How To Think

MIT’s Ed Boyden has a good cheat-sheet on how to think:

  • Synthesize new ideas constantly.
  • Learn how to rapidly learn.
  • Work backward from your goal.
  • Always have a long-term plan.
  • Make contingency maps.
  • Collaborate.
  • Make your mistakes quickly.
  • Write up best-practice protocols.
  • Document everything obsessively.
  • Keep it simple.

Some of this stuff should be kept implicit, including his particular conversations-notes strategy, but its an excellent rundown. Sometimes I think he class he wants to teach should be the sole focus of of an undergraduate program.

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