Drawing Diagrams in the Head and with Technology: Benefits, Cognitive Mechanisms, Artificial Intelligence, Apps, and Sleep Onset Dreaming

When they think about note-taking, most people think about textual notes. But it’s also often important to take graphical notes. It’s tricky to develop cognitively productive workflows for note-taking in general, and graphical note taking in particular. An example of the latter point is the following topic on the Mac Power Users forum:
Adding diagrams to Zettelkastens: (Luhmann) Note-taking App that can form a Quick Access Knowledge Base.

This blog post sheds some light on the importance of diagramming from a cognitive science perspective. It discusses problems in understanding mental representations underlying the interpretation and production of diagrams. It explains why people don’t take as many graphical notes as they should, and what they can do about it. And then it goes (or you go) to sleep.

That’s a lot of ground to cover in a brief blog post. However, the post contains links to some extremely interesting articles. If you read the source materials, I’m sure you will find they stretch your imagination.
Continue reading Drawing Diagrams in the Head and with Technology: Benefits, Cognitive Mechanisms, Artificial Intelligence, Apps, and Sleep Onset Dreaming

A Musical Celebration of Spring and Love Chez Nous

Our friends, Huguette Lacourse and Michèle Desponts, blessed us at home on Saturday with their wonderful performance of wonderful (mostly French) music.

Edith Piaf’s La vie en rose

Here Huguette sings Edith Piaf’s, “La vie en rose”, accompanied by Michèle:
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Why Most People Don’t Take as Many Notes as They Should, and What They Can Do About It

I claim that people don’t take as many notes as they should, and that this interferes with their cognitive productivity. This article elaborates on the claim, and points to a CogSci Apps® invention my colleagues and I developed to address these issues. Continue reading Why Most People Don’t Take as Many Notes as They Should, and What They Can Do About It

Un samedi printanier musical: Oeuvres de Piaf et autres (chez nous); de Mozart, Morlock et autres (à l’annexe)

Samedi le 18 mai, nous célébrerons le printemps (cette verdeur qui nous entoure!) et l’art, dans toutes ses formes. Le jour, nous serons imprésario (ou au moins hôtes) d’un événement musical français. Le soir, on ira à un spectacle musical du Vancouver Symphony Orchestra: Mozart, Morlock et autres.

Entre temps, CogSci Apps et CogZest s’apprêtent à lancer de nouveaux produits.

Continue reading Un samedi printanier musical: Oeuvres de Piaf et autres (chez nous); de Mozart, Morlock et autres (à l’annexe)

Front Matter Podcast Interview about Cognitive Productivity with macOS and Hook

Leanpub front matter

I was interviewed by Len Epp on the Leanpub Front Matter Podcast. Leanpub is the main bookstore on which my first two Cognitive Productivity books were published. Continue reading Front Matter Podcast Interview about Cognitive Productivity with macOS and Hook

On The Relationship-building Proclivities of Human Nature

The Guardian recently published an excellent article by Frans de Waal, What animals can teach us about politics. In the spirit of cognitive productivity, I’d like to relate this to a couple of theories of human nature that lend credence to de Waal’s analysis.

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Poetweet for Canadian Company

I tweeted the poem below today, minus “‘s”. I’d draw a cartoon to go with this, one to do with a teapot. However, although I quite enjoyed Crystal Pite’s recent Revisor, I don’t want to risk needing to issue a retraction, as even professional cartoonists have had to on this subject. So, I will leave it up to your imagination. As for the poem, there are a couple of clues in the tags.

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Birth Announcement: Hook Is a New CogSci Apps Invention for Your Cognitive Productivity

 

Hook supplies the missing links in the world’s best OS for productivity, R&D, creativity, blogging, markdown, and learning.

Hook solves the “meta-access problem” that I described in Cognitive Productivity: Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly EffectiveNow that’s process. First write the book that describes (a) the problems, (b) the cognitive science that is pertinent to the problems; and (c) ways of using existing software (hacks) and information to solve the problems. Then develop an app that directly addresses the problem.

Hook is currently in public beta.

Peripatetic Reflections on Why We Walk While We Talk and Think Deeply

Paul Minda, a Canadian cognitive psychologist at University of Western Ontario, asked an interesting question on Twitter

Why do people pace around or engage in unguided, unfocused movement when talking on the phone. Does anyone know the answer?

I will focus mainly on a subset of this question, which is: why do we do this type of thing while highly cognitively engaged (e.g., participating in a cognitively demanding conversation, or lecturing).

I like to first try to answer a question myself (drawing as much as I can on my understanding of prior readings) before delving into others’ answers. So here are some “off the cuff” rambling reflections which expand on a series of my Twitter replies to Paul’s tweet. Keep in mind that I don’t specialize in cognitive embodiment. And the following is not rigorous reasoning. Just some (hopefully relevant) thoughts. But I am interested in all things relevant to cognitive productivity, which this is.

Later I might come back to the issue.

Continue reading Peripatetic Reflections on Why We Walk While We Talk and Think Deeply