#060 DFQ

The past ten lessons or so were devoted to exploring The Problem: PTV (Plato Truth Virus) and some of its consequences.

Now we come to The Solution: the new software for your brain.

The design model for the mind tools presented in this training is what I have called cognetics. You don’t have to worry about the name but if you don’t come up with a fancy name in science, nobody takes you seriously.

Cognetics comes from cognitive cybernetics. Cognitive means to do with how the brain, as an organ of the body, secretes thinking–how it ‘minds’. Cybernetics has to do with ‘feedback’.

The first time I saw a complete and viable model of how the brain does this was in 1971 when I was given a copy of Edward de Bono’s book The Mechanism of Mind. Although one of his first books I personally think this was his best work.

I studied this book carefully as part of my PhD in Cognitive Science. Professor de Bono was my academic tutor.  At that time we disagreed about one main thing. In those days I argued that the brain is a digital processing system and the metaphor of the human brain as our necktop computer was valid and useful because it suggested the need for much better brain software.

On presenting these ideas to Edward de Bono I was surprised that he was not at all supportive of the ‘necktop’ idea. At the time, Edward was Professor of Investigative Medicine at Cambridge University and he felt strongly that the behaviour of the brain and that of computers was so different that he said, “there seems little point in comparing them”.

In The Mechanism of Mind he elaborates on his viewpoint in detail, “The behaviour of the electrical system in the brain is fundamentally different from that to be found in computers” and “even on a functional level there are considerable differences” etc.

Arguing that because brains and computers were different de Bono rejected my ‘necktop computer’ metaphor. But, I was convinced of the value of ‘necktop software’ and persisted with the concept. My own view was that, whatever the differences, brains and computers were both deeply digital environments for information-processing and that there were useful comparisons to be made, not only metaphorically (as desktop personal computers were becoming ubiquitous in the 80s) but also functionally.

I remained committed to the idea and developed it further. In 1989 I published the first edition of Software For The Brain which became an international best-seller. This ‘brain software’ method for teaching thinking skills has also become one of the most widely used around the world–in schools, in sports and in business.

Recently, in 2005, Edward de Bono has changed his mind and announced that he is now an advocate of the ‘brain software’ strategy for teaching thinking. In subsequent books Edward has acknowledged my metaphor as being valid and has also argued for the development of software for the brain.

Brain Software

Cognetics brain software, or neuroware, are higher order executive patterns that you can use to deliberately:

1. take control of your attention, and
2. manipulate your own perception.

Once programmed into your brain, the brain software gives you, the brainuser, a simple way to increase your awareness of the thinking strategies that are available to you in a situation.

For example, suppose you are dealing with a problem situation and you are currently aware of only 3 strategies you can use – Strategy A, Strategy B or Strategy C. For you then, your intelligent behaviour is limited to a choice from those 3 strategies.

But what if you could deliberately make yourself aware of 6 or 9 or 12 strategies you could use in that situation? Obviously you would be able to choose an even higher level of intelligent behaviour due to your increased options.

Problems and Opportunities

Brainpower or cognetics is this deliberate use and application of thinking software. In cognetics, you can choose from a range of cognitive strategies to solve any problem that confronts you or to explore any opportunity you desire.

A problem is a situation which may require a solution, a way out, an option, a cure or a new approach.

An opportunity is a situation that may need to be explored, a plan that needs to be worked out, an idea that needs to be developed, a possibility that needs testing.

Your problems or opportunities are often personal, business, family, recreational, academic, scientific, physical, or philosophical.

When we ask business people about their problem/opportunity areas they nearly always say: career or purpose in life, time and stress, getting a better balance between professional and personal life, money issues, bringing more creativity and flexibility into their company.

Here are some of the situations SOT members have worked on during their training:

  • OPPORTUNITIES: to buy some land; to get a better job; to improve knowledge of South East Asia; to learn acting; to play the piano again; to grow their business; to go back to school; to raise their income; to give up smoking; to improve their golf.
  • PROBLEMS: to pay mortgage; to cope with a difficult boss; to save my marriage; to choose between academic courses; to overcome fear of using the telephone in selling; to speak in public; to make new friends; to lose weight.

Intelligent Behaviour Equals Strategies and Options

If you wish to order take out food but you only have a pizza menu then your choice is limited to pizza. But if you have menus from 10 different restaurants such as sushi, health food, Spanish, seafood, Thai, TexMex, French and Pizza etc then you can eat twice as well. The key is to keep yourself aware of a broader menu of options.

The brain software – SDNT CVSTOBVS QRH PRR – (introduced in the next lesson) will keep you aware of strategic options you can use in situations that confront you. This training will explain these strategies and your increased skills will give you a simple way to raise your Game Intelligence by at least 100% and minimise the effects of PTV.

The four-part brain software package provides your brain with 15 mind-tools. These mind-tools can be used by the brainuser in an ever-widening repertoire of combinations to produce a virtually unlimited number of effects. Just as the carpenter can use a dozen or so tools to perform a wide range of effects, so can the brainuser.

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The code of the SOT brain software:

SDNT CVSTOBVS QRH PRR
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DFQ #060:

Give an example of a problem or opportunity that you are working on at present?

390 thoughts on “#060 DFQ

  1. I have a mix of both problems and opportunities in one.
    Problem – Deadline to meet for building race car.
    Opportunity – Build a race car to gain knowledge and experience.

  2. Problem, I am trying to get over an injury that is proving difficult even after see several medical people.

  3. I am facing the opportunity of being able to define where my attention can be focused at work. I can chose to bury myself in BAU activities or discover new opportunities to improve our processes. My opportunity is to think strategically instead of tactically.

  4. My biggest problem is to get all the sites to operate the same and remove any indecision that currently exists. This has been a 2 year battle and I don’t think it will be won anytime soon as there are too many people who cannot see the value add, and or being told how to improve especially seeing its coming from a sub-contractor and not from within the organisation.

  5. What is the best way to share my professional and personal experience to help friends, acquaintances, and ultimately the world?

  6. I try to understand whether I want to write a thesis or not. I have no wish to write it for the sake of writing. The bitter thing is that it is difficult to find a scientific supervisor who would be interested in exploring something new and valuable for the society and not only to be obsessed with making money. It should be admitted that there are few genuine academicians , scientists . Those who possess the degree of candidates of science are false ones.

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