The book

The author

  • David Shenk is the national bestselling author of five previous books, including The Forgetting ("remarkable" - Los Angeles Times), Data Smog ("indispensable" - New York Times), and The Immortal Game ("superb" - Wall Street Journal). He is a correspondent for, and has contributed to National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, Gourmet, Harper's, The New Yorker, NPR, and PBS.

    More info here.

    Contact David.

    Follow on twitter.

    Speaking inquiries here.


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May 14, 2009


Martin Walker

Excellent overview. Thank you. Balanced and quite complete.

I would only add that very recently studies have shown that a particular type of brain exercise can increase problem-solving ability or fluid intelligence. This training has enabled people to boost IQ scores quite significantly in just a few months.

Susanne Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehl's study -- Improving Fluid Intelligence by Training Working Memory (PNAS April 2008) -- recorded increases in mental agility (fluid intelligence) of more than 40% after just 19 days of focused brain training for 30 minutes per day.

I was so impressed that I contacted the research team and developed a software program using the same method so that anyone can achieve these improvements at home.
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Martin Walker
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Bill Hastings

Well known and documented genius; Tony Granims said, there is, of course, a certain connection between those elements and relevant logical concepts. It is also clear that the desire to arrive finally at logically connected concepts is the emotional basis of this rather vague play with the above mentioned elements. But taken from a psychological viewpoint, this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought - before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of sign, which can be communicated to others.

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