Category: Learning

Publishing without being ready is liberating.

I got this idea from Maggie Appleton (Twitter: @Mappletons):

A coming soon section for unfinished work by Maggie Appleton

Perfectionism requires imperfect accommodations

Maggie Appleton

This practice has been so liberating for me, as a chronic perfectionist who needs constant pushing to publish consistently. I know I do good work, but it’s always been clouded by fear of failure even though I know it’s counterproductive. Like a battle of wills for myself. Argh.

And this is why it’s been hard for me to publish consistently. It always has been.

Which is why I’ve decided to fight back.

I’ve silently published 4 (!) new posts over the past hour. These are book notes that I’ve been writing for the past month.

The reason why I think this works so well for books is because for non-fiction books, I skip around a lot and consume information just in time, not just in case. This means my information diet is very lean, because the focus is all focused towards consistent focus so I could chip away at my goals.

Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono – Notes by Celz Alejandro

This Page is a Work in Progress

Please nag me on Twitter @celzalejandro to finish this.
  • #Status as of !(2020-05-15) #Hold
  • Lateral thinking has the same basis as insight, creativity, and humor.
  • de Bono argues that creativity, insight, and humor are things you can’t really harness, whereas lateral thinking is more deliberate
  • THe best way to incept a new idea to change the status quo is to do it from the inside out. From the existing information already available in one’s mind, sintead of as an external thing that is very aliean and foreign trying to find its way in.
  • Insight is the only way to change an idea when information cannot be evaluated objectively.
  • Education is not only about collecting large amounts of information, but is also about finding the best ways to use the said information. Many people forget the second half, and only hoard information like a doomsday meal prepper hoarding toilet paper.
  • Progress happens fast when ideas lead information instead of the other way around. But we are yet to develop any practical tool for handling insight
  • The mind is super efficient at pattern recognition. Once patterns are formed and recognized, they are often used. The more a pattern is used the more it becomes embedded firmly into a system.
  • This pattern usage is very efficiant when it comes to handling information. INstead of needing to know 100% of the information, the brain needs just enough to identify anything that migth be a pattern and uses that as a reference point when handling a situation.
    • typoglycemia? A cognitive principle in our brain can read the words as a whole and not letter by letter, unless the word is unknown.
  • It’s easy to think of our brains as a computer, but it is more accurate to think of it as a self-organizing environment optimized for pattern formation. This is the “effectivenesss of the mind”
  • There are, of course, limitations. While patterns are easy form, they can be very difficult to restructure. Restructuring patterns is needed for insight and humor. Creativity also involves restructuring, but its more focused on exiting the pattern itself more than working with existing patterns.
  • Lateral thinking involves restructuring and emerging new patterns.
  • Creativity is a description of result, lateral thinking is a description of process.
  • In order to use creativity, we need to shed the mistaken notion that creativity is only a mysterious force that only afew are blessed to have. Instead, we need to see creativity for what it is: a way of handling information.
  • Lateral thinking is all about generating new ideas. It is different from the traditional way of thinking — vertical thinking.
  • Vertical thinking is all about sequential thinking, moving one step at a time in a set sequence.
  • Lateral thinking means being wrong at some stage in order to achieve a correct solution. In vertical thinking such as in logic or math, steps need to be sequential to arrive at a particular solution. There may be various solutions, but they all arrive at the same thing.
  • Lateral thinking deliberately seeks out irrelevant information, while vertical thinking deliberately weeds out irrelevant information.
  • Both types of thinking ar eimportant and complementary.
  • Lateral thinking is generative (General), vertical thinking is sleective (Specialized)
    • Related to generalists and specialists and polymaths.
  • Lateral thinking tempers the arrogance of the rigidity of the conclusion brought about by vertical thinking. Therefore, it gretly enhances vertical thinking.
  • Vertical thinking, on the other hand, further develops insights made by lateral thinking, fleshing it out, making it make more sense.
  • “You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hold deeper”
  • The purpose of thinking is to collect the best information and to find what it’s best used for
    • Have this same mindset coming into BASB. We are too often caught up wondering what we’re doing is right or wrong. Too much asking, not neough trusting. Too much ertical thinking, not enough lateral thinking.
  • Traditional vertical thinking can only refine existing patterns, not restructure them.
  • “Lateral thinking is concerned with restructuring such patterns (insight) and provoking new ones (creativity).”
  • Organization of the book
    • The book is organized as such: An individual chapter is divided into two parts. the first part is the background material or theory, while the second half is all about practical application of the concepts presented.
  • 1. The way the mind works
  • 2. Difference between lateral and vertical thinking
    • “Vertical thinking is selective, lateral thinking is generative”
      • Vertical thinking is convergence, lateral thinking is divergence

Time Traveling with Progressive Summarization

Better highlighting and note-taking techniques. A short guide to Progressive Summarization.

Why do Progressive Summarization

Progressive Summarization (PS) is an annotation technique that’s so simple it makes you wonder why no one else has thought of it before. It involves multiple passes, and you don’t have to do it all in one sitting. Here’s why you should do it.

Capturing information in the digital age is easy. So easy, in fact, that you can capture everything and forget about it. I bet you have a collection of notes somewhere gathering digital dust.

Information hoarding is a problem. 

We hoard information because it gives us an illusion of knowledge. Ever consumed so much information that you feel like you’re getting smarter?

There’s nothing wrong with this if your goal is just to enjoy it and nothing more. But if your goal is to actually get smarter, then we need to smash some misconceptions.


Continuous Learning

Digital Lettering May 2020 by Celz Alejandro

Learning should be a lifetime thing.

Personally, the thought of stopping my learning is horrifying. Learning has always been enjoyable for me. Or perhaps, I understand that there is a difference between learning and studying.

Studying has always felt constrictive, like a ruler that measures you against the average, and quantifying your success based on numbers. Learning, on the other hand, is freedom. With each passing idea becoming a feather in your cap, and eventually becoming your wings.

Learning is fun, but we don’t always have time for it.

“Life happens,” we say. But isn’t learning part of life? That’s why I’ve learned to stop saying that. Instead, I’m calling it for what it is — being caught up with obligations.

We feel that we have too many responsibilities, and we’ve long stopped learning about things that excites us, even as hobbies. A proposal: You don’t have to say no to either obligations or hobbies.

Instead, practice your hobbies in The Gap.