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The Filament Blog


We all suffer from a profound case of “Idea Surplus Disorder” at Filament — and we think that’s a good thing. Here are some of those ideas we’d like to share with you.



Monday Morning Meeting #33


Welcome to our Monday Morning Meeting. You're right on time!

Sometimes, just changing the question gets us better answers: Think About What You Could Do, Not What You Should Do:

I gave participants difficult ethical challenges where there seemed to be no good choice. I then asked participants either “What should you do?” or “What could you do?” We found that the “could” group were able to generate more creative solutions. Approaching problems with a “should” mindset gets us stuck on the trade-off the choice entails and narrows our thinking on one answer, the one that seems most obvious. But when we think in terms of “could,” we stay open-minded and the trade-offs involved inspire us to come up with creative solutions.

Overwhelmed by your to-do list? Here's a succinct summary of several prioritization strategies (with simple graphic summaries of each).

For better memories, sleep after good experiences and stay awake (for a while) after bad ones.

The waking brain is optimized for collecting external stimuli, the sleeping brain for consolidating the information that’s been collected. At night, that is, we switch from recording to editing, a change that can be measured on the molecular scale. We’re not just rotely filing our thoughts—the sleeping brain actively curates which memories to keep and which to toss. [So] sleeping soon after a major event, before some of the ordeal is mentally resolved, is more likely to turn the experience into long-term memories.

A Lego Bond car? Yes, please!


Check out LIstenNotes a search engine for thousands of podcasts. 

Stuck? Try drawing 30 Circles:

Take a piece of paper and draw 30 circles on the paper. Now, in one minute, adapt as many circles as you can into objects. For example, one circle could become a sun. Another could become a globe. How many can you do in a minute? (Take quantity over quality into consideration.) The result: Most people have a hard time getting to 30, largely because we have a tendency as adults to self-edit. Kids are great at simply exploring possibilities without being self-critical, whereas adults have a harder timeSometimes, even the desire to be original can be a form of self-editing. Don’t forget — good artists copy, great artists steal.

This essay on Getting What You Want has some great tips. The one that stuck with me:

Learn how other people have already gotten the thing you want: It has never been easier to find out exactly how to achieve bizarre and difficult feats. It’s absurdly easy, in fact, and our pre-internet forefathers would be shocked at how flippantly we ignore this spectacular advantage. Just Google it—“How to afford a trip to Japan”; “How to start an online business”; “How to build a tree house like in Swiss Family Robinson.” Answers abound.

Finally, we'll close with a cool exploration of the ways Hitchcock elevated architecture in his films.