“If C-suite executives paid as much attention to cutting back uncheck as they do to cutting back costs their shareholders would be a lot happier”.

– Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, author NewSell and WOMBAT Selling


What is uncheck?

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How did God make the world?
God created the world, that is, He made it out of nothing.
The Catechism


“Recently, in a television interview, the host asked me, “What is an important area for scientific research?” I suggested the time may have come to define a new area for scientific theory and technical research, which I would call “cognitive physics”. Cognitive physicists would try to understand the nature of how humans try to understand. They would investigate how humans create the worlds in which they live; how humans create explanations for those things that they need explanations for; and what humans can do to improve on these methods.

In addition, cognitive physicists would explore the cognos as quantum physicists now explore the cosmos: What is the cognos? What does the cognos do? Of what is the cognos constructed? How big is the cognos? And much more. I offer the following thoughts as the inauguration of cognitive physics and as a worthwhile adventure for scientific theory and technical research. The thinking presented here is serious, speculative, and in the nature of what Einstein might have called a “gedanken” or “thought experiment”. Recent scientific theory does seem to support some of these ideas, however (See the accompanying Bibliography.)

The Greatest Invention in the World

In my opinion, the greatest invention in the world was the invention of America.

On early morning, about 4 a.m., the cry rang out from the crow’s nest, “Tierra! Tierra! and at dawn, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Christopher Columbus, stepped ashore in the New World. Columbus’ project to reach the East Indies by sailing west had become an obsession with him. The Tavalera Commission, appointed by Queen Isabella to investigate Columbus’ “West Indies Project”, had reported that the idea was preposterous. In those days, most people knew that the earth was round; however, they pointed out that Columbus’ mathematics and calculations were wrong and that it would probably take him three years to get to the East Indies, by which time his expedition would have perished. As far as Columbus’ idea–“to discover lands of importance on the way”–was concerned, the Tavalera Commission pointed out with flawless logic this also was impossible, because “God would never have kept lands of any value from his chosen people for so long”. Yet 30 days after Columbus set sail, he discovered half the world.

The Cognos

Where did America exist before Columbus invented it? America existed in the cognos.

– all from Chapter Nine, Page 78 NewSell by Michael Hewitt-Gleeson (Boardroom Books, New York 1984)

What is the cognos?

“… The cognos is the larger universe within which, at some point, exists the cosmos. Before something “pops” into existence in the cosmos, it exists in the cognos. We could say that the cognos is the “before” and the “cosmos” is the after.

“… Just as the cosmos is made out of atoms, electrons, quarks, etc., the cognos itself is made out of cogns (pronounced “cones”). A cogn is simply the smallest unit, or particle, that makes up the cognos. Cogns “pop” into existence in the cognos when we simply focus on them. When we think about an area of the cognos, it comes into existence as a result of our thinking about it. This is just like when we look at something in the cosmos, it comes into existence, to our attention, as a result of our looking at it. Look over your shoulder now and, by looking, whatever is there to be seen will pop into your attention.

“Example: If I think about “socks made of glass” that idea has popped into existence in the cognos simply because I thought about it. The cogns that make up that part of the cognos which can be described as “glass socks” now exist simply because I thought about them. An object pops into existence in the cosmos as a result of it already existing in the cognos. Thus, if I want to think more about the idea of “glass socks”, I can examine it even more, focus on it to a greater depth, and eventually make a pair of “glass socks”. When I have done that, the glass socks not only exist in the cognos but also have popped into existence in the cosmos. Just as before America popped into existence in the cosmos, it first existed in the cognos through Columbus’ mind.

The cognos could be described as that larger universe, or meta-universe, within which exists the cosmos. How big is the cognos? Well, it’s hard to say, of course, but it’s certainly much, much bigger than the cosmos, which may only be a tiny corner of the cognos. Of what is the cognos made? The cognos is made of cogns which pop into existence when we think about them.

What are quarks made of?

Quarks are the smallest particles that we know, at present , in the cosmos. Quarks, therefore, are made out of cogns. If the cosmos is made out of quarks, and the cosmos is part of the cognos, and the cognos is made out of cogns, then we could say that quarks are made out of cogns. I pose this as a thought experiment. So far, I have done over 75 hours of thinking on this experiment. Before you simply react to the suggestion, you could try thinking about it too. I would be very interested in knowing your ideas, because I am pursuing this and experimenting on it in depth.

“… you may find that the more you think about it, the more insights you will have. It’s also fun to do!”

– all from Chapter Nine, Page 78 NewSell by Michael Hewitt-Gleeson (Boardroom Books, New York 1984)


DFQ: Thought Experiment #02:

In cognitive physics the Theory of the Cognos is not a theory of everything but a theory of anything. So, what is an important question that you would like to see explored in cognitive physics. What kind of research could be triggered by the curiosity of cognitive physicists?

Please feel free to add your own thoughts below …

A lateral thinker is a sovereign individual who consciously values the natural rights of independent thinkers. The School of Thinking supports the natural rights of lateral thinkers. Here are ten lateral thinkers rights which are supported by the School of Thinking.

A Universal Declaration of the

Rights of Lateral Thinkers

1. As lateral thinkers, we have the right to use thinking in a quiet and confident manner simply for its own sake.
2. As lateral thinkers, we have the right to have pride of virtuosity in our lateral thinking skills.
3. As lateral thinkers, we have the right to use that skill and to consider a “lateral thinking reaction” rather than a reaction based on emotion or past experience alone. The thinking might make use of experience and emotion, but these would be part of the lateral thinking instead of controlling it.
4. A lateral thinker has the right to escape from current views of situations and to search for much better views of situations because we can and because it pleases us to do so.
5. A lateral thinker has the universal right to be wrong.
6. A lateral thinker does not have to defend a point of view at all costs. There is the right to see other points of view and the right to design a much better decision.
7. A lateral thinker has the right to acquire wisdom or to seek it out wherever it may be found. Wisdom is quite distinct from the sort of cleverness that is taught in school. Cleverness may be useful for dealing with set puzzles or defending local truths but wisdom is required for designing a better future.
8. A lateral thinker has the right to get on with his or her own work and to get along with other thinkers and if things go wrong a lateral thinker has the right to think things through and to fix them without creating a fuss.
9. A lateral thinker has the right to spell out the factors involved in a situation and also the reasons behind a decision.
10. Above all, a lateral thinker has the right to be asked to think about something, to focus thinking in a deliberate manner upon any subject. Lateral thinking can be used as a tool by the thinker at will. The use of this tool can be enjoyable whatever the outcome. This applied thinking can also be practical—the sort of thinking that is required to create value and get things done.
– Adapted from the Learn-To-Think Coursebook and Instructors Manual © 1982 Michael Hewitt-Gleeson and Edward de Bono, Capra New USA.


the mental disorder or condition of being depressed due to a prolonged exposure of the brain to screen attention.

eg giving an employee a mobile phone for business productivity may also expose them to screenophrenia