biases that everyone should know? [more inside]
posted by Jonathan Livengood on Aug 1, 2012 - 32 answers

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]
posted by anotheraccount on Jun 21, 2012 - 33 answers

Common Sense is Not So Common?

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]
posted by TestamentToGrace on Jun 1, 2012 - 81 answers

Encyclopedia of idea generation strategies?

Is there an encyclopedia or wiki of idea generation and decision-making strategies? [more inside]
posted by jerwilkins on Apr 26, 2012 - 4 answers

I want to write-up, but Academic Research has re-wired my brain!

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]
posted by 0bvious on Mar 16, 2012 - 10 answers

Searching for the critical thinking textbook I had in grade school

Please help me find the critical thinking textbook my grade-school class used in the early eighties. [more inside]
posted by hydrophonic on Mar 11, 2012 - 3 answers

What other nerdy games would I like?

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]
posted by shortyJBot on Jan 22, 2012 - 8 answers

I'm afraid of people seeing me exercising-while-fat. Please help me get over myself.

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]
posted by Ashen on Jan 13, 2012 - 43 answers

How do I break jealous thought patterns?

Ex-girlfriend jealousy, my-own-brain-originating-type. How do I break jealous thought patterns? [more inside]
posted by ArgyleMarionette on Dec 16, 2011 - 17 answers

The Con's Piracy

How can I encourage someone to think more critically without coming off condescending? [more inside]
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Sep 7, 2011 - 41 answers

Please help me rid myself of these dark thoughts.

Please help me rid myself of these dark thoughts. [more inside]
posted by sockpim on Sep 5, 2011 - 24 answers

How can you change how you think and analyze things?

How can you change how you think and analyze things? How do you think and analyze things in different ways? [more inside]
posted by markbao on May 28, 2011 - 13 answers

How do animals think?

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]
posted by marienbad on May 20, 2011 - 33 answers

How do you judge if you can afford something?

How do you judge if you can afford something? [more inside]
posted by matthewr on May 19, 2011 - 23 answers

How do I get better at thinking on my feet?

How do I learn to think and react more quickly, especially in surprise situations or high excitement and/or stress situations. [more inside]
posted by [insert clever name here] on Apr 1, 2011 - 16 answers

If I could just get my brain around this I would......

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]
posted by Xurando on Jan 29, 2011 - 23 answers

Help tame The Monkey Mind!

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?
posted by gb77 on Dec 16, 2010 - 16 answers

I want to think less frameworky

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?
posted by blargerz on Oct 7, 2010 - 21 answers

I think too fast, therefore what am I?

What is it called when you make a mistake because you are thinking faster than you can speak/type/etc.? [more inside]
posted by caminovereda on Sep 30, 2010 - 10 answers

Anyone know this questioner's conundrum?

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.
posted by girdyerloins on Sep 29, 2010 - 12 answers

Stop thinking and more doing. How?

I am a thinker. I want to stop thinking too much (over-analyzing) and start doing more. Any how to or tips? [more inside]
posted by bbxx on Sep 11, 2010 - 26 answers

Not even creative enough to come up with a title

How do I become more creative? [more inside]
posted by unannihilated on Aug 19, 2010 - 6 answers

Corporate Cultural

Tell me about cultural differences in your workplace. How do German, English, Chinese, Nigerian, or Tazmanian workers differ when attacking a problem, reporting status, dealing with subordinates or drinking on the job? Use this infographic as inspiration. Are certain cultures more effective than others on a shop floor versus a trading floor? I understand this question flirts with stereotypes and baked-in cultural bias. I get it, but that is what makes organizational dynamics so......dynamic. Pointing to a study that says Latin American's have a higher power distance than Germans is a great answer. Saying that the French aren't productive because they take all of August off is probably not as good. [more inside]
posted by jasondigitized on Apr 29, 2010 - 11 answers

I can't think straight when I'm not alone!

I can't think and problem-solve when talking to people. Any advice? [more inside]
posted by blahtsk on Apr 23, 2010 - 20 answers

Book recommendations on the study of the scientific method.

I'm looking for suggestions for books that either general introductions or academic or school texts on topics like the proper design of scientific studies and experiments, the correct use scientific method and critical thinking as related to science and the errors usually associated with these. I'm looking for books that treat these topics with a little more rigor than the average popular science bestseller. Thanks.
posted by sk381 on Feb 3, 2010 - 5 answers

formula for thinking

If I'm trying to come up with a model or a function to determine to what extent a specific person is able to think outside the box (or unconventionally, or differently), what variables do you consider crucial to do this analysis?
posted by ttyn on Jan 20, 2010 - 11 answers

Critical Thinker

What are some tools and techniques I can use to become a better critical thinker? I asked my friend the other day what he got out of his tier-1 education and he said it taught him how to 'think through problems'. What exactly did his professors teach him about critical thinking? If I memorize the logical fallacies or make a pro's and con's list will I be a better thinker? Is 'going with your gut' an approved tactic in this pursuit? What things do you do to think through a problem and come up with rock solid plans, decisions, and recommendations?
posted by jasondigitized on Oct 26, 2009 - 16 answers

*cricket chirps in my head*

How can I become more opinionated? [more inside]
posted by The Biggest Dreamer on Sep 19, 2009 - 29 answers

What motivates seagulls to fly away from the flock?

So, I'm sitting on the beach and a large flock of seagulls more or less simultaneously settle on the sand together, all facing the same direction. Intermittantly, individual birds will take off from the group and fly away. What is the motivation and even better, the decision process, for these rebel birds to depart from the flock at that particular moment?
posted by marcurios on Sep 13, 2009 - 10 answers

Do you remember the day you started thinking in your current spoken language?

Those who have learned to speak and think in another language, do you remember the age (and day) you started thinking in your current spoken language? [more inside]
posted by querty on Aug 4, 2009 - 30 answers

So as to resist appeals to their dearest prejudices and all kinds of cajolery...

BookFilter: Looking for an engaging introduction to critical thinking. [more inside]
posted by jammy on Jun 12, 2009 - 16 answers

How to develop "number sense"

How might a person go about cultivating "number sense"? I mean something different from abstract reasoning. I'm asking how one might develop an intuition for physical concepts such as numbers, lengths, and sizes. Examples might include knowing how many people went to your school, how many yards away is a given building, how large is your apartment, how much does the average American earn, etc. These things could be measured or found out through research, but how might a person develop the ability to give reasonable estimates?
posted by Busoni on Apr 15, 2009 - 22 answers

Please help me research human "parity errors".

Can anyone point me to literature about conceptual "sign flipping" or "parity errors" and confusion of opposites in humans? [more inside]
posted by rwhe on Apr 4, 2009 - 30 answers

Slogans, Quotes or Mottos Lauding Action Over Overthought/Overplanning?

I'm looking for mottos, slogans, or quotes that are short enough to be easily remembered, that are meant to spur someone to take action towards their goals, and/or that warn against overthinking and overplanning and staying in your head – in other words, that laud the merits of action over thought. I've already thought of "just do it" (which is the precise sentiment I'm looking for), but it is so overplayed that it doesn't have much meaning any longer. Any sentiment of any length is appreciated, but ideally it would be something that easily sticks in your mind.
posted by WCityMike on Apr 3, 2009 - 81 answers

I'd like to buy a book for my girlfriend to help her structure her ideas in academic writing.

I'd like to buy a book for my girlfriend to help her structure her ideas in academic writing. My girlfriend is a graduate student in the humanities. She is clever, erudite and rigorous, but her ability to build an argument is poor. She finds it particularly difficult to unpack a complex concept and present its constitutive parts in a logical sequence. The book I'd like to buy helps writers with these specific problems, ideally (but not necessarily) within the context of research in the humanities. [more inside]
posted by limon on Mar 19, 2009 - 25 answers

I want to be smart so I can write clever Askme Headlines

What are some easy, relatively quick ways to learn to write better, think clearer, and express myself better? [more inside]
posted by Bageena on Jan 28, 2009 - 24 answers

NEGATIVE THINKING IS ALL AROUND ME

How do I ignore negative thoughts without suppressing them? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 20, 2009 - 15 answers

Thoughts about my thinking?

Previously on AskMe: a whole bunch of questions about how to think more, better, etc. But what if I'm finding myself not interested in deliberative thinking? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 20, 2009 - 9 answers

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