Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lucid dreaming

Am currently working on some new lucid dreaming techniques I'm hoping to share soon.

Monday, August 17, 2015

CLMR Options

This CLMR acronym is a tool for assumption busting. (Pronounced as "Calmer".)

My daughter turned to me one day and said, "Let's draw a robot!" If we went straight to the task we'd probably end up drawing a typical cartoon-style robot. However, the CLMR acronym suggests we take a pause, take a step back, and look at other options that are just as valuable.The letters stand for:

C = Create
L = List
M = Make up (Guess or Lie)
R = Research

If we want to draw a robot and the directive we have in mind is "draw a robot" then the CLMR options would suggest:

Create a robot 

We'd ignore existing robots and wade into the creative process to generate our own idea of a robot.

List Robot

We'd make a list of existing robots. Robots from movies, fiction, books, etc. We could select one to draw.

Make up

We could guess about either a robot that existed or one that will exist. For example, we could make a guess about what robots will appear in future Star Wars movies. We could guess what ideas were considered during the preliminary design stages of C3PO or R2D2 etc. All guesswork - no wrong answers!


Imagination can run riot for the lie! We could imagine that a robot had been invented to help round the home. What would it look like? What jobs would it do?


To do research we could pick one of the robots listed above (by the List option) and do some research on it. A good place to start is an image search. Obviously Wikipedia, too. 

DO IT technique

This is a nice simple process to approach creativity.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hindsight-How to...More and More

As explained in the FOLIO Simplified  post, the How to...more and more (which was called "Creative-mentor" in that FOLIO simplified post) nudges thinking towards creative thinking. It's like I imagine there's a mentor with me who sets a creative challenge, with the challenges always being in the same format. Here's some examples of challenges in the How to...more and more format:

How to make (reading) more and more (enjoyable).
How to make (libraries) more and more (popular).
How to make (paper books) more and more (durable).
How to make (my singing) more and more (melodious).
How to make (learning maths) more and more (painless).

Obviously those are all simple, creative challenges. The template to form challenges like that would be:

How to make (topic) more and more (random adjective).

Purpose of Hindsight-How to...more and more

The purpose of the Hindsight-how to...more and more (that's getting to be a bit of a mouthful!) is to generate more angles on a topic, more perspectives. Especially with a view to generating ideas.

The Hindsight-how to... more and more

To do a Hindsight how to...more and more, I pick an idea and ask:

If this idea were the product of a challenge in the format "How to make (topic) more and more (adjective)", what would the specifics of that challenge be? What would have been in the "topic" and "adjective" sections?

For example, if I had this idea:

Go swimming more often.

then I can reason that swimming has an effect on my body (thus "my body" is the topic), and an adjective that would describe the changes I want to happen to my body could be "fit". Thus:

How to make (my body) more and more (fit).

Or I could reason that my swimming has an effect on the local swimming pool, and an adjective that describes the changes to swimming pool is "profitable". Thus:

How to make (local swimming pool) more and more (profitable).

Some more possibilities could be:

How to make (my weekends) more and more (varied).
How to make (my childhood learnings) more and more (relevant). 

Thus, just from the simple starting idea of  "go swimming more often", the Hindsight-How to...more and more produces the following information - new angles and perspectives:

My body
Making my body fitter
The local swimming pool
Making the local swimming pool more profitable
My weekends
Making my weekends more varied
My childhood learnings
Re-applying my childhood learnings

All of these are great areas to think about about and apply some creative thinking. 

Other focuses

In the above examples I've applied the Hindsight-How to...more and more  just to ideas, but I can apply it to anything - objects, beliefs, people, activities, thought experiments, problems, goals, etc. For example, for the topic: my pet dog,  the Hindsight-how to...more and more could give:

How to make (my home) more and more (friendly).
How to make (the weekly food shop) more and more (expensive).(!)
How to make (my walks) more and more (enjoyable).

As another example, for the topic the moon I can have in my mind the idea that the moon was the product of a Hindsight-How to...more and more, almost like it was the product of a creative project - like someone sat down and invented the moon! Thus:

How to make (the solar system) more and more (full).
How to make (the sea) more and more (tidal).
How to make (the night sky) more and more (bright).

More examples applied to ideas

So, here I apply Hindsight-How to...more and more to end up with a sentence in the format:

How to make (topic) more and more (adjective).

The ideas are underlined in italics, and the result of the Hindsight-How to...more and more  (a How to...more and more) is under each one.

Link up with people reading the same book.

= How to make (book's readership) more and more (familiar).

What's the best way to find books that might interest me?

= How to make (my resources) more and more (productive)

How to relearn everything I've forgotten since leaving school?

= How to make (my old textbooks) more and more (useful) 

Make reading obsolete by inventing a way to download books to your brain.

= How to make (the human brain) more and more receptive. 

Could I get a kindle?

How to make (my reading habits) more and more (frequent).

I could go through my books and sort them out.

How to make (my book shelf) more and more (organised). 

I could read more non-fiction.

How to make (my reading habits) more and more (diversified). 

I could dig a book out right now and read.

How to make (my present moment) more (productive).

Could I read some of the classics?

How to make (my reading mindset) more (experimental)?

Could I make a list of the books I enjoyed as a child and pass them on to my children?

How to make (my childhood experiences) more and more (influential).

Contribute to the local library. Give some books away.

How to make (my old books) more and more(appreciated).

Read a book that doesn't interest me at all.

How to make (my cerebral pursuits) more and more (adventurous).

Write critical reviews of books I hate on Amazon.

How to make (my book opinions) more and more (widespread).

Try to design a cover for a book.

How to make (my creativity) more and more (design-oriented).  

Live in a cave and spend all day reading.

How to make (my life) more and more (bizarre). 

Read Chairman Mao's Little Red Book.

How to make (the world's famous books) more and more familiar. 

Read up on understanding the economy.

How to make (my financial knowledge) more and more (diverse).

Taking a Step Towards Creativity

I can get creative by simply replacing any adjective with another random adjective. For example, with:

How to make (my creativity) more and more (design-oriented).

I can replace the design-oriented with:

How to make (my creativity) more and more (splashy)
Interpretation = How to make my creativity more involved with generating family fun.

How to make (my creativity) more and more (relaxing)
Interpretation = Maybe...how to make a creative contribution to the areas of meditation and mindfulness. Develop a new mindfulness technique maybe?

How to make (my creativity) more and more (lazy)
Interpretation = I usually sit down at a desk and graft out ideas (especially when writing jokes). Why not try just "planting seeds" in my mind, have an incubation period, and see what my mind comes up with by inspiration?

More examples

Original: How to make (the human brain) more and more (receptive)
Alternative: How to make (the human brain) more and more (secure)
Interpretation: What would be ways to make the brain safer from accidents?

Original: How to make (the present moment) more and more (productive).
Alternative: How to make (the present moment) more and more (smelly).
Interpretation: Put some incense on!

Original: How to make (my childhood experiences) more and more (influential).
Alternative: How to make (my childhood experiences) more and more (nocturnal).
Interpretation: An idea that appeals this!...Use lucid dreaming experiences to revisit memories from my childhood.

See also:

How to create a list of adjectives quickly

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My memory technique

On my John's Memory Systems blog I've posted a memory technique I've devised, the Adjective and Verb memory technique.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Current Projects

Haven't been posting prolifically for quite a while, but I've still been working very hard on my ideas. These are my current projects:

Writing Jokes

This took over my life! I'd long viewed the writing of jokes as a great exercise in lateral thinking. I honed my joke writing to the point where I was good enough to do stand up comedy in pubs and clubs. It went really well. I continue to work on my joke writing.

The "Alternative Pivot"

This became an obsession.When you are thinking about a subject creatively and you make a switch in focus that leads to new ideas, what is the "thinking pivot" that led to the switch? How can you devise strategies that mean you can consciously make such switches?

For example: You are doing the classic creativity exercise - listing as many uses for a paperclip as possible. Standard responses would be along the lines of:

Link them and use as a chain.
Make a hair clip
Wrap the paperclip round a pencil to make a spring.
Use to clean fingernails.
A bookmark.

However, a switch in thinking may happen. This switch could lead to viewpoints such as these:

Google for "uses for a paperclip" to get ideas from other lists on the net.
Contact paperclip manufacturers to find uses.
Start a blog called "Listing uses for paperclips" and get ideas from other people.
Make a list of other paperclips that are available instead of the standard type. (For example, you can buy giant paperclips and these may suggest a catalogue of other uses that become apparent because of its size.)

These kind of switches can happen by chance, but I want to make the switching more systematic.

Another good example is what I call the "British Rail Trick" that I saw on a programme many years ago. A group of executives from British Rail went for a first  meeting with  an advertising agency about doing some adverts for British Rail. When the executives arrived they were made to wait in a room. The agency kept them waiting two hours.Eventually they brought them coffee but the coffee was cold. Eventually a person working for the advertising agency entered the room, smiled and said, "Our job is to ensure your passengers don't feel how you feel right now."

How was the person who came up with the idea for this stunt come up with the idea? How did they switch their focus to thinking about how they could utilise a time that is usually taken for granted - the time spent in a waiting room - to make a clever point? With "normal" thinking the meeting would probably have been a routine meeting about what the agency could offer, and the real creativity would happen when the agency sat down to make up adverts.But with a switch in thinking the agency came up with a novel approach.

What is the alternative-pivot that would systematically lead to this type of "switch thinking"?
I've made good progress and I'll be posting soon.

The "4th 'R'"

This is thought-experiment territory. In school you learn the importance of the "Three 'R's" - reading, writing and arithmetic. Is there another 'R' that is just as important but is missing? What could this 4th-R be? I think it could be something along the lines of "option management" - a bundle of strategies that can be used to be introspective about our life and think creatively and productively about the concepts that make up who we are and what we do in our life.

For example, my wife suggested the idea that we should devote Saturday mornings to playing with our daughter. A very simple idea but you could - as with many other simple ideas - get through a life without considering that option - even though it's utterly simple. How to structure your own thinking so that options like that become available? My thoughts about this are related to my thoughts about the alternative-pivot - you need to find a thinking strategy that makes your thinking switch to considering options that are available.

Systematic Fiction Project

Been working on this one for fourteen years now! I've made some great progress, with most of the breakthroughs coming from the type of thinking I've had to do when juggling concepts around in my head while trying to write jokes.

First you need an "idea hook". That is, a simple idea for a story/scenario that makes you think, "Wow, that's a good idea for a story! I wonder what happened?" Then you need to develop a story in a way I call "Idea to idea": That is, you have your idea-hook but need to find the next inspiring idea to give the story its next direction; an idea that inspires you and gets your brain thinking about possibilities. 

The "Fake Day" 

I keep a diary - the sort where I write the day's events. I want to be able to create a diary with "fake days" where I create events for a future diary that are plausible but creative. This may help with other creativity techniques.

Lucid Dreaming Techniques

I'm not happy with the current techniques out there to achieve lucid dreaming. They seem like a lot of work for little returns. We might find out in the future that these techniques are indeed the best way to achieve lucidity, but until then I'm going to assume there's a great technique to achieve regular lucidity that we haven't discovered yet. 

Thursday, March 06, 2014

A New Blog About Lucid Dreaming Experiments

I've started a new blog where I'll be posting my lucid dreaming experiments (I don't want to clutter up this blog with all the experiments I'm doing!) The most important challenge there is to simply find strategies that lead to the most lucid dreams.

Lucid Dreaming Experiments 

 I'll be posting some new creativity techniques on this blog very soon.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

SSILD Lucid Dreaming Technique

There is now a blog about the SSILD lucid dreaming technique:

SSILD lucid dreaming