Making your mind your playground

quinta-feira, 25 de dezembro de 2008


The Universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice. The language is not Narn, or Human, or Centauri, or Gaim or Minbari. It speaks in the language of hope; It speaks in the language of trust; It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion. It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul. But always, it is the same voice. It is the voice of our ancestors, speaking through us, And the voice of our inheritors, waiting to be born. It is the small, still voice that says: We are one. No matter the blood; No matter the skin; No matter the world; No matter the star; We are one. No matter the pain; No matter the darkness; No matter the loss; No matter the fear; We are one. Here, gathered together in common cause. we agree to recognise this singular truth, and this singular rule: That we must be kind to one another, because each voice enriches us and ennobles us, and each voice lost diminishes us. We are the voice of the Universe, the soul of creation, the fire that will light the way to a better future. We are one.

from Babylon V

terça-feira, 28 de outubro de 2008

Topics du Jour Experiment #3

Homo sum: humani nil at me alienum puto (Terentio 190-160BC)

Writing can be seen as an experience where we share ideas, feelings and opinions with others. Being human means that your ideas probably can be understood (discussed or even antagonized) by other members of the mankind (including yourself). too complicated - have to re-write this

Plus 10 minutes.

The more authentic you are more easy the sharing. But authenticity and, in last instance truth, can have multiple faces. You can write as one aspects of your truth, one successful example of this is the Portugese poet Fernando Pessoa. still complicated

Plus 10 minutes.

It is an old saying that you can't bath in the same river... Likewise you are not in the same mood or in the same conditions everyday and this can influence your writing.

Plus 5 minutes.

new tart

Writinig a multidimensional task that starts with you sending a message and evolve to a sharing of ideas, feelings and opinions. According to our nature, all of us have subjects that we're fond of and which we would like to improve our understanding.

plus 10 minutes

domingo, 26 de outubro de 2008

Topics du Jour Experiment #2

Plus 30 minutes for both diagrams.

segunda-feira, 20 de outubro de 2008

Topic du Jour experiment #1c

Luciano ( recomends this technique.

Day 0:
I like to experiment, so I will begin writing daily in an interartive-evolutive way. The subject Ihave in mind is inspired by Mauro's question about the audience one writes for:

"You don't write for the whole world, and you don't write for ten people, or two. You write for just one person." (Kurt Vonnegut Jr p. 65, Dial Press Trade Paperback edition).

Of course I'm taking some liberties with the Topics du Jour technique.

Day 1:
It took me 10 minutes to think about it, 15 minutes to write this entry and 15 to correct the English:

* Does the client matter?
* Writing is sharing
* You should "share" with yourself
* Sharing only with yourself is selfish
* You cannot share something that you not possess
* Grock = think + play + write + use + improve + think again ...
* Use mental experiment
* Writing is a tool for thinking more clearly

Next steps:
1. thesis + anthitesis = syntesis
2. collect my friends thoughts
3. collect some authors thoughts
4. mindmap
5. write

Day 2 = Plus 10 minutes for step 2:

* to possess something (internally)
* to turn habit into practice
* audience is the ego
* to pursue a result
* “The purpose of the writer is to create and keep a reader”
* internal dialogs
* focus x target X result

Day 3 = Plus 10 minutes for step 3:
from Gail Sher (
* writing is practice
* writers write no matter what
* writing is "taking care"
* writing should be an habit
* writing can define yourself

Day 4 = Plus 10 minutes for step 3:
from Gail Sher (
* writing can be done in several forms (haiku, poetry, rhymes, letters)
* a habit is the link between inspiration and self-realization
* bridge to serenity
* 4 noble truths for writers
** writers write
** writing is a process
** you don't know what your writing will be until the end of the process
** i fwriting is your practice, the only way to fail is not to write

my insight:
* you don't have to be yourself when you write, you can recreate yourself - see Fernando Pessoa's heteronyms.

hope you like it.

domingo, 17 de agosto de 2008

Think again pal!

I was thinking about my previous attempt to create a presentation and realized I was using the wrong approach.

"Beyond the Bullet Points" technique is about selling ideas. My approach was too descriptive to be effective. So I made a new attempt.

Act 1:
The setting: Olympics is everyday
The protagonist: you should be prepared
The imbalance: this can be challenging specially nowadays
The balance: those who are prepared can face the world confidently
The solution: Chess can be a valuable tool for your brain fitness



domingo, 3 de agosto de 2008

I'm back - posting soon

I was given a task - to prepare a presentation about chess. I want to use this opportunity to use the techniques I've learned from the Atkinson's book Beyond the Bullet Points. I will show the partial products and the time spent in each of them. I hope this will be an enjoyable exercise.


As you probably know the first step in BBP (Beyond the bullet points) is to set up main points of your story:

1. setting
Chess is full of myths and legends

2. protagonist
Someone who can separate truth from myth can have an advantage in life

3. imbalance
Chess is a game for old people with time to spare

4. balance
What is the truth behind that affirmation?

5. solution
How can I and my family take advantage of Chess?

- time spent on this phase: (30 min)
- time accumulated on the exercise: (30 min)



domingo, 8 de junho de 2008

Mission and Vision

As I am looking for a coherent system of techniques, I have to start thinking about mission and vision.

The two most useful references I found are:

Difference between Vision and Mission, which states that 'Without it businesses are boring' and I couldn't agree more.

Creating personal mission shows an example of creating a personal mission.

segunda-feira, 5 de maio de 2008

Interval: 22 reasons to visit the MNBA

MNBA = Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes of Buenos Aires

Bougereau, La toilette de Venus
Rodin, The Kiss
Rodin, Mano de Dios
Rodin, Cabeza monumental de Balzac
Rodin, Burgoise a la cle
Mazerolle, Psique Enfuente
Ferrari, San Possidonio
Lefebre, Diane Sorpreendida
Arapignes, El canal briere
Gustave Michel, Blance Tarracota
Degas, Daseusse en blanc
Pissaro, Fame aux
Tintoretto, Martirio de San Rubens
Jesus Soto, Planos Virtuales 65
Mondgliani, Busto de mujer
Kandinski, Kreiss
Centurion, La Venus creolla
Manet, Ninfa Sorpreendida
Latour, Somerril de diane
Malharro, Las parvas
Falacini, Desesperacion
Schiafficio, Repozo

segunda-feira, 21 de abril de 2008

How I selected the techniques that support my personal and professional needs

Lack of time is one of my favorite excuses. That's why I need some techniques that make me more effective. Choosing them is tricky.
Information by itself is not knowledge. Nowadays, it is too easy to obtain information, almost effortless. Paradoxically this makes the task of selecting and using the proper techniques more complicated. We became used to having the latest tools and methods, collecting them without really needing them. I know this well: I've played this game for years.
Several authors have written about over-information two examples are:
Umberto Eco, Como se fa una tesi di laurea (1977)
Richard Saul Wurman, Information Anxiety (1990)

My goal is to have a small set of powerful techniques (and their corresponding software tools) that allows me to unleash my full potential. Challenging but possible.

To be continued...

sábado, 15 de março de 2008

100 lists - a technique tested, approved and enhanced

I'm always looking for new techniques to adopt. My last attempt was with the technique described in article Tackle Any Issue With a List of 100.
I used to approach the creative process with mindmaps but this 100 lists seems to have some appeal to me. So I decided to give it a try. I provide metrics and printing support and decided to use the 100 list as a tool to generate ideas for improving these activities. This are the results:
a. I spent about 3 hours to generate 2 lists of 100 items;
b. I spent another half an hour to select 2 lists of about 30 ideas worth trying out;
c. I discussed the ideas with my peers and they discarded 2 or 3 ideas from each list;
d. A great enhancement of the generation process was achieved with the help of Big Dig Idea Sandbox.

Of course you still have to spend extra effort to have time to Get Things Done - but this is for another post - right?

domingo, 10 de fevereiro de 2008

BetterMe 2.3

BetterMe 2.3 means that I'm always striving to improve.
The version part (symbolized by the 2.) means that I'm using the techniques constantly and consistently - not that the implementation is already adequate - far from that. The release (.3) means that there is room for improvement and implementing new techniques.
It is not my intention to discuss how I decided which technique to implement and which to discard (unless this interest someone). Now and in the next articles I'll try to exemplify how do I implement this techniques in the hope of improving my understanding of them.

Main techniques:
GTD: David Allen's Getting Things Done.
Mindmaping: Tony Buzan's technique.

Personae - for projects.
100 lists - for creativity.
Memory palace - for memory.



quarta-feira, 9 de janeiro de 2008

Let's go again!

It is a new year, and it is time to go back to filling in my Mind Moleskine.

My wish list is:

a. To fulfill my readers' expectations:
- Luciano, I'll keep posting;
- Leandro, I'll post some stories about chess;
- Everton, I'll post some personal stories;
- Teacher, I'll post some articles about Getting Things Done;
- Mauro, I will review and review and review my articles more thoroughly
before publishing them.

b. I will continue posting about quality criteria, effort metrics and mindmaps.
c. I'll strive for simplicity.

Happy New Year to you all!

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