Mind Performance Hacks, Book Review and Notes - I

21-4-2006

Mind Performance HacksThis is one of the best books which I read recently. It opened several new doors in my mind. Whole book is about some hacks (includes 75 hacks) for your mind such as mnemonic tricks, being more productive, doing math simply, overcoming stage fright etc.

Book really helps you to find out the potential in your own brain. Book categorized hacks under 8 main chapters;

I'm not going to give brief explanation about every hack because some of them are not for me. Thus this list includes my favorites. But you should taste this book by yourself and decide which hacks are OK for you.

This is the first part of my favorites;


Write Faster #14
Be sure about that, this is not the best hack but it deserves some attention. Hack describes a simple syntax to take notes faster and talk about Short Hand Systems

Speaks Your Brain Language #15
Ok, this is really good one. Simple and probably you already know something about it (just like other hacks) but now you can get the point better and you can find some good start points for you.

Hack is talking about Learning Styles and Theories. Find out how your brain (in which style?) assimilates information and go for it! Especially if you're working in an industry like computers, engineering, medical etc. which are require constant learning this is a great hack.

Hack describes VARK learning styles (Visual, Aural, Reading/Writing, Kinesthetic) and Honey & Mumford learning styles (Activist, Reflector, Theorist, Pragmatist).

Also this is not just for your brain also its great information for teachers & trainers. So you can find most popular learning style for your audience then can develop and present your content in that way.
Also this is one of the sample hacks from the book. You can download it from O'Reilly's website: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/mindperfhks/chapter/hack15.pdf

Final Note: Also my best learning style is Reading/Writing (I guess) so maybe that's why I'm writing this.

Pre-Delete Cruft #18
I'm not quite sure that this is a good idea but definitely interesting. This hack offers you to set a deadline for all of your documents (hardcopy/softcopy), files and stuffs. Then delete them when they expired.

Yes you can loose some important stuffs but it's better than dealing with them for years! (maybe?) Also hack pointing to old memories and talking about destroying most of the memories (even good ones!). And personally I agree with the author. We'll get depressed generally even the memories are good.

In my humble opinion; for softcopies just go and buy new & bigger HDD or more recordable DVDs.

Seed Your Mental Random-Number Generator #19
This is a well known hack but selected metaphor is great. Author using random number generation routines of computer as a metaphor. As you know computers by themselves can not generate "real" random numbers. You should seed them with something unpredictable. That's why PGP or your favorite password safer software wants your mouse movements.

If you can not get anything really unpredictable you generally use PRNG (Pseudorandom number generator) algorithm to simulate it as soon as possible.

Just like computers you should seed your mind with completely different and unpredictable things! Then you can make something out of ordinary or new! Also hack refers to Hollywood Syndrome.

There is another branch of this. Generally experts in one area don't invent so much new things but experts in two or three areas or experts who have lots of hobbies develop really new things. Why, because they are seeding their brains with lots of different things. This is a way to break your own boundaries.

Contemplate Po #21
Po this hack!

Deck Yourself Out #23
A very good one. If you haven't heard about "Creativity Decks (Creative Whack Pack or Observation Decks)" before, this is great hack. Hack offers you give it a try to Creativity Decks.

Creativity Decks can help you to look at the things in an entirely different way which allows you to thinking different and dive into a good "opinion storm". See how they are looks like.

Constrain Yourself Out #24
We all know about "A Void" (La Disparation) which is 300 pages novel without "e" letter, Impressive! (It's a well known example as an exception in cryptography 101, frequency analysis topic). Just like this, make borders for yourself and you'll see that you can find out very different ways.

Also it reminds me Amiga scene and how it's not make-sense after 3D FX cards are only a tenner. Have you ever heard about Kkrieger, very good FPS in 98kb! Ok, in here we should think about bounds and state of the art development. So don't push yourself too much...

Play Mind Music #27
This is interesting not because of music could be good while working, it's interesting because I just learned an album called "Music for Airports". I hope it's not literal!

My recommendations about music for work stay away from vocals go for instrumental ones. Also Dj Tiesto and similar DJs would be good and maybe soundtrack albums like "Pi Soundtrack Album".

End of the first part of Mind Performance Hacks Notes... Until second part you can check out sample hacks from the book in PDF format.

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