Pure signal.


I’m going to give away a secret today, just because no one has been looking in on my blog regularly so I am going to stick this in there like an Easter egg. It’s kind of doubly protected, because almost no-one is going to read it anyway, and most people who read it won’t try it — so what is the point you say? Well — someone shared it with me once, and I use it. Who knows how that happened, why I listened that day. Maybe today will be that day for you.

There are a million ways to train your intelligence — and one is as good as another. There are all different kinds of intelligence, but it all kind of comes down to the same thing. What one person explores in music, another does in poetry and another in biology. But what none of that trains is situational intelligence — or intuition.

Intuition can be trained, and it can be trained against. Rationalization trains against intuition — but stopping rationalization is incredibly hard. Training the intuition on the other hand is so easy that your going to be suspicious when I tell you how to do it — but I’m not charging you for it, so I don’t really care. If you don’t believe me, try it and see how it works — in fact, don’t believe me. Just try it and see how it works.

You develop your intuition by guessing. It’s like in math, where you have to posit something to start, and most people just sit around and say “How did you know what to posit?” and you just say, well, I just tried something, and then something else. But how did you know what to try people want to know. And there is only one answer: practice.

Start predicting the weather, ball games, the endings to TV shows, major news events. But this is the important part: you have to share your predictions with other people. When you’re watching the news, try to predict the outcomes of stories. But commit yourself — and when you are wrong, laugh and admit it. Predict hands in card games. Predict the outcomes of nights out with your friends. It doesn’t matter — in fact it should be cast as wide as possible. Predict things both inside and outside your areas of expertise.

Here is why it works: most people rationalize AFTER hearing outcomes to make themselves appear to be right. It feels good to be right, and we are hard-wired to do what feels good. But this shuts down our reasoning, because we aren’t actually trying to be right, we are trying to look right — so we look for ways that we are already right, and ways that we can take credit. This consumes¬†valuable sensory resources. By committing yourself in advance, you start investing in what is actually going on around you, and you activate your own curiosity. When you make a guess, you hear yourself (you probably think you already hear yourself — I would like to suggest that you hear yourself think less than you think you do.) So instead of focusing on PROVING that you were right, which involves selectively filtering reality to a preconceived picture (eliminating data), you get in the habit of actually observing TO SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN.

Make little bets of a nickle (don’t make big bets, because you want to be doing this all the time, and losing a lot of money will discourage you.)

When you are wrong ADMIT IT and check to see if you could have known it ahead of time.

If you do this just a few times every day, you will start to notice an effect immediately — you will actually start to be more aware and more spontaneous in your thinking. And if you are like most people, that will change everything about your life.

You’re welcome.


November 3, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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