Tuesday, March 10, 2009

 

ETech Notes from "Refactor Your Wetware"

My morning ETech 09 tutorial was "Refactor Your Wetware," presented by Andy Hunt, the author of the book "Pragmatic Thinking & Learning." Below are some notes I took during the tutorial. Perhaps they will be useful to others.

----
There is a big difference between typing a note and hand-writing because of the way the brain processes during both activities.

----
The Dreyfus Model:

If you force experts to follow the rules laid out for novices, you can degrade their performance signifcantly (up to 100%?).

Experts are more likely to see themselves as part of the system. Novices feel that they are outside the system.

----
There is a cultural bias against intuition, which sprins from deeply ingrained knowledge. Experts operate on intuition.

----
The brain can be imagined as 2 different types of "CPUs" with shared access to the memory, where only 1 CPU can access the memory at a time. CPU #1 is more "von Neumann" and linear and slower in operation. CPU #2 is more like a DSP, non-linear and fast. CPU #1 is sometimes referenced as the left brain, and CPU #2 is sometimes referenced as the right brain. We'll use L-Mode (for linear mode) and R-Mode (for rich mode).

----
N. Negraponte: If you want to learn about a frog, don't disect one, build one.

----
Pretty (or aesthetically pleasing) things are actually easier to use.

----
When you're typing notes, L-Mode gets preference and shuts down R-Mode. You're forcing symbolic processing.

----
Dream state imagery is more R-Mode, which is why a dream evaporates as you you try to explain it, which utilizes L-Mode. You can't read signs in a dream because it would require L-Mode.

----
Math prodigies have better coordinated L-Mode and R-Mode processing, rather than having to switch back and forth like the rest of us.

----
Check into Lozanov Séances from the 1970s. He would immerse students in a rich R-Mode experience related to a given task. They would perform better than students who did not have the R-Mode experience.

Leading with an R-Mode experience before an L-Mode "lecture" gives a context for the L-Mode staff to better stick to.

----
Investigate Image Streaming and Morning Pages.

----
A "whack on the side of the head" can help to clarify thinking. Looking at a problem differently, such as "in reverse" can be helpful.

----
If you don't keep track of great ideas that you have, you'll stop noticing that you have them, and then you'll stop having them. Carry a notebook of some type so you can write down ideas as you have them.

----
"Education" comes from "edu" and "care" which translates to "drawn forth." Dumping a load of knowledge on somebody is less educational than getting them to realize and work things out.

----
Getting Things Done:

- scan a queue once and process what you can, catagorize other items
- work each pile
- don't keep mental lists, they will distract you -- write your lists
- join the "inbox 0" crowd

----
SQ3R:
- survey: scan the ToC and chapter summaries for an overview
- question: note any questions you have
- read: read in its entirety
- recite: summarize, take notes, and put things in your own words
- review: reread, expand notes, and discuss with colleagues

SQ3R can help you use books more effectively

----
Do Mind Maps, but do them by hand instead of using any software packages. Doing them by hand will use R-Mode, which can be more effective.

----
Affinity Grouping - have your team make notes on post-its and group them on a whiteboard. Use markers to show relationships.

----
Learn by Teaching - try to explain to others what you do, in terms they can understand

----
Gain Experience:
(tennis example) Place a chair in a tennis court. Hit balls from the other sid, but don't try to hit the chair. Instead, just hit the ball and verbalize where it goes in relation to the chair. This sets up a feedback loop. See "The Inner Game of Tennis" and other "The Inner Game of" books.

----
Prevent brain lock-up. Give your brain permission to fail. Your brain can lock-up when you arein a panic. Try to minimize deadline pressures.

----
Beware of e-mail apnea. Breathe!

----
Breathing:

Sit alert, with a straight back. Notice and release tension. Focus attention on just 1 thing at a time.

----
Managing the information torrent:

Keep a personal wiki. (eclipse has a wiki package)

----
Look into Sense Tuning

----
Checking e-mail too often can drop your effictive IQ by 10 points. Smoking a joint only drops it by 4.

E-Mail checking behavior can be driven by "variable intermittant reward" motivation.

----
More screen real estate can make you more productive by allowing more items to be visible, removing the need to switch applications (ALT-TAB), requiring a more overt context switch.

Use virtual desktops (eg Mac Spaces) to group related tasks, tools and applications. For example: put all the disruptive things such as e-mail and IM on their own desktop.

----
When interrupted (by a phone call, an office visitor, etc), leave yourself a breadcrumb in order to get bak to the interrupted task more quickly. Otherwise, you may need to re-create state from scratch.

----
New habits can take 3-4 weeks to gel.

----
Belief is physical. Belief can make changes to your brain. If you believe that someting is possible, your brain re-wires itself to make it easier to do the task. If you believe something is impossible, your brain will make it so.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button
AddThis Feed Button

1 Comments:

nice notes

thanks for taking the time to write it down and share it!

Might get myself a copy of the book because it sounds useful

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/07/2010 4:42 AM  

Post a Comment



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?