Counterintuition Used as Thinking Inspiration

A counterintuitive proposition is one that does not seem likely to be true. Using your intuition or gut feeling it simply does not make sense.

brunette girl making funny face
Brunette girl making funny face on white background. Joy concept

Carefully study the picture below. What do you see? Please, wait for a minute before you answer


It makes sense to believe that there a specific cluster in the picture. We are prone to believe that the random distribution are non-random  – clustering illusion.

Many scientifically discovered theories are often called counterintuitive when intution and  emotions tell us that the suggestion is wrong. Many aspects of general relativity may sound counterintuitive to a non-physicist while a physicist with his or her focus on this aspect of the world may consider it to be intuitive concepts.

Use this list of things that we take for granted to prepare an imaginary mini Ted-Talk about counterintuition. What is a mini-Ted talk?  We could define it as a 5 minute speech.

  • During WWII,  Abraham Wald was asked to help the British decide where to add armor to their bombers. Abraham, a statistician, had only data from planes that returned to Britain, and he  recommended adding more armor to the places where there was no damage.
  • Be willing to start all over again to create something better – self-sabotage to prevent yourself from being complacent.
  • Bottling up your anger may be good (there is a link between anger and biological risks factors for heart disease).
  • 0.99999  . . . equals 1
  • Repeating self-help mantras such as I am a lovable person can do more harm than good.
  • Repeat mistakes until you really learn the lesson. It is tricky to learn something worthwhile after just one try.

    Can you think of situations when the counterintuitive quotes makesr sense? And can you think of any more counterintuitive examples? Click here for inspiration.

    Tips for making a great TED-talk can be found here. It is  a great thinking exercise to imagine that you have to deliver a speech. It helps to focus your attention on vital aspects and to search for ways to deliver a strong message.



Thin-slicing : the power of intuition – Thinkibility Boost


Building up Intuition is “thin-slicing”

In an earlier post,  we discussed the relation between Reasoning and Intuition on the basis of Kahneman’s two interrelated thinking systems. One is fast, intuitive reactive and emotional. The other is slow, deliberate, methodical and rational. Although he acknowledges that the mind functions thanks to a delicate, intricate and sometimes difficult balance between the two systems, his book Thinking, Fast and Slow is mainly about biases of intuition. And to prevent them, we ought to be less thinking-lazy. That is to say that we must mobilize more often System 2: the laborious process of analysis. We recommended this book in our post Reasoning versus Intuition.

Basically, from childhood on a mindset is stamped in the brain “Don’t trust your Intuition”. It is a result of the scientific revolution. The result is that intuition is highly undervalued. But there are many situations where there is no room for rational thinking, yet there have to be an action, a judgement  or a decision. In such a situation the use of intuition is a last resort and we had better to be trained for it.

  • there is too little information available
  • there is too much information
  • the situation is too complex to analyse methodically
  • a quick reaction is required
  • a situation wherein someone is overwhelmed by emotions

There are also many positives of using intuition:

  • it allows for a much broader and sensitive exploration of a subject or situation
  • it can grasp soft notions about a subject or intangible aspects
  • it is very useful in situation when something cannot be caught in words
  • it draws on valuable experience
  • non-verbal clues (smell, taste, bodily signals) are mostly not available in language
  • it is less likely to get caught up in red herrings or distractions
  • there is no need  for justification (that is per definition impossible and not to trust anyway if tried)

There are not merely advantages of intuitive thinking. Sometimes it even outperforms rational systematic thinking.

In an earlier blog post Inteligent Gossip by the Watercooler we mentioned already Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, a 2005 book by Malcolm Gladwell. It is all about  mental processes that work rapidly and automatically from relatively little information. Although a substantial part of his book is addressing the pitfalls of intuitive thinking such as priming and stereotypes we recommend this book because it illustrates the powerful performance of what Gladwell calls “Thin-slicing“.

Thin-slicing or Rapid Cognition refers to the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in situations and behavior based on very narrow slices of experience. It is the power of knowing in the first two seconds. It is a system in which our brain reaches conclusions without immediately telling us that it is reaching conclusions. Whenever we meet someone for the first time, we interview someone for a job, we react to a new idea or face with a decision quickly and under stress we use this “split second” system. When we leap to a decision or have a hunch, our unconsciousness is sifting through the situation in front of us, throwing all that is irrelevant while we zoom in on what really matters. However, it is buried somewhere in our unconscious, and we couldn’t dredge it up.

This skill is not  magically given to a couple of fortunate people. It is a skill that we can all cultivate by ourselves. Snap judgement and first impressions can be educated and controlled. It is possible to learn when to listen and when to be wary of it.

Below are some examples of Thin-slicing:

  • By a “Blink of an Eye” an art historian outperformed months of scientific analysis of a piece of art that turned out to be a forgery.
  • In an experiment with manipulated game cards sweat glands below the skin in the palms of hands of gamblers were measured.  It proved that they knew unconsciously forty cards before they were able to say that they the cards were manipulated. But moreover, they begun to behave accordingly to their unconscious stress reactions, long before they became consciously aware of what adjustments to make.
  • Marriages have a distinct pattern, a kind of DNA that surfaces in any case of meaningful interaction. After training it is possible to “read” or “decode” those patterns and predict divorce within 3 minutes, without  asking husbands and wives questions about the state of their marriage. In another experiment non-experts were given a list of emotions to look for. They predicted with better than 80 percent accuracy which marriages were going to make it.
  • It showed that in a hospital that more information did not lead to better diagnoses. Actually, the role of much in itself relevant factors was small in determining what was happening. An accurate diagnosis could be made without them. It showed also that many times doctors would do better if they knew less about their patients. The very desire for confidence by doing more tests and gathering more information from the patient was precisely what ended up undermining the accuracy of their diagnosis.
  • In an electronic war game one aircraft carrier, ten cruisers and five out of six amphibious ships were sent to the bottom of the Persian Gulf in the span of just one hour, resulting in the virtual death of over 20.000 US service personnel. It showed the failure of a doctrine which is called Information Dominance: databases and matrices and methodologies for systematically understanding the intentions and capabilities of the enemy. The conducting of a thoroughly rational and rigorous analysis that covered every conceivable contingency apparently destroyed the capabilities of rapid cognition.

First impressions are notorious difficult to put into words. Some people always make a note of the first word that goes through their heads. In others a visual image  imposes itself automatically. Some people  get it hot or cold. Others experience abdominal or stomach spasm.  Others experience a strong emotion or get dizzy. 

Sliced kiwi

The information is in a thin-slice

It is interesting to ponder about the consequences of living in a world that assumes that the quality of a decision is directly related to the time and effort that went into making it. That it is much easier to listen to scientists and lawyers because they could provide pages and pages of documentation and conclusions than “reading your inner state”. 

Could we design “structures of spontaneity” where improvisation, without a script or a plot,  and reacting to the environment is less calculated and rationalized but instead promote picking up instinctively  a truth?

Could we develop intuition systematically?

Intuition Explains Everything!


Important decisions such as who we should marry, whether to take a job or not, are often made based on intuition, we do not simply weigh pros and cons. Something else influences our decision.

Gerd Gigerenzersays that it is capacities that have evolved over thousands of years – our ability to trust, imitate and love. Computing the optimal solution for a problem relies on techniques where “all the factors” are known. Gigerenzer provides an alternative to the view of the mind as a cognitive optimizer, and a cognitive miser. In contrast to Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tverski who suggested that intuition fails to respect rules of logic and thus make people prone to biases and mistakes, Gigerenzer sees it as tool that has adapted through evolution.

Hunches may provide powerful insights into an issue, adding a fresh perspective or leading to new ideas and suggestions. Judges may uses hunches when they make a decision, there is wisdom in lack of knowledge, and more information may not always be better.

Yet it is vital to be aware of the limits of intuition. This is a question that Ludwig Wittengenstein used to give to is students to help them explore the limits of intuition. If you are a dressmaker or mathematicians, you may get it right. If you are neither, you might struggle to get close to the answer, and even worse, you may just like me, struggle to understand how the answer can be right!

You want to tie a string around the Earth. You stretch the string round it tightly.

Now remove the string and add 1 metre to its length.

Wrap the string round the Earth again, such that it is equidistant from the surface all the way round.

What is the height of the string above the Earth’s surface?

  • Can you slip a hair under it?
  • A credit card?
  • Could you trip over it?

Let us assume the Earth is a perfect sphere. And you find the answer here.

This example shows that intuition is not a mysterious kind of thinking. The dressmaker and the mathematician has experience of these kinds of problems and they use it solve the problem.

It is also easy to believe that certain rules lead to something predicable. And here our intuition may be wrong again. John Conway’s Game of Life is an example of  when something different may happen.. The inspiration of this blog post comes from Brian Eno’s “The Limits of Intuition”, from the book “This Explains Everything” edited by John Brockman. Warmly recommended.

You can read more about intuition and experts here and here.

Photo “Plastic Rope” by Feelart

Reasoning versus Intuition

Many people regard Reasoning the opposite of Intuition. Reasoning is rational thinking using logic, while Intuition is unconscious, a paranormal gift, a magical awareness not accessible for normal humans, or a connectivity to an all knowing esoteric field.

However, psychologists have proposed a dual-process theoryof the mind. The output of “thinking” could be the result of two hypothesized processes. Often, the two processes consist of an implicit (automatic), unconscious process and an explicit (controlled), consciousprocess.

Daniel Kahneman, in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow,  summarizes research that he conducted over decades about human thinking errors.

He assumes that System 1 recognizes patterns from the associative memory. System 1 is lazy, biased, automatic, and performs nearly effortless. It produces quirks, ideas, feelings, foolish thoughts, inappropriate impulses, intuitive judgements, extreme predictions and planning fallacies. It provokes overconfidence.

A hypothesized System 2 is involved in deliberate Reasoning. It focuses attention, but is not effortless. The activating of System 2 processes can be perceived by dilated pupils and increased arousal. The function of System 2 is to prevent disastrous outcomes of System 1 processes, however  the performance of System 2 is rather poor. It has a limited ability, has to be used deliberately and is slowly. It monitors System 1, endorses, rationalizes and apologizes for the output of System 1. Because of the flaws System 1 could produce it has many tasks to do: controlling System 1, improving, comparing, recognizing errors and perception of risks. The main purpose of System 2 is to prevent the laziness of System 1 in assuming that what you see is all there is.

Some scientists assume that System 1 and System 2 are physically different located in the brain. Also, that System 1 is evolutionary older than System 2. System 1 developed as a need of Early Humans for fast Fight or Flight decisions, closely linked to sympathetic nervous system.

In order to prevent the systematic errors System 1 produces, especially in complex reasoning tasks, Kahneman stresses that we need to reflect on our thinking processes. He concludes that we have developed poor tools, that we are missing a vocabulary to think and to communicate about our thinking. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, there are some hilarious examples of this Thinking Vocabulary.

Some concepts Kahneman mentions, all responsible for several biases, are

  • Duration neglect – the neglect of the duration of an episode in determining its value
  • Framing effect – drawing different conclusions from the same information, depending on how or by whom that information is presented.
  • Anchoring: the tendency to rely too heavily, or “anchor,” on a past reference or on one trait or piece of information when making decisions.
  • Loss aversion – the disutility of giving up an object is greater than the utility associated with acquiring it.
  • Zero-risk bias – preference for reducing a small risk to zero over a greater reduction in a larger risk.
  • Halo effect – the tendency for a person’s positive or negative traits to “spill over” from one area of their personality to another in others’ perceptions of them
  • Peak-end rule: that people seem to perceive not the sum of an experience but the average of how it was at its peak (e.g. pleasant or unpleasant) and how it ended.

Especially noteworthy are:

  • Base rate fallacy or base rate neglect – the tendency to base judgements on specifics, ignoring general statistical information, and
  • Planning fallacy – the tendency to underestimate task-completion times.

A remedy against these cognitive biases, is Reference Class Forecasting, which predicts the outcome of a planned action based on actual outcomes in a reference class of similar actions to that being forecast.

Research into decision making has a long tradition in looking for errors in rational reasoning, and is heavenly grounded in rationalism. That is, the notion that the only way to knowledge is by rational and logical reasoning. However, last decades there has been a reassessment of the -assumed dominant negative- role of intuition in decision making. We will explore this in another blog post.

Photo: “Season Trees” by njaj

Innovation and Intuition

A buzzword like innovation tends to lure us into false security. It is tempting to believe that innovation is simply something that you can inject into an organisation.  Today, every company says that it got innovation. The definition of the term varies from inventing a new product that has never existed to turning an overlooked commodity into a consumer snack like Craisins. Often the term is used to describe what is seen as “a very good product”.

But what is it? And what do you do? Set of rules for innovation can be contrasted with an approach that allows intuition and serendipity to play a part in the innovative process. Treating creativity either as something that simply happens or only happens in a structured way is perhaps not a fruitful approach. Each and everyone of us may have a personal preference for a certain approach, yet awareness of when to use creativity techniques and tools and when to rely on intuition is necessary.

Designing a framework for innovation where tools are used does not mean that there is no room for intuition. A mixture is good. Understanding of positive and negative aspects of different approaches helps us utilize the different approaches. Treating structure or serendipity as the enemy of creativity is not fruitful.

A framework for setting objectives and managing expectations is a necessary step in an innovation. Yet an idea may suddenly hit us that are not the fruit of a conscious use of a creative session. We may “feel” that this is right. An intuition is a perception of something that is beyond our “normal” range, yet still close enough to make us feel that something is sensible. It can be something that we usually take for granted without considering what we mean when we are referring to it – lacks a clear definition.

Intuition is often regarded as being independent of any reasoning process. Previously the term was often linked to the word irrational. Today, this narrow view has changed and intuition can refer to the skill that people use to making fast decisions. We can use intuition to know which solution we are going to use to make decisions.

Intuitively we may know that there is a connection between innovation and intuition. The creativity stimulus theory of Roger von Oech suggests that would-be innovators regard problems and opportunities from four distinct, apparently inconsistent perspectives. Roger von Oech suggests that the creative process consists of our adopting  roles, each of which embodies a different type of thinking.

  • Explorer –  a  thinker needs the raw materials from which new ideas are made: facts, experiences, knowledge, concepts, feelings and whatever else he or she can find.
  • Artist –  experiment with a variety of approaches,  follow intuition, rearrange, ask what-if questions and look for hidden analogies.
  • Judge –  evaluate and critically weigh the evidence, look for drawbacks in the idea
  • Warrior –  take the idea into battle to make sure that it succeeds –  may have to overcome excuses, idea killers, and other obstacles.

Regardless of the perspective, intuitive judgement may be needed to separate the good from the bad. A systematic approach may sometimes fail to illuminate the way to sound decisions. But it is crucial to be awareness of when different approaches to innovation are being used.  A premature judgement is the enemy to the creative process. In a similar way as a too rigid reliance on using tools can result in rigid decisions.

According to Hogarth intuition relies on

  • The capacity for visualization
  • The skill to acknowledge feeling and learn from them
  • The willingness to speculate and consider alternatives
  • The habit of testing perceptions, emotions, and speculations

And so does innovation.

Photo: “Hand Touching Ideas Button” by Stuart Miles

Thinking in Images


Most people think in words. When asked to imagine a traffic accident they come up with not very detailed descriptions, in comparison with people who are thinking in pictures. It became even worse if the words are becoming more and more abstract. Words as society, market, law, inflation etc. stay for them just words; they are unable to convert the words into images. Picture thinkers don’t have to translate, they think in pictures.


As school systems are mainly auditory-sequential oriented, it is not surprising that mainly visual-spatial thinkers will have problems at school. Usually, they encounter learning difficulties. But not only at school. Most picture thinkers don’t fit well in traditional companies and institutions. They do things in other ways than expected or “normal”, due to “weaknesses” in thinking.


Picture thinkers are also called right-brainers, as some popularisations oversimplify the science about lateralization, by presenting the functional differences between hemispheres as being more absolute than is actually the case.


We have also committed to this theoretical sloppiness with left/right brain generalisations, although, a handy mini theory to generate creative ideas as we have demonstrated in Blocking the Left Brain Functions.

As we wrote in left brain/right brain thinking, the debate regarding about what goes on in our left and right brain hemispheres seems like a never-ending story. You will find support for the idea that creative people use the right hemisphere while people who are good at organising things are using their left hemisphere. But we can also find support for the idea that creative and non-creative thinking are not two different things but are more reinforcing each other.

The idea that the brain has different specialised functions that can be used to improve memory, learning and thinking are also the part of the foundation behind mind mapping.


A Whole New Mind: Why Right-brainers Will Rule the Future, a book by Daniel H. Pink, posits that the future of global business belongs to the right-brainers. He outlines six essential senses:

  • Design – Moving beyond function to engage the sense.
  • Story – Narrative added to products and services – not just argument.
  • Symphony – Adding invention and big picture thinking (not just detail focus).
  • Empathy – Going beyond logic and engaging emotion and intuition.
  • Play – Bringing humour and light-heartedness to business and products.
  • Meaning – the purpose is the journey, give meaning to life from inside yourself.

Daniel Pink is one of an increasing number of writers on the importance of the Conceptual Economy, as a follow-up of the Information and Knowledge Age. Conceptual economy is a term describing the contribution of creativity, innovation, and design skills to economic competitiveness, especially in the global context. Other contributors to our understanding of the conceptual economy include Tom Friedman’s The World is Flat, Tom Kelley’s The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation, explaining the role of assets such as empathy, storytelling, individual experiences and stimulating work environments in fostering creative ideas.

The discussion about the necessity to escape from dominant linear-sequential thinking was earlier argued by Howard Gardner. He developed The Theory of Multiple Intelligences in his 1983 book Frames of Mind:


In one of our next blog posts, we will give hints and tricks together with some useful resources to become “picture smart”. An essential skill to use mind mapping to the fullest of its advantages.

More Soul, More Youthful Thinking and More Thinking Among Machines


What is artificial intuition?

How can it be developed?

What if machines not only learn like children but also think like children?

What would happen if machines started to think together?

Embed from Getty Images

Bill Gates has suggested that robots should be taxed and that the money should be used to pay the people who have lost their jobs to robots. On the one hand, it makes sense to suggest that if robots will be depriving humans of work, then the company should simply pay tax for using their skills, and the money should be put into supporting the rest of society.  He also believes that certain jobs cannot be replaced by robots such as nurses and teachers.

Yet, perhaps we are just simply missing the point with using AI – Artifcial Intelligence. Perhaps AI offers a spark to kickstart a new way of building a society. A new way to ensure that everyone has a roof over their head and food on the table. New ideas are needed rather a simple application of the old practices.

The same thing could perhaps also be said about the way we think about machines and the way we design robots. If we look at perhaps the most transforming part of human history it is that we are not relying on individual thinking. Instead, the collaborative and collective thinking is one of driving forces behind our remarkable progress.

So perhaps we should focus on what potential there are among machines rather than within machines.

Moreover, the focus is often on building machines that can deal with increasingly higher volumes of data. Yet, to explore ideas such as building artificial intuition, may require that we instead look into ways that machines that use as little data as possible. Thin-slicing is a powerful concept. Designing machines that can improvise, without a script or a plot and react to new environments require new ways to approach the way we think about AI.

What if several machines could be connected to work intuitively on little information? Perhaps a solution could not be found by using this approach but maybe new insights and ways to approach a problem would emerge.

Children are the best learners. Developmental cognitive scientists and computer scientists have been working together to figure out how young children can learn so much so quickly. A problem with AI is that it has been very difficult to predict what aspects that would be most difficult to solve. Problems such as how to play chess and to detect statistical pattern have turned out to be fairly easy task to solve – admittedly. they could still be improved upon. Yet, a limited generalise can only be achieved from statistical learning, this is regardless of whether you are a child, an adult or a computer.

Children are often good at inventing new concepts and often their thinking is non-conventional – out-of-the box thinking. They link ideas and say things that do not make sense. Creating machines that could create new concepts and explore hypotheses that are not obvious could, just like listening to children, result in new insights.

What if you could transform the way we build AI? What would you do?

(Suggestion, read our other posts about intuition…..)



What Big Data, what information dominance?


A new adage is blowing around in the world of innovation. According to Wikipedia, The term “big data” often refers simply to the use of predictive analytics, user behavior analytics, or certain other advanced data analytics methods that extract value from data, and seldom to a particular size of data set. Analysis of data sets can find new correlations to “spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime and so on”.
It is reminiscent of an early US Navy doctrine, as a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the essence of teachings in a given branch of knowledge or belief system. As such, it is a thinking pattern, in which is stated that “information superiority permits the conduct of operations without effective opposition”.

However, in an electronic war game back in 2002 one aircraft carrier, ten cruisers and five out of six amphibious ships were sent to the bottom of the Persian Gulf in the span of just one hour, resulting in the virtual death of over 20.000 US service personnel.

It was the result of an asymmetric strategy by the opponent forces.

Red, commanded by retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General Paul K. Van Riper, adopted an asymmetric strategy, in particular, using old methods to evade Blue’s sophisticated electronic surveillance network. Van Riper used motorcycle messengers to transmit orders to front-line troops and World-War-II-style light signals to launch airplanes without radio communications.
Red received an ultimatum from Blue, essentially a surrender document, demanding a response within 24 hours. Thus warned of Blue’s approach, Red used a fleet of small boats to determine the position of Blue’s fleet by the second day of the exercise. In a preemptive strike, Red launched a massive salvo of cruise missiles that overwhelmed the Blue forces’ electronic sensors and destroyed sixteen warships (Wikipedia)It is the same kind of bold thinking we noticed in our blog Thinking outside the SeaMap:  “doing different things” or “escaping the temptation to do more-of-the-same but only better”.


Military strategists distinguish between symmetric and asymmetric warfare. Symmetric warfare is characterized by standing armies that follows more or less the same tactics and organized in the same way. Their standard mode of operation can be traced back to Napoleonic Warfare.

Guerrilla warfare is an escape from fighting according to the rules imposed by the often far more powerful opponent. Therefore, this strategy is often applied by less powerful opponents. The most famous form is guerrilla warfare, next to terrorism.

Asymmetric competitor strategies could be an effective approach in business. Basically, it is not playing the game similar to the other companies, that is selling and marketing the same products as competitors but cheaper and better. It is about disruptive innovation, changing the rules in the market, by delivering a complete different product than you competitor does. It is all about gaining competitive advantage by creating an unique niche in the market. Playing another race at a different circuit.

There is much more to say about the embarrassing destruction of the mighty US Navy, as the over reliance on technological superiority and information dominance. It’s all about big organizations and the neglect of intuition about the intentions and capabilities of the competitor.

There is much more to say about the embarrassing destruction of the mighty US Navy, as the over reliance on technological superiority and information dominance. Also, the neglect of intuition about the intentions and capabilities of the enemy.

Disclaimer: Now you have heard  about the advantage of disruptive innovation or step-out innovation and decide that your organization should do “some of that.” But most organizations are designed to do something else very well. Namely, what they are already doing. You may have a brilliant vision, you may have identified the next great idea, but organizational routines, standard Key Performance Indicators and existing organizational structures will prevent proper execution: The company will will continue to do what they are already doing succesfully: ” a tiny bit better and a tiny bit cheaper?” See “Why Big Companies Can’t Innovate” by Maxell Wessel.

See also the video: Disruptive Innovation Explained by Clay Christensen.

Interesting Reading Areas 2017


Since we started the posts Interesting Reading Areas since 2013 we noticed that most end-of-the-year lists of books consist of books that have already been read by others and many of the lists consist of the same books.

Often the lists consist of books that have topped the sales lists during the year. The underlying message could be interpreted as “if you haven’t read these books, you must be a cultural savage, that you do not belong to the well-informed elite and not be able to go along in conversations”. Anyhow, this is a passive, following mainstream media approach.

Another, more active approach is to make your own list about Interesting Reading Areas (IRA), areas of your interest for development and knowledge acquisition. And then look for relevant writers, books and DVD’s belonging to that IRA.

We thought it would be nice to make a list of subjects or interesting areas for ourselves because we believe we would gain from such a list to help us preparing for the next parts of Thinkiblity – Thinking about Thinking, Creativity, Innovation and Design. Perhaps you may enjoy the list and it will give you some directions for reading about Thinkibility. Just reading the titles would give you some new insides.

If you can help us to expand the list, please add a comment. Please note, we have not yet read the books! We invite you to make your own IRA’s and to find for each subject the interesting books and thinkers.

About Concepts

The study of concepts has advanced dramatically in recent years, with exciting new findings and theoretical developments. Core concepts have been investigated in greater depth and new lines of inquiry have blossomed, with researchers from an ever broader range of disciplines making important contributions. In this volume, leading philosophers and cognitive scientists offer original essays that present the state-of-the-art in the study of concepts. The Conceptual Mind: New Directions in the Study of Concepts 

What is Thinking? Human thinking is probably the most complex phenomenon that evolution has come up with until now. This book focuses on assembling building blocks for a conceptual framework that might – after several iterations – contribute to a future theory of thinking. It brings together an international group of leading scientists coming from the different fields upon which a theory of thinking must build: brain and cognitive sciences, experimental and developmental psychology, evolutionary anthropology and biology, linguistics, transcultural neuroimaging, modeling, and philosophy. Towards a Theory of Thinking – Building Blocks for a Conceptual Framework. Editors: Glatzeder, Britt, Goel, Vinod, von Müller, Albrecht

This book is the second volume of the Parmenides book series “On Thinking” dedicated to exploring current approaches and contributions towards a fuller understanding of human thought processes.


In The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct and Use Them the theoretical foundations and the origins of what we call concept maps are presented.While at first glance concept maps may appear to be just another graphic representation of information, understanding the foundations for this tool and its proper use will lead the user to see that this is truly a profound and powerful tool. Concept mapping has been shown to help learners learn, researchers create new knowledge, administrators to better structure and manage organizations, writers to write, and evaluators access learning.

About non-mainstream

It’s easy to find a good movie (well at least a movie for our general taste) between the big blockbusters, when wherever you look you see a giant poster or ad from it. But it’s a bit harder to get around a good, not so famous but nevertheless highly entertaining movie. Six upcoming non-mainstream films to watch out for!

Non-Mainstream Dimensions of Global Political Economy: Essays in Honour of Sunanda Sen is a collection of essays written by scholars of global repute in honour of Professor Sunanda Sen. Each paper is well-researched and offers some new dimension to the understanding of the current global crisis, finance, and labour including the epistemological viewpoints regarding the current global order. The uniqueness of the book is that in one place one can find different heterodox positions dealing with the present global order of finance and labour – post-Keynesian, Marxist etc.

About Criticism and  Critical Thinking

Working with his students at a risk analysis center, Wildavsky examined all the evidence behind the charges and countercharges in several controversial cases involving environmental health and public safety. Here he lays out these cases in terms an average citizen can understand, weighs the merits of the claims of various parties, and offers reasoned judgments on the government’s response. But Is It True? A Citizen’s Guide to Environmental Health and Safety Issues by Aaron Wildavsky

“Critical Thinking: Proven Strategies To Improve Decision Making Skills, Increase Intuition And Think Smarter!” is a well-rounded introduction to the principles of critical thinking. The book provides tips and steps that are easy to follow, yet very effective in solving problems of all kinds.

For more resources, take a tour in the bookstore of the Critical Thinking Community

In our post,  Interesting Books? we stated that we can safely assume that the majority of the books published each year (approximately 2,200,000) belong to mainstream thinking. That is: non-critical. We were reassured when researching this post. We can’t find books that are classified by search engines as, for instance, “Criticism on…” or “Critical thinking on…”. Perhaps we should search for a list of critical thinkers instead….


We found a great resource: Critical Thinking on the Web at the website of Rationale, about health, art, post-modernism, the media and lot’s more.

However, we did find interesting books when we combined the search term criticism with the term environment. The environment has moved from a marginal concern to a major political, personal, and philosophical issue that pervades everyday life. Ecocritics try to explore issues and questions such as: What are the ethics of human interaction with the environment? What do we mean when we use the word “nature”? What does our cultural output say about our perception of the world we live in?

Ecology without Nature investigates our ecological assumptions in a way that is provocative and engaging.  This book by Timothy Morton rethinks the way we use an idea of nature to try to heal what society has damaged and introduces a new radical form of ecological criticism – dark ecology.


Provocations and alternatives

When using the search term “Provocative Books” we were much more successful: Popular Provocative Books although we are not sure the authors themselves are non-mainstream; the prefix “popular” makes us fear the worst.

Abandon parenting, and just be a parent – is a provocation and a step away from the idea that parenting is helpful. Today, thousands of books on parenting are published every year. But what is parenting? In the book, The Gardener and the Carpenter the author Alison Gopnik explores how the concept of parenting has transformed child care into obsessive,  and goal-oriented labour. The aim with this type of parenting is to create a particular kind of child and therefore a particular kind of adult.


The Huffington’s Post 21 Provocative Books By Women Every Bookshelf Needs might be more remote from mainstream and less “popular”.




Patterns in Medicine


We came across a booklet that could be a good example for the kind of studies by the envisioned Thinkibility University. At its West Wing, scientists dissect the basic thinking patterns in a scientific discipline.

Siddhartha Mukherjee was asking himself: If there is a science of medicine, then science has laws. Physics has laws. Chemistry has laws. Biology has laws.

The simple question was: If that’s the case, then what are the laws of medicine? These were not meant to be universal commandments. These were meant to be explorations about principles that might hold true about medicine today and about medicine in the future. That was the framework for this book.

Law One : A strong intuition is much more powerful than a weak test.

Law Two: “Normals” teach us rules; “outliers” teach us laws

Law Three: For every perfect medical experiment, there is a perfect human bias

Watch or read here an interview with him about the book. You could also read the Ted book: The Laws of Medicine Field – Notes from an Uncertain Science

For us, Gijs and Asa, it is not the description of the laws of a scientific discipline that interests us – how interesting they are by itself but the possibility they give to escape from it. Once spelled out, laws are just vehicles to set up new approaches.

In short, at the West Wing of the Thinkibility University, they are thinking laterally about science.


We have earlier written about patterns in science and possible escapes from them in the following blogposts:

Our next post about the topic “Patterns in Science” will be about Patterns in Law. Could it be that in Western law assumptions are hidden that hinders us in modern times?

Not to miss?  Follow Thinkibility. The blog about Thinking, Creativity, Innovation and Design.


Decision-making and Emotions- FOMO and How to Become a Better Person

“Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.”

Roger Ebert

An open mindset and willingness to explore possibilities is always vital. Decision-making and emotions are intertwined.Our emotions influence our decisions and the concept emotional intelligence explores the skill to recognise one’s own and other people’s emotions. Our skills to use information about our own and other people’s feeling and emotions influence and inform our thinking.

Red Hat thinking focus our attention to what we feel about an idea, intuitive or instinctive gut reactions are explored. The Hats method makes no claim to achieve a separation, between emotions and reason, rather optimizing our attention and focus is what Parallel Thinking is all about. Doing one thing at a time is an artificial and temporary separation. We try to suspend our attention on some aspects.

While wearing the metaphorical Red Hat, we need to be skilful in recognizing our feelings and emotions. Thus, a willingness to explore ways of being skilful in detecting emotions, feelings and intuitions is necessary to fully utilize Red Hat thinking. We believe that it is not enough to search inward for answers, rather the world and the environment needs to be taken into account. Feelings can be described as a view of the body state but this state is influenced and affected by factors such as music, colours, smells, and tastes.

manipulation-684047_1280Photo: brokenvectors

The School of Life is devoted to helping us develop our emotional intelligence through the help of culture. Several topics and issues are explored such as how to achieve calm and how to master the art of relationship. These two videos from the The School of Life  are great tools to help us ponder over life.

FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out explores the danger in modern life. We are constantly bombarded by suggestions about  how life might be perfect. The same can be said about suggestions that be put forward at home or at work. We often expect the perfect suggestion to appear and we may feel frustrated when the suggestion does not fit into this perfect frame. Consequently we may ignore less perfect ideas rather than improve upon them.

“Self-awareness – To know oneself is to try not to blame other for one’s troubles and moods, to have a sense of what’s going on inside oneself and what actually belongs to the world.”

The second video explores how we can become a better person; Resilience, Empathy, Patience, Sacrifice, Politeness, Humor, Self-Awareness, Forgiveness, Hope and Confidence.

Twisted Faces and Emoijs!


How do you know which emoticon to use?

An emoticon is a pictorial representation of facial expressions. These little pictorial images are an important tool to use when communicating by using technology. The absence of body language and prosody makes is tricky to interpret  a person’s feelings or mood. A range of tones and feelings can be portrayed by using these emoticons but emotions and feelings are tricky.

In the video below you can see the actor Guy Pearce when he tries with mixed success recreate Emoji emoticons. Why not test to make some yourself next time you look into the mirror.

The emoji painting was made by Yung Jake using the emoji paintbrush tool, You can also use this tool to engage in some emoji creativity.

You can see  Yung Jake’s creations on his Twitter page, and make your own like we did at


If you want some thinking exercises about emotions, look at T29 day 13-15. You can read more about the thinking exercises, emotions, intuitions and feelings if you click here.

ggggPhoto: Emoji Larry David, Yung Jake, 2015

T29 – Day 13


Emotions Day 13-15

Emotional insight is a key to innovation. Surprised? Well, it is often not the first aspect that is examined when discussing innovations but emotions fuels it in two significant ways. An understanding of the needs and desires helps an innovator to find breakthrough ideas. In addition, understanding the emotions that a new product or idea may evoke in the customers, offer marketers a way to optimise the design and marketing.

Our body postures may influence how we feel and this in turn may have impact on our thinking. Body posture also affects how other people perceive you and even your ideas and suggestions. A brilliant idea may be rejected if the person who suggests has an apologetic body posture – lack of eye contact when talking about the idea, leaning forward and shrinking instead of opening up the body and making themselves big (like the idea).

Blog Posts

Contradictions and Aggression

Thin-Slicing: the Power of Intuition


Day 13

Set your alarm clock at a random chosen time. Notice your feelings, emotions, hunches or intuitions.

When the alarm clock goes off, it will “awaken you” from not noticing or avoiding your feelings and emotions.

Take not more than 60 seconds to jot down any feelings, emotions, hunches or intuitions you may have. Try to be as specific as possible.

Your body may signal your feelings and emotions more exactly than you may perceive with your “head”, so watch for signs such as pains in your back or neck, stomach problems, irregular or shallow breathing, your body position, shivering, dry throat, or shivering hands.


Thinkibility Day 13


Feelings Are An Asset To Thinking

Many people have the opinion that feelings distract thinking, and the best is to get rid of them.
We came across a view from Dennis Perrin who in contrast states: “Feelings are an asset to thinking”.
Dennis Perrin is running Thinking Training in the UK, providing courses in Lateral thinking, Six Thinking Hats and the Power of Perception.
We invited him to explore his idea that takes into account feelings that will improve your thinking. Here is his short essay on the topic.

Feelings are more important than thinking. In the end, thinking is for human happiness, projects, improvements, and ideas that create benefits. So, feelings have a very important place in thinking. This is why Dr de Bono created the Red Hat, a Hat specially for feelings, emotion, intuition, hunches, and yes, ideas.

Years ago, I used to think that the more emotional I was, the more likely it would be that God would answer a prayer. Children know that by crying or raising a tantrum, that their parents will then see to their needs. I remember at age 16 praying desperately for an answer to a decision I had to make: a choice between jobs. Even so, there is still the psychological element that works in prayer. The feelings are made clear. When the feelings are clear, the way is also clear for good and better thinking.

We need to make a habit, from time to time, to note our feelings on an issue. We don’t want our feelings either to dominate our thinking or to masquerade as our only thinking. We want our feelings clear as feelings (intuition etc.) only. For instance, let’s say a particular FB Post makes someone feel angry. The angry response can be posted under the Red Hat. Then some relevant factors (white hat) can be thought about. Or a post can simply say: These are my feelings. (Just state them.)

But don’t spend more than 30 seconds on just feelings.

Feelings are a hindrance if they are not stated clearly as a legitimate part of the thinking. They are also a hindrance if they are allowed to dominate any proceedings.

Feelings are an asset once they are stated since everyone then knows what they are. They are an asset when they are stated because further down the road in the thinking process the feelings can be looked at again. After some thinking, feelings often change. New perceptions change feelings.

Feelings should be looked at from time to time as a measurement. A typical Red Hat (feeling) response might be: “An hour ago I felt annoyed but after this thinking I feel happy.” Or: “My red hat tells me that I should think seriously about this issue before I make a final decision. I may want to change everything.”


Thank you, Dennis!


What would you do to AVOID thinking?

Student screaming

Hard, difficult, exhausting!  But there are lots of benefits. Or maybe not. . . Maybe there are better ways to use the 12 watts that the brain needs. What would you do to avoid thinking? How far are you prepared to go to avoid thinking?

A recent study suggests that thinking is something that we try to avoid. We even prefer to give ourselves an electric shock to spending between 6 to 15 minutes alone with nothing to do. Doing something might be better than doing nothing. Even if something is, well, a mild electric shock. Two-thirds of the men  (12 of 18) administered at least one shock.  And a quarter of the women (six of 24) gave themselves at least one shock.

The study consisted of several studies and nearly 800 people took part in the study – not all of them received the choice of an electric shock.  Some of the studies used only college students, while in some studies people from a range of backgrounds and age groups took part – from 18 -77 years of age.

Regardless of the age, most participants did not like to sit alone either in a lab room or at home. No cellphones, music, reading or writing material were allowed. Moreover, the participants were not allowed to walk around. Some groups were allowed a limited activity like listening to music and they thought that was a more positive experience.

Some of the participants were asked whether, if given $5, they would spend some of it to avoid getting shocked again. Those who said they would be willing to pay to avoid another shock were asked to think for 15 minutes, and they were given the option of giving themselves that same shock by simply pushing a button. And many of them choose to shock themselves.

Did they try to shock themselves out of boredom? The researchers suggest that:

“Research has shown that minds are difficult to control, however, and it may be particularly hard to steer our thoughts in pleasant directions and keep them there. This may be why many people seek to gain better control of their thoughts with meditation and other techniques, with clear benefits. Without such training, people prefer doing to thinking, even if what they are doing is so unpleasant that they would normally pay to avoid it. The untutored mind does not like to be alone with itself.”

We could interpret the results to indicate:
  • we cannot daydream
  • we do not know how to  meditate
  • we are bored
  • we are not able to do nothing
  • we hurry around the whole day
  • idem – we think that doing nothing is unproductive
  • it is an impossible to order someone to “sit down and think’ without giving them a  subject or focus
Some different conclusions and ideas that the results from this study sparked.
  • people are inclined to not think  -> how to encourage  yourself to think?
  • thinking does not exist at all   –> what do they do then in universities, thinktanks?  -> what do philosophers do the whole day? –> is the concept deliberately designed by scientists to justify that they are doing nothing -> no one can see if you are thinking or not
  • the concept of thinking is not defined and there is no general agreement on how thoughts are created
  • getting shocks is far more engaging or interesting than thinking –> it may  explain why many people escape from thinking by watching television, attend football matches, or chat.
  • people are more afraid for thinking than for getting shocks  -> if people are beginning to think, they begin to realise what miserable life they have, how many injustices there are and how little influence people have to change their social relations, their organisation, the world. . .
  • thinking is often defined as a something that requires that a person sits still, yet all the muscles in Rodin’s statue “The Thinker” is involved  -> maybe walking and talking should be allowed and even encouraged
  • what do we think of someone who tells us “think it over” or practice your thinking skills, develop thinking habits. . .

Thinking has traditionally been regarded as something that takes place in our heads. A biological approach to thinking, highlights that we are a living organism in an environment. A holistic approach to thinking means to explore how we engage in different environments and how this influence the quality of our thinking. We have written several posts about this topic. Below are a couple.

 Dance First

Dancing Statistics

Thinking Nothing? Impossible! Or maybe not

Extracting Concepts –  Change the Medium




Dance to the Rhythm of the Heartbeat of a Rose-bush

Woman Listening to Music

Reversing ideas can be a  mind-blowing experience. A simple ordinary everyday occurrence can be turned into a great innovative idea by simple reversing the idea.

This idea was inspired by a  great innovative idea in itself, namely virtual trees created by the Belgian artist Naziha Mestaoui, The project One Beat, One Tree, changes our perception of a tree. Watching a tree grow is an activity for a patient person – trees grow slowly and it takes years for a tree to mature. But  a virtual tree grows and blossoms before your eyes.  And Naziha’s trees blossoms to the rhythm of your own heartbeat.

The installation blends the boundaries between art and science. A heartbeat sensor is connected through a person’s s smartphone and the virtual tree blossoms to the person’s heartbeat.

Later a tree is physically planted in the real world and the inspiration for this idea came from Naziha’s experiences after working in the Amazon., where the tribes had a personal relationship with nature.  She wanted to  create “an art piece using technologies to connect us to this immaterial value of nature. . . If we want technologies to reconnect us to nature, we just need to create it.”

One Beat One Tree from Electronic Shadow on Vimeo.

How can we reverse this idea?

What if we could design a device that measures the inner activity of a tree, a group of trees, a shrub, a rose-bush or a flower? Then the sensor activity is sent to my mobile phone. This activity may provoke an emotion in me and I might start to dance to the rhythm of a rose-bush.

What ideas do you get by reversing something. Please, tell us.

Photo Naziha Mestaoui  DesignBoom



IdeaThinkibility Like from G.

xpress emotions, feelings and intuition regarding the topic:

  • Status updates by trees and flowers could be used to adapt ambient noise, light and scents in houses or offices, regarding the time of the day and the season to be in;
  • Trees and flowers could mail when they are ill or being attacked, or need to be pruned or watered;
  • Flowers seems to be able to communicate with each other and/or with insects. We could possible spy on them

Reverse Engineering for Thinking Strategies


A Thinkibility nibble:

We are happy to announce a new mini project: Reverse Engineering of Thinking Strategies. We intend to analyse the way the most critical thinkers of today think, like Noam ChomskySlavoj Žižek, David Orrell to name a few.

Reverse Engineering is according to Wikipedia “the process of discovering the technological principles of a device, object, or system through analysis of its structure, function, and operation”.

Reverse engineering is often used by people in order to copy other nations’ technologies, devices, or information that have been obtained by regular troops in the fields or by intelligence operations.  Three American B-29 bombers on missions over Japan were forced to land in the USSR. The Soviets, who did not have a similar strategic bomber, decided to copy the B-29. Within a few years, they had developed the Tu-4, a near-perfect copy.

Reverse engineering can be used to reveal the complete hardware and software part of a smart card.  Sometimes, reverse-engineering is used to develop economically more affordable versions to existing drugs.  Even attempts have been made to reverse engineer the possible physics behind UFOs through analysis of both eyewitness reports and the physical evidence, on the assumption that they are powered vehicles.

So why not reverse engineering the thinking of world’s greatest critical thinkers?

  • How do they formulate their starting points?
  • What is the lay-out of their thinking or their reasoning?
  • Do they rely on intuition?



Thinkibility Like


Let us introduce the Thinkibility Like.

The Like Button or thumbs up is a quick way to show that you agree with something. Blog posts with many likes tend to get more likes because it is. . . well, it has to be good since it got so many likes. But what exactly was so great about it?

The Like button has many great qualities. Yet pushing the Like button does not  raise our awareness of what we think. Admittedly, there are many occasions where a simple Like is all that is needed, but we think that occasionally it woudl be fruitful to explore our initial Like reaction – Thinkibility Like.

Thinkibility Like consists of using one or several of the following:

Regarding the topic, any more facts or information to add? – White Hat Thinking
Regarding the topic, any alternatives, other ideas or suggestions? – Green Hat Thinking
Regarding the topic, any comments on the thinking done? – Blue Hat Thinking
Express emotions, feelings and intuition regarding the topic- Red Hat Thinking



Contradictions and Agression – Thinkibility Boost

Ever had an undefined feeling that something is wrong? That there is something  that does not make sense but “you can’t put the finger on it”?  You have this tingling feeling but you can’t point to exactly what it is. . . yet you know that there is “something”. It’s intangible knowledge or understanding, and you are not able to ‘touch’ the intuition that supports the understanding. Look at this:


Ten to one a contradiction might be involved. A contradiction is something that is opposite or very different in meaning to something else. Or there is a difference or disagreement between two things which means that both cannot be true.  Or someone is doing things that could not be interpreted unequivocally, because it could mean different, contradicting things. Or things are said that could not be “true” and “not true” at the same time. They contradict each other.

 A contradiction could even lead to a double bind, which is a stressful situation where regardless of your response you will automatically be wrong. “Do you still beat your wife?” . If you say yes, you are a bastard. If you say no, you admit that you have beaten her before, so you are a bastard.

Because the meaning of the communication cannot be clearly understood, vague feelings of unhappiness, uneasiness and uncertainty could be provoked. You can even feel anger, resentment and frustration.  The body reacts to the unequivocal messages. Unfortunately, the underlying reason for these feelings and emotions  are unconscious.

We can use a range of strategies to dissolve cognitive dissonance but basically it comes down on avoiding or even ignoring contradicting situations and information. Often our bodily signals will be suppressed  in order to restore consistency, which can lead to  psychosomatic symptoms like headaches, heart attacks and back pains.

However, we suggest to give carefully attention to signals you body gives you if it is confronted with contradictions, however unconsciously those will be received. If suddenly experiencing angry, uneasiness, frustration or a bad feeling in your stomach, the following inconsistencies could have happen:

  • there is an inconsistency between verbal and non-verbal communication – someone says “yes” but nods “no”
  • there is a discrepancy in someone’s behavior  – someone says that he will come in time  but he doesn’t
  • there could be a contradiction between the content of a dialogue and the subtext (the content underneath the spoken dialogue). When we are talking or writing to someone  there can be conflict, angercompetitionpride, showing off, or other implicit ideas and emotions that  contradicts what is said. “Well done”, she said sarcastically.
  • nonsense and no-nonsense could have been used in the same phrase, as well logical and illogical arguments or a contradiction. “The situation is hopeless, but not serious”.
  • A paradox – a statement that apparently contradicts itself and yet might be true. “Don’t believe me, I am a liar”. A paradox may contain an non-executable order. “The barber is a man in town who shaves all those, and only those, men in town who do not shave themselves.” However, this causes an impossibility for the barber, because who will shave him? On-going paradoxical messages could be ruined the development of mental health.  A mother has given her child two shirts, but when she wears one of the shirts, she says; “didn’t you like the other one?”. Or a female politician  who is encouraged to look beautiful and then is commented as being not a serious politician since she wears lipstick. There are many paradoxes like “any pilot requesting mental evaluation for insanity—hoping to be found not sane enough to fly and thereby escape dangerous missions—demonstrates his own sanity in making the request and thus cannot be declared insane”. Catch-22 is a logical paradox where the creators have made up arbitrary rules in order to justify and conceal their own abuse of power. In the works of Kafka also many examples of catch-22 situations can be found. A list of know paradoxes can be found here.


In the picture above you see the Monty Hall problem, which steams from a situation that may occur on TV game shows. It is a type of probability  puzzle. What should you do?

“Suppose you’re on a game show, and you’re given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1, and the host, who knows what’s behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, “Do you want to pick door No. 2?” Is it to your advantage to switch your choice?”

Vos Savant’s response was:

“Yes; you should switch. The first door has a 1/3 chance of winning, but the second door has a 2/3 chance. Here’s a good way to visualize what happened. Suppose there are a million doors, and you pick door #1. Then the host, who knows what’s behind the doors and will always avoid the one with the prize, opens them all except door #777,777. You’d switch to that door pretty fast, wouldn’t you?”

  • Another contradiction presents itself as when there are two possibilities, neither of which is acceptable. A father to his son: “Will you forward or backwards climb the stair to go to bed?” This is called a dilemma.
  • There is a discrepancy between what is verbally said and what is implicitly said about the relation the messenger wants to establish or maintain. “Yes, sure, I love you”, he said while continuing waking towards  the fridge to get a beer.


Contradictions, if not noticed, can lead to feelings of desperate powerlessness and furious destructive aggression.

However, contradictions, if not neglected, are powerful triggers to reflect on a situation and extract information from it. Attention to feelings and bodily signs are the clues to this.

Why I am so angry?

Why do I feel so uncertain of myself?

Where does  that aggression so suddenly come from?

There could be contradictions around!


Interesting Reading Areas


Most  end-of-the-year lists of books consists of books that have already been read by others and many of the lists consists of the same books. Often the lists consists of the books that have topped the sales lists during the year. The underlying message could be interpreted as “if you haven’t read these books, you are a cultural bar-bar, does not belong to the well informed elite and not able to go along in conversations”. Anyhow, this is passive, following main-stream media.

Another, more active approach is to make a list by your own about Interesting Reading Areas (IRA), areas of your interest for developing and knowledge acquiring. And then look for relevant writers, books and DVD’s belonging to that IRA.

We thought it would be nice to make a list of subjects or interesting areas for ourselves because we believe we would gain from such a list to help us preparing for the next parts of Thinkibiity – Thinking about Thinking, Creativity, Innovation and Design. Perhaps you may enjoy the list and will give some directions for reading about Thinkibility. If you can help us  to expand the list, please add a comment. Please note, we have not yet read the books!

But we invite you to make your own IRA en to find for each subject  the interesting books and thinkers.

Our Interesting Reading Areas

  • Alternative designs for the global economic system
  • Visual Thinking
  • Why computers have unguarded access possibilities and why everyone should be able to write software programs
  • New business models for financing sustainability projects
  • How to make systems thinking more mainstream
  • Animal Cognition
  • The Point of Singularity
  • Primitive  tribes/anthropology
  • Language and Thinking
  • Creativity of Introverts
  • Books to Spark Ideas
  • Thinking about Thinking

Alternative designs for the global economic system








Visual Thinking


visual meetings



Why computers have unguarded access possibilities and why everyone should be able to write software programs

free software

We are still looking for critical watchers of computer manufacturing. If you have suggestions, please add a comment.

New business models for financing sustainability projects


How to make systems thinking more mainstream

Suggestions most welcome!

Jane Austin: Game Theorist


Animal Cognition



The Point of Singularity


aa11Primitive  Tribes/Anthropology


the world

Language and Thinking


through the language glass

  • Culture leading scientists explore societies, art, power and technology


Creativity of Introverts


Books to Spark Ideas




sharp brain




Thinking about Thinking





design thinking



It has become a fairly comprehensive list. However, most of the key-concepts are explained in rather short videos on YouTube or Vimeo,

Enjoy your Thinking Salad!

reading salad

Please, if you have suggestions for other Interesting Reading Areas regarding Thinkibility, please add a comment!

Blog at

Up ↑

Imagineer7's Weblog

Just another weblog

Blue Think Dive

Inspiring Better Choices and Thinking


Thinking about Thinking, Creativity, Innovation and Design


SAPERE is an educational charity promoting P4C - Philosophy for Children, Colleges, Communities


Mindmaps applied to all kinds of business areas & other stuff

Rhino Reads

Children's books, YA, fiction at its finest