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MentalBandwidthBoosters

Could we learn to think better by somehow enhancing our brains' bandwidth, the speed at which we handle information? How might we do that?

Many years ago, Robert A. Heinlein in his short novel Gulf suggested that faster thought might come from using a more efficient language. Heinlein's imaginary system let each short sound stand for a word, so that our word-sized units became whole phrases or sentences. People (actually super-genius types, in the story) then could talk and think an order of magnitude more rapidly. It sounds promising --- though if it were that straightforward to engineer, wouldn't ordinary human languages already have evolved to do it? Do some natural languages today have a higher information density than others? Do their native speakers thereby think better?

Even without increasing the density of speech, are there conscious techniques that could help increase our minds' efficiency? What might they look like? Some obvious candidates are:

What else?

Saturday, June 26, 1999 at 06:46:34 (EDT) = Datetag19990626

TopicThinking - TopicScience - TopicLanguage


(correlates: CatchingOn, Languages for Smart People, EvolvedDeceivers, ...)