Sunday, August 06, 2006

A brainstorming tip: systematically memorizing ten ideas and interesting thoughts from a brainstorm

This is a routine I've developed that I apply at the end of a brainstorm. I make a list of ten items from the brainstorm -- combining interesting ideas and interesting thoughts -- and systematically memorize them. Thus I can run through the list at later dates and see if the grey matter can provide any further insights or ideas.

Memory Systems

I use the memory systems documented by the likes of Tony Buzan and Harry Lorayne (his The Memory Book (with Jerry Lucas) introduced me to memory systems). The number-shape peg system is a good method. With this method you write the numbers 0 - 9 and consider what objects the numbers resemble.

0 = hole in the ice
1 = telegraph pole
2 = swan
3 = breasts
etc.

Then you write your list of ten items and associate each item (often using ridiculous, exaggerated imagery) with the number-shape objects.

0 (hole in the ice) + 'what if you had to buy a cat every time you buy a dog?' = see a mischievous dog throwing a terrified cat down a hole in the ice

1 (telegraph pole) + Idea: a second water supply to each house with untreated water for use in the garden = see your neighbour climbing a telegraph pole to access a tap at the top

etc.

Fake dinosaur trivia

Here's some "fake dinosaur trivia" I have memorized and that I keep reviewing:

1) Some dinosaurs were so dumb they would literally attack their own reflection in water
2) A dinosaur desperately in need of fluid would pierce its own skin and drink its blood
3) Some sea-dwelling dinosaurs would produce a "siren call" that would lure unsuspecting dinosaurs into the water
4) Some dinosaurs would "play dead" before attacking an unsuspecting prey
5) A dinosaur would never attack a dinosaur of the same species
6) Smaller dinosaurs had larger territories than larger dinosaurs
7) If a carnivore ate a herbivore the carnivore would vomit the contents of the herbivore's stomach
8) The T-rex could run faster on an incline than it could on level ground
9) Some carnivores could guarantee themselves a greater number of prey by producing a rancid smell that would scare other carnivores from the area
10) The dinosaurs died out when herbivores starting killing other herbivores to use as decoys

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