Train Your Brain

25 ways to get smarter!

I found this article in The Daily Beast to be fascinating!  I haven’t checked out all the recommended links and don’t know whether their list is one to be relied on, but I’m betting at least a few of these hints will be appreciated!  Here is a shortened synopsis, but be sure to check out the entire list and reasons why these ideas made the list!

  • If you’ve resolved to spend smarter in 2010, sign up with Mint.com — a free on-line money-management system.
  • Stop and sketch — buy a pad and pencil and use it to really look at everything, ask questions, analyze.  No eraser required as you cannot make mistakes when exploring your ideas.
  • Experience music.  Spotify.com will debut in America in 2010 and allow you to access almost any song in the universe easily and free.
  • Subscribe to a smarter periodical.  Recommended is TLS, The Times Literary Supplement.
  • Play a smarter board game — The Settlers of Catan requires ruthless negotiating skills, deception, a razor-sharp memory, a knack for rapid numerical calculations and resource allocation.
  • Listen to ‘Intelligence Squared Debates’ through the BBC.
  • Visit the Santa Fe campus of St. John’s College, renowned for its great books program.
  • Hire a private tutor to teach you in his native language via Skype.
  • The Teaching Company has engaged professors from the world’s best universities and produced over 200 courses — more than 2,000 hours of material in literature, philosophy, history, fine arts, the sciences, economics and religion.
  • To be a smarter social activist — The Feast Conference gathers the world’s leading entrepreneurs, revolutionaries, radicals, doers, and thinkers to speak on the topic of social innovation.
  • Use a smarter search engine — Hunch.com — which works on the premise that groups of people make better decisions than individuals, even expert individuals.
  • Smarter video game — World of Goo
  • Neurobics Brain Exercise — the brain’s white matter can increase as it acquires novel experience and training.
  • Learn about Afghanistan with these three books — “In The Graveyard of Empires,”  “The Patience Stone,” and “The Looming Tower.”
  • Free access to two of America’s premier institutions at Mind Online and Open Yale Courses.
  • Anyone who wishes to get smarter about what’s happening with the economy should set a Google News Alert for Jamie Dimon, who knows more about banking, the world around you, and what will go wrong next than almost anyone else.
  • The smartest blog you’re not reading — Felix Salmon at Reuters.com.
  • Reset your body clock and get up earlier.
  • Smarter cable news — “Way Too Early with Willie Geist”
  • Smarter about do-it-yourself projects — check out Instructables.com and 5min.com
  • Stay (or get) in shape.  Researchers have found a link between higher BMIs and lower volumes of gray matter in many brain regions.
  • For a top-notch crash course in the humanities, seek out interviews by Clive James.
  • For the smartest take on global issues — “The Council On Foreign Relations” and “Stratfor Global Intelligence”
  • Every Monday morning on BBC “Start The Week With Andrew Marr”
  • Watch the newest and smartest documentary out — “Food, Inc”

Let’s compare notes on which of these we were already aware of, which ones we’re sure to check out and then report back on the benefits (if any) we gained from this list of ways to be smarter in 2010.

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5 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Life Lessons, Media, Progressive Ideals, Research

5 responses to “Train Your Brain

  1. fnord

    Guess it was only fascinating to me. 🙂

    • I think ‘smarter cable news’ might be an oxymoron, fnord!

      Also Boo Hiss on the Council for Foreign Relations.

      I am not getting up any earlier–4:15 is early enough. (I must be the smartest person on the planet)

      But I STRONGLY suggest that everyone watch Food, Inc. I have only made it halfway through to this point, but I will make a point of watching it again with people I care about after that. It is information that we all need to know.

      • See wikipedia on the Council for Foreign Relations. It is fascinating.

        From that wikipedia posting: “Systems theorists working with tools developed at MIT by Jay Forrester counter David Rockefeller’s support for his goals with the claim that an attempt to build an integrated global political and economic structure is a serious danger to humanity’s freedom and prosperity. They argue that a dearth of distributed systems on a global scale would mean, first, a globe more susceptible to total economic and/or resource calamity, and second, a world in which lack of competition between rival political systems would make totalitarianism—if ever globally established—extremely difficult to challenge. Supporting the former charge, they cite the recession of 2008, which was exacerbated by the global nature of capital and derivative markets, as an example of the dangers of extreme economic interdependency.”

        See also: the 1969 film The Capitalist Conspiracy by G. Edward Griffin, the 2006 film by Aaron Russo, America: Freedom to Fascism and a 2007 documentary Zeitgeist, the Movie.

  2. I saw Food, Inc. at Blockbuster. I am not sure I want to be enlightened about the food I eat.

    • It’s not like a PETA video (well, not quite as bad) but it informs you of common misperceptions about WHO is providing the food you are eating, WHO is deciding how it will be grown or raised, WHY those decisions are being made (in whose best interests, etc) and HOW that affects the whole country–our health, economy, etc.

      It is fascinating stuff. You don’t have to avoid it because it might make you never want to eat again–it’s not so much like that. But it will make you think about eating and shopping differently.