February 27

Going Mental

Wednesday’s Big Idea


"Sherlock Holmes really understood the concept of mindfulness long before it was on the radar of any psychologists," says Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes

For Holmes, the entire thought process is akin to a scientist who is doing a research experiment. He is applying the scientific method to thought. A state of mindfulness is necessary to optimize your mental resources because those resources are finite. Mindfulness requires a prepared state of mind that allows you to parse through data and only focus on what is truly important. And then, through thousands of hours of practice you will be able to hone the skills of the imagination in order to see new possibilities.  

This is a particularly useful way of looking at your own mindspace when it comes to memory. Do you want to devote your mind to instantly recalling information? Computers can do that. So in today's lesson, Maria Konnikova show us how, like Holmes, you can train your brain to function as a retrieval mechanism. You can use your brain to focus on where to find things, like Sherlock Holmes referencing his files. 


  1. 1 How To Use Google Like Sherlock H...
  2. 2 Is Google Making Us Better Decisi...
  3. 3 The Neuroscience of Internet Addi...
  4. 4 The Twenty-First Century Brain
  1. How To Use Google Like Sherlock Holmes

    How To Use Google Like Sherlock Holmes

    Holmes has files that he accesses. He doesn’t necessarily remember all of these details.

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  2. Is Google Making Us Better Decision Makers?

    Is Google Making Us Better Decision Makers?

    The frequent use of search engines has been shown to exercise a vital area of the brain that controls decisiveness and short-term memory.

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  3. The Neuroscience of Internet Addiction

    The Neuroscience of Internet Addiction

    The Internet might actually be diminishing our capacity to form long-term memories.

    Read More…
  4. The Twenty-First Century Brain

    The Twenty-First Century Brain

    Sam Wang says Google is a trade-off between rapid knowledge and knowledge retention.

    Read More…