Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mastermind by Konnikova

“Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes” by Maria Konnikova
The proposal of this book is to help you “operationalize” the latest results from Cognitive Science to improve your “thinking skills” as seen in Sherlock Holmes.
Topics described include:
I.                    What do you pay attention to?
a.       What are you collecting in your “brain attic”?
II.                  How good are you at paying attention? How do you improve?
a.       Be Selective
b.      Be Objective
c.       Be Inclusive
d.      Be Engaged
III.                Creativity and Imagination
a.       Overcome Imaginative Doubt
b.      Importance of Distance (separating yourself from the problem in order to think)
                                                               i.      Distancing through unrelated activity
                                                             ii.      Distancing through actual distance
         1.       Distancing through mental techniques (e.g., Meditation)
c.       Importance of Curiosity and Play
                                                               i.      Active and Passive knowledge
IV.                Deduction
a.       Problems with simple deduction
                                                               i.      Taleb’s Narrative Fallacy
                                                             ii.      Learn to tell the crucial from the incidental
b.      Continuing education
                                                               i.      Moving from Mindlessness to Mindfulness
         1.       Explain simply to someone else (e.g., novice)
                                                             ii.      Perils of Overconfidence
         1.       How to tell when you are overconfident
V.                  Self-Knowledge
a.       “Know yourself” and your environment
b.      Observe—carefully and thoughtfully
c.       Imagine—remembering to claim the space you may not think you need
d.      Deduce—only from what you have observed, and nothing more
e.      Learn—from your failures as from your successes
f.        Keep a diary
VI.                Expectations of yourself
a.       We are prisoners of our knowledge and motivation
b.      Beware of the reckless mind
c.       Take on the mindset of a Hunter
d.      Keep your attention ever-ready
e.      Be appropriate for your environment
f.        Adaptability
g.       Acknowledge your limitations
h.      Learn to quiet your mind

i.         Maintain constant vigilance