cogitans alta voce 

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Constraints on Thinking

Thinking out loud here. This is a rough cut.

What are the constraints on thinking and solving?

  • Metaphors, particularly un-acknowledged metaphors.
  • Language itself, where concepts not expressible in our language are beyond our ken or ability to reason. For example, the lack of a French word for “like” (as in “I like ponies”).
  • Semantics, where the choice of word is a rhetorical device to influence thinking. For example, political correctness.
  • Grand narratives, which require axioms and conclusions to conform to a common model that explains how the world works. Ideas that do not fit (eg “3% growth year on year is exponential and therefore unsustainable indefinitely”) cannot be processed.
  • Alliteration. If a mnemonic for remembering a list of things starts with the same letter for the first 3 items, there is increasing pressure to name each successive item with a word starting with the same letter. 

Wondering if there are others…


Test Podcast Post

Here’s a Podcast test. The content from is Radio National’s show on innovation (24 August 2011).

Personal Podcast Feed

This is my personal podcast feed. For video and audio that I’ve “saved for later” but that’s not already in podcast format.

Note: Actual publication date for this post was 31 December 2012, but I’ve back dated it for post sorting reasons. And also, it’s a test. :)

Sydney Aquarium

Sydney Harbour

Now why didn’t I think of that?

Part of my love-hate relationship with the Internet.

This is why Twitter was invented. :-)

Google payment patent?

Why has Google engineer Ramy Dodin applied for a patent that is for payment processing? As per his patent application for:

“A computer-implemented method of effectuating an electronic on-line payment includes receiving at a computer server system a text message from a payor containing a payment request representing a payment amount sent by a payor device operating independently of the computer server system, determining a payment amount associated with the text message and debiting a payor account for an amount corresponding to the amount of the payment request, and crediting an account of a payee that is independent of the computer server system.”

All very interesting – need to keep an eye out for a Google product that uses this.


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