6 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. the time you sit down tomake progress on something, all the work to gather and organize thesource material needs to already be done. We can’t expectourselves to instantly come up with brilliant ideas on demand. Ilearned that innovation and problem-solving depend on a routine thatsystematically brings interesting ideas to the surface of ourawareness.

      By writing down and collecting ideas slowly over time, working on them in small fits and spurts, when one finally comes to do the final work on their writing project or other work, the pieces only need minor shaping to take their final form. This process allows for a much greater level of serendipity, creativity, and potential sustained genius of connecting ideas across time to take shape in a final piece.


      How does this relate to diffuse thinking? How can slow diffuse thinking be leveraged into this process?

      Writing down fleeting notes while walking around can be valuable as one's ideas brew slowly in the mind (diffuse thinking) in combination with active combinatorial creativity, thus a form of Llullan combinatorial diffusion.


      Many business books seem so shallow and often only have one real insight which is repeated multiple times, perhaps to drive the point home or perhaps just to have enough filler to seem being worth the purchase of a book.

      Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich is an example of this, though it shows a different form of genius in expanding the idea from a variety of perspectives so that eventually everyone will absorb the broader idea which is distilled to great effect into the title.

  2. Jun 2022
    1. Perhaps the most immediate benefit of capturing content outsideour heads is that we escape what I call the “reactivity loop”—thehamster wheel of urgency, outrage, and sensationalism thatcharacterizes so much of the Internet. The moment you firstencounter an idea is the worst time to decide what it means. Youneed to set it aside and gain some objectivity.

      Not sure I agree wholly with

      The moment you first encounter an idea is the worst time to decide what it means

      Sometimes your fleeting reactions are incredibly useful upon first encounter as they won't return as easily. However this is also a space where setting things aside for diffuse thinking apparatus to work can be highly useful.

      Either way, one should always return to ideas in their notebook for future processing.

  3. May 2022
    1. new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to seewhether it helps. Every once in a while there will be a hit, andpeople will say, “How did he do it? He must be a genius!”

      You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a

      Gian-Carlo Rota, Indiscrete Thoughts (Boston: Birkhäuser Boston, 1997), 202.

      Richard Feynman indicated in an interview that he kept a dozen of his favorite problems at the top of his mind. As he encountered new results and tricks, he tried applying them to those problems in hopes of either solving them or in coming up with new ideas. Over time by random but combinatorial chance, solutions or ideas would present themselves as ideas were juxtaposed.

      One would suspect that Feynman hadn't actually read Raymond Llull, but this technique sounds very similar to the Llullan combinatorial arts from centuries earlier, albeit in a much more simplified form.

      Can we find evidence of Feynman having read or interacted with Llull? Was it independently created or was he influenced?

      I had an example of this on 2022-05-28 in Dan Allosso's book club on Equality in the closing minutes where a bit of inspiration hit me to combine the ideas of memes, evolution, and Indigenous knowledge and storytelling to our current political situation. Several of them are problems and ideas I've been working with over years or months, and they came together all at once to present a surprising and useful new combination. #examples

      Link this also to the idea of diffuse thinking as a means of solving problems. One can combine the idea of diffuse thinking with combinatorial creativity to super-charge one's problem solving and idea generation capacity this way. What would one call this combination? It definitely needs a name. Llullan combinatorial diffusion, perhaps? To some extent Llull was doing this already as part of his practice, it's just that he didn't know or write explicitly about the diffuse thinking portion (to my knowledge), though this doesn't mean that he wasn't the beneficiary of it in actual practice, particularly when it's known that many of his time practiced lectio divina and meditated on their ideas. Alternately meditating on ideas and then "walking away" from them will by force cause diffuse thinking to be triggered.

      Are there people for whom diffuse thinking doesn't work from a physiological perspective? What type of neurodiversity does this cause?

  4. Feb 2022
    1. Conversely, we can use the Zeigarnik effect to our advantage bydeliberately keeping unanswered questions in our mind. We canruminate about them, even when we do something that has nothingto do with work and ideally does not require our full attention. Lettingthoughts linger without focusing on them gives our brains theopportunity to deal with problems in a different, often surprisinglyproductive way. While we have a walk or a shower or clean thehouse, the brain cannot help but play around with the last unsolvedproblem it came across. And that is why we so often find the answerto a question in rather casual situations.

      One can use the Zeigarnik effect to their advantage by keeping specific unanswered questions in their mind so that it can use the diffuse thinking effect to solve them while doing other activities like walking, doing the dishes, etc.

    1. I don't think it's a surprise to anyone to know that there are certain activities that help create that space, and it’s been widely commented upon. Doing the dishes, walking the dog, cleaning the house – you need to be doing something.For me, pruning trees in our olive grove is perfect. It takes a little bit of attention, but not that much attention.

      This is related to the idea of diffuse thinking caused by taking breaks or doing things that don't require extreme concentration. Flaneuring... walking, etc.

      You want an activity that requires a little bit of attention but not too much attention. Doing dishes, walking, errands, etc. are good examples.

      Relate this to the

  5. Jul 2021
    1. I suspect there's a link here to the broader idea of diffuse thinking...

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Cathie </span> in Why Your Brain Needs Idle Time.  – My Notes (<time class='dt-published'>07/22/2021 13:32:03</time>)</cite></small>