Cognitive science

Artificial Time

We’ve been led to believe that we are at the precipice of an Artificial Intelligence explosion. Yet the progress in our digital assistants and self-driving cars seems to have stalled. Computers choke at even the simplest requests, and most of the digital world continues to be handcrafted by humans. But quietly, hidden in plain sight,

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A Pattern Recognition Theory of Mind

In 2006, inventor Ray Kurzweil released the book The Singularity Is Near (Amazon Affiliate Link), with a bold prediction that by the year 2049 we’d enter a “technological singularity.” Around that time, he argued, the pace of improvement in technology would become a runaway phenomenon that would transform all aspects of human civilization. The word “singularity”

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Supersizing the Mind: The Science of Cognitive Extension

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The World Beyond Your Head: How Distraction Shapes Who We Are

Matthew Crawford’s book The World Beyond Your Head (Affiliate Link) is the most important book I’ve read in quite some time. It makes a sweeping argument about what it means to be an ethical, autonomous human in the digital age. Crawford draws a strong connection from the distractions buzzing on our phones, to the evolving

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Mood as Extrapolation Engine: Using Emotions to Generate Momentum

I believe that moods (or less colloquially, states of mind) can be used not just defensively, making the best of whatever mood you’re in (as I described in Productivity for Precious Snowflakes). They can also be used offensively, to proactively create the conditions for rapid acceleration and value creation. Let’s begin with a simple question:

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A Theory of Unlearning: Ecstasis, Anamnesis, Kenosis

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Experimental Habit Formation

A new framework for continuous learning One of the key challenges of living and working in the future will be continuous learning and experimentation. I’d like to propose a framework for this type of learning that is both feasible and focused on the individual: experimental habit formation. I believe it can help resolve one of

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