Posts Tagged ‘Creativity’

Some Great Books About Intelligence

November 3, 2012

Thought I would share comments on a variety of books that speak to the questions, What is intelligence, and how can you develop more of it?

The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential, by Tony Buzan

Tony Buzan has written many books, but this is one I have actually read. Buzan is known as a memory guru. Mind mapping (similar to a method sometimes called idea mapping) is an extremely useful tool for planning, outlining, and note-taking. It is also inherently a memory aid. I use mind mapping constantly in my work as a teacher, student, writer, and consultant. It is probably the most useful tool I know.

On Intelligence, by Jeff Hawkins

Jeff Hawkins is the creator of the PalmPilot. The interesting thing is that he was cross-trained as both a computer scientist and a neuroscientist. He merges those two disciplines in this book about how the brain works. He also discusses artificial intelligence and puts forth some useful ideas about what a truly intelligent machine might be like.

Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman

Goleman introduces here the important concept of emotional intelligence and how it translates into productivity in the workplace. Emotionally intelligent people are those who exhibit such qualities as empathy, a collaborative spirit, and ambition.

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, by Joshue Foer

A delightful exploration of memory — what it is and how it can be developed. This book has helped me to understand more clearly the concept of the “memory palace” and how to use it as a memory tool. Foer describes his year-long effort to train himself to be a “mental athlete.”

ARB — 2 Nov. 2012

Release Creativity by Exposing Yourself to Contrary Views

January 22, 2010

I find that exposing myself to a wide variety of viewpoints is a great practice as a creative person. The way the world is now, many people tend to seek out information resources that reinforce their own ideas.

Usually, sticking with the familiar just results in everyday closed-mindedness. But at its worst, it can result in extremism and hatred.

Even though my world-view is very different from that of author Barbara Ehrenreich, I like to read her books, as she is very good at zeroing in on things that are wrong with the world. I recently finished her book Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America — a highly-recommended expose.

Recently I also read in immediate succession two writers with very different politics and found that their views converged in one very surprising way — see “Social Critics on Social Darwinism: How Rushkoff and Wiker Converge” for a dual review of Life Inc. — How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back, by media critic Douglas Rushkoff and 10 Books That Screwed Up the World — and 5 Others That Didn’t Help, by theologian Benjamin Wiker.

I also think documentary films are a fruitful area for encountering contrarian views — see my post “Some documentaries that make you think.

AB — 22 January 2010