#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.


The code of the SOT brain software:




DFQ #060:

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

390 thoughts on “#060 DFQ

  1. I am currently working on the problem of changing public perception of how to create a vibrant successful downtown. Rather than viewing what I want to create, I am listening and relating to the people that live here. How can I better relate to them? How do I communicate a picture of ehat is possible? By what method can I use to capture their attention? Why does this need to happen?

    A broader band of thinking is helping overcome the resistance.

  2. Problem = lack of management competence where I work
    Opportunity = chance to influence how we do things as there isn’t a set way of doing things (see above)

  3. Opportunity; new education programme.

    Problem; lack of knowledge around subject field & the impending cloud of doom that floats over all of us here known as “budget cuts”, new proposed budget cuts will see many of us redundant. Not something that motivates and/or inspires the above opportunity much, but it is also something that does not prevent it either so will diligently continue programme creation even while under this cloud.

  4. I am currently working with a team of independent entrepreneurs who have themselves proven they are successful and are now providing guidance, strategies and even unique opportunities to join them and become successful.

    The reason I like it, is that it will provide me with many challenges to join them in finding solutions and that is something I enjoy doing. I truly believe in what I refer to as “Added Perspectives . . . Added Value!” This new opportunity will help me apply and hopefully teach others how to see this.

  5. Problem = Locked into a thinking pattern that has been in place of decades.
    Opportunity = New ways to experience the world.

  6. Students from urban settings have limited experiences that connect to the kind of math problems which they have to do. Finding ways to develop their level of effort, knowledge of schemas and processing skills.

  7. One problem I am working on is trying to align employees on a consistent company vision, but without overstepping my bounds as a rather low level employee.

    An opportunity I am exploring is to become independent (or self sufficient) in my working career.

  8. The opportunity is to build a diminutive, elegant, creative and profitable business just as I’ve planned.

    The problem is to put in order my time, thoughts, things, documents, connections an so on. I want to know that everything takes its normal course and has its proper place.

  9. Connecting with people for the purpose of exploring questions that matter through conversations that matter. Responses seem to be constrained by the perception that the cost/benefit of doing so is not worth the time and effort, as if thinking is a disruption of their day to day demands, a distraction. I see this as a problem and an opportunity in that in trying to define the problem I am learning so much about human behavior.

  10. I am developing new strategies that will deliver greater sales results. To do this, I am looking for new opportunities to promote additional products as well as increasing the selling skills of my employees.

  11. Problem, no job. Opportunity, making a presentation in an international ngo, a good impression can fix my problem 🙂

  12. Problem/opportunity:
    Choose a matrix of business computer hardware/OS/accounting software for greatest efficiency in face of traditional resistance.

  13. I am 66 and want to work and be able to travel anywhere and not be dependent on clients in a specific geographical location or by having to charge time out to derive income.

    At this stage I am researching how to apply the marketing, business and accounting advising skills in a different way so as to develop a viable & distinguishable business model that utilizes others in my situation as well as providing mentoring to new businesses as they start on their journey to success.

  14. Fear of the elevator if cables break and find a way to secure it which it is a forms part of the phobia of heights that some people have

  15. Opportunity: to learn Spanish
    Problem: to get better explanations from my instructor or to get another better instructor

  16. I have a bachelor’s degree in Medical Science, a Master’s Degree in Engineering and a Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am a let’s give it a go person. I am 56 years old and I do not know what is next for me. The uncertainty has not been energising – what will I do when I grow up?

  17. Opportunity – To develop software tools for owners of Small Businesses operating in the third world who have no access to proper computers and are not able to afford software licences.

  18. Having accomplished what we had hoped to by moving to our present location, and by doing so, having “outgrown” it, my wife and I are now working on exactly how to go forward from here.

  19. To allow my company to see that my strategy of learning multiple roles has been conciously planned to advance to a higher level, instead of the unfortunate conclusion that I am just a job hopper who is never satisfied in a position.

  20. Changing my career/job circumstances, studying part time and still evolving options and pathways to follow , letting go of perceived security.

  21. Trying to decide if my career path that I have been on is one that I can stay passionate about, can I stay motivated working for a corporate giant or should I pursue a business on my own

  22. Throwing the mantle off a situation where my long term high profile boss persisted in harassment -ranging from sexual to warped psychological, mobbing and citation to mob of colleagues etc. This is in a context that ultimately I eventually both discovered and realised had no values and no regard for the truth (even a basic notion would have sufficed in this case). It is true that in working to overcome this, generous opportunities to expose this person publicly have been presented. The ‘opportunity’ is there. However the problem is in how that would affect the rest of my life and therefore my value of privacy. Does my value for personal privacy rate higher than my value to see this person brought to some form of justice? Is the Christian sentiment to forgive stronger than the natural instinct? If he is not exposed how do the many others who have suffered similar treatment by this supposed genius remain without vent and discredited as quasi-failures throughout their lives? A question of morals and the options are many. But does the solution remain the harsh clear cut one?

  23. I’ve just finished my first ebook and am now working on promoting it in a very crowded market place.

  24. Use today oppourtunity to be trained in new style rehabilitation by top 4 trainer in world,
    Wait till NZ Goverment approve,this new style system for funding,
    Then start training with who ever qualified and available .
    I THINK training of no use if not being used,
    No funding,saves time and investment to use in presently funded areas,

  25. My main problem is how to make of myself a great product or a project. I mean what I have to do or how I have to sell to myself to give the correct image to my client and the new clients to understand I am a creative person with innovation and different solutions for their business when the needs of the clients are around corporate image, product, branding or new ways of marketing innovation stimulating the people in the company…

    I give you fresh air with a lot of energy and colors !!! are you ready?¿

  26. I have a wonderful opportunity at the moment to travel and visit family and friends
    there is a problem attached in as much that many of these family and friends will not be seen again due to there age / health
    Money as well is a problem together with insufficient time
    All these problems are currently being worked on while dealing with every day activities

  27. Problem trying to work out what I would really like to do.
    Opportunity is there but what direction?

  28. A new systematic business with formats that will allow me replicate the business 2 or 3 times in next 12 months, and still allowing me to be a husband & father.

  29. To embark on a new advanture, i am facing the problems of not knowing too much about the position and situations that i shall be operating at the begining.

    In order to face the challenge and take the situation head on, it is an opportunity for me look at the problem critically and analyse what obstacles that i am likely to encounter. There are opportunities for me to learn challenging new skills and to bring my knowledge base on the subject to the level that i will be able to fulfill the operation requirements in the new advature.

  30. The problem that I have been engaging for recent months is, “how to increase critical thinking disposition (attitude)”. The opportunity which pave the way is internet and social networks because I have found that “constructivism” is a suitable theory for dealing with the problem and internet and social network are excellent in this regard.

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