In his book Science of Logic, Georg Friedrich Hegel remarked:

“It is said that there are no sudden changes in nature, and the common view has it that when we speak of a growth or a destruction, we always imagine a gradual growth or disappearance. Yet we have seen cases in which the alteration of existence involves not only a transition from one proportion to another, but also a transition, by a sudden leap, into a?…?qualitatively different thing; an interruption of a gradual process, differing qualitatively from the preceding, the former state”.

This pottery parable is from Art And Fear


The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot—albeit a perfect one—to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work—and learning from their mistakes—the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

In this recent DEAKIN University Talk Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson draws attention to “the greatest problem on Earth”.

It’s a wicked problem that’s a hundred times bigger than the problem of global warming and many orders of magnitude greater than the problems of health, water or population. It’s also the greatest opportunity on earth!

If you have 2 minutes you can eavesdrop in on the greatest problem on Earth

Q. Why is it not natural to think outside the square? Why does lateral thinking have to be taught?

A. Because, for 500 years, we’ve been taught to think inside the square, inside the bucket, inside the categories.

Excellent lecture from entertaining New Yorker, Professor Robert Sapolsky. Here he discusses inside-the-box-thinking (or bucket thinking or categorical thinking) with a class at Stanford. It’s an enlightening one-hour trip with a world-class teacher you can take during your lunch break.


If you would like to be considered to take the whole 25-lecture masterclass you can start here and thanks to the excellence of Stanford University located in Silicon Valley, California, you will find no better way to learn about the exciting ideas of cognitive neuroscience that provide the research provenance of all the School of Thinking algorithms - the brain software, the apps for intelligence and even the new thinking emojis.

You need no previous experience but can immediately start learning about the network of science ideas that builds continua from Behavioural Evolution, Molecular Genetics, Ethology, Endocrinology, the Limbic System, to Language, Agression and Schizophrenia. 

School of Thinking "A" Students students can take a year to listen to all 25 lectures ... twice!