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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Content or Presentation is King?

How can people not get seduced by content or what everyone else does? How can people focus instead on strengthening the constructive means - the How of thinking skills? What motivates people to remember to think?

Some ideation (the new word for "brainstorming") on those questions:
  • Make the content boring, funny or not make sense so the "How" becomes focal.
  • Need ways to compensate for time of arrival. (Blue hat, yes; but I'll bet there are further perceptual means & actions that might contribute to this.)
  • Enhance the meaning of the result - in a sense, make the goal more attractive. (Such as in story-telling and testimonials of how people have benefited.)
  • Make a way for people to interject as they are respond to what other people have done -" I could do better than that!!"
  • Appeal to people who love to brag or show and tell, they will popularize the activity to others and make it into a "fad." ( Bumper stickers, Badge of identity - "I Think Before Reacting. ...Usually!") ...would be great on a car bumper.
  • ;o)

OK, back to the question itself. For me, questions that are framed in "opposites" beg to be restated in the positive. (Thus, my proliferation of restatement.) What is "opposite" is culturally defined. Instead, take away the implication that one concept is at odds with the next concept.

Some of these could be:
How come thinking tools - and frameworks - improve thinking skills the way they do? Can we describe more about how thinking skills and examining the frames of how we are thinking work more effectively than discussion to better, problem solve & create?
Frames...Re-Framing...Why not draw more pictures (mind-mapping style) while linearly discussing to help note our tangents and return to what has been left out? (Mind-mapping in this case would be used during discussion as a variant of recognizing the value of framework.)

So, reversing the directive here: Transform discussion by applying tools of thought. (As opposed to the urge educated people usually have to imagine we can transform thought by applying tools of discussion, ie: taking turns at lecturing.)
Since, seldom is there "only one" answer to everything... once we ask that question some of the answers might be...
  • Take out the desire to convince (the debate model) from the discussion activity.
  • Go slow - speed of arrival tends to activate habitual routines, as well as get everyone excited & encourage them to compete for things like "most original", "fastest delivery", "limited time."(That's why this medium is so wonderful! I can take as much time as I need here.)
  • Ask specifically for a certain person's contribution. (This brings reticent people forward, because talking style doesn't have anything to do with thinking ability and this action might minimize competition.)
  • Ask others to figure out other ways to invite contributions.
  • Allow 'secret ballot' contributions. - (The idea of a free-play space without the authority of authorship where ideas are separated from who had them.)

Then the second question: Understanding vs Practical Application

Since I was a person who tended to use words such as "Never" and "Always" I have learned to spot these words as an indicator that some powerful assumptions could be in place that might benefit from examination and revision.
Idea: Identify certain words or perceptual cues as trigger indicators that Thinking Now Would Be A Good Idea

Let's say skillful use doesn't come from habit, it comes from fascination. (That has been the case with me.) How to foster fascination for applying what you "understand"?

Perhaps appeal to the "gamboling chance" of novelty: a significant result or insight often occurs unexpectedly. Hindsight is 20/20, but foresight is...boring and careful. What if thinking skills, i.e: foresight were presented as a way to get ready to be lucky? A way to shine intuition? A person would hone thinking skills because it would sometimes result in a "jackpot" of benefits. Most of these "jackpots" of major scientific discoveries come from noting accidents. Insights come from noting points that were never before combined.

These new accidents don't have a chance to happen if experimentation is not allowed. This photo taken by Marti Holland out his back window looks like a Maxwell Parish painting, but it's just a photo. "I make as many mistakes as it takes." - Kenneth Feldsott

So practicing the tapping of the unknown would extend tolerance for unfamiliarity. What is new feels strange, unclassified, so a tolerance for what feels strange at first needs to be practiced. Otherwise people revert to habitual means, and the ease of creative thinking is regarded as "hard to do."

This could be practiced at a perceptual level. (Provide people with perceptual illusion experiences to butter them up? Make them laugh?) Sustaining a state of unanswered, unknowable questioning enhances the ability to be open to spotting an assumption that had been overlooked, the inception of discovery. Perhaps there is a pre-discovery phase we are passing over without noticing? Make a list of your favorite virtual questions...