The connection machine

// 1.385 min read

Our brain is a giant connection machine. Of all its many functions, the one thing our brains happen to be outlandishly incredible at is making connections between things.

What’s interesting though is that the things don’t have to be related at all in the external world in order for a link to form between them. In fact, these kind of connections—the ones where there simply is no identifoable link in the external “objective” world—are exactly the ones that our brains are best at creating and utilizing.

Hearing a particular song can bring back a minutely specific memory of a kinesthetic memory from primary school. Tasting a particular flavour of chewing gum can fire up your brain’s creative circuits. Seeing a subtle facial expression in another person can trigger a neuronal chain reaction resulting in a sudden flash of insight or a reminder that you need to put the rubbish bins out.

It’s a wonder we don’t make more use of this inate ability. In fact, why don’t we? Memory athletes have worked out all sorts of tricks to get their brains to do impossible feats of recall and connection.

Imagine if we could employ that kind of firepower in our daily lives, and for more than just memory. Imagine if we could harness that potential for learning, creativity, and strategy! Now, while you have that visualisation in your head, why leave it at just imagination?

What if, starting tomorrow, you started a search to both discover and write (since discovery and creation are essentially the same) your own brain’s hidden instruction manual?

Want some starting points? Try this, this, this, this, this, this, or maybe even this.

Coby Chapple (@cobyism)

@cobyism—a.k.a. Coby Chapple is an autodidact, systems thinker, product architect, pixel technician, full-stack algorithmagician, multi-media maker, cryptography geek, aspiring linguist, and generalist Designerd™ extraordinaire. Read more »