Thursday, January 3, 2013

Innovation and Immersion

Yesterday I re-worded (a little) the information in an article on innovation ...

99 Percent Of Innovation Methods Are Based On A Brain Model We Rejected A Decade Ago

by @maxnisen

(.. rejection of the idea that brain-storming works by turning off the "left-brain" analytic mind)

my re-wording:

Immersion. Analysis. Permutation. Reframe.

Charles then tweeted some good points --

@harpersnotes Re … I find innovate ideas happen for me when I don't focus on the problem or even...

@harpersnotes ... or even distract myself with other things. Also, when I'm not focusing on anything, and my mind just wanders.

@harpersnotes ... Different times of the day seem to be better. (Not sure if it is b/c of time of day or b/c of what I'm doing.)

@harpersnotes ... (Engineering is full of innovating. Well, at least the type I've been involved with. New problems to solve most the time.)

This very early morning I awoke (.. from yet another night of annoyingly vivid and intense dreams, totally "by the way") and I started writing a tweet reply, which became many, which became.. well... this --

Taking-a-break seems important for innovation as it allows for seeing new perspectives/permutations.
But see Hedgehog-Fox...

"The Hedgehog and the Fox" essay by Isaiah Berlin, background at wiki, ..

I do not think immersion is a hedgehog strategy, though some may intuit it so.

Foxes forecast better, Tetlock 2007 essay, (scroll down to summary), ..

Immersion strategy optimized when informed by various perspective-shifting strategies, short breaks are but one common example.

Related: Searching for word/phrase to describe, for example, training at blindfold chess to improve regular-chess tournament performance.

Innovation and "play" -- "work" mind-set might blocks innovative thought. Breaks allow for play psychological milieu-perspective to re-set.

Innovation and "play" -- notice that children's play often involves pretend-play, a kind of perspective-taking contra to reality.

Aside: Peeve -- Theory of Mind often interpreted as building block for perspective-taking. The mind is more modular than that.
(Admittedly weird question: Are aspie-ish Science Fiction nerds superior at play-imagining hypothetical worlds?)

There is an old story that I vaguely recall as being in The Histories by Herodotus, that the ancient Persians would discuss important matter twice -- once when drunk, and the next morning after sobering up.
There is an old idea that levels of activity of various brain molecules fluctuate over time, such as that dopamine levels of activity are higher in the AM, for example.
I've heard this idea, and recall reading it, but don't recall offhand any cites for it.
If so, this could be a more longer time scale of what I think of as temporal modularity, though currently I'm mostly thinking of it in terms of brain waves.

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