Matthew Barnes is the co-founder of CivitasNow, an eco-advertising company focused on socially-aware, minimal-impact messaging. He’s a TREMENDOUS artist who has furbished many a’bare walls in the Roam About household with his works. He’s an amazing photographer, and is the creator of the highly popular Tweet and go Seek. Check out his work at MisterBarnes.com
You know in ‘Goodfellas’, when Henry Hill’s character narrates about good guys, how someone is just a ‘GoodFella’? That’s Matt Barnes. He’s a fucking creative hurricane, an inspirator (new word), and loves Columbus with such vehemency, I’m surprised the city hasn’t spawned his child…Lil’ ColumBarnes. One of the nicest dudes you’ll meet; and plays a mean game of Tetris…radicool.
Thanks, Mister Barnes.
Thanks, Roamer! Your words is too nice at me. I hope your trip is totally rad. I can’t wait to hear all about it!
Whajjuhhp! (a formal greeting pronounced without moving your lips)
Mike asked me to be a guest on his rad blog some time ago, and since we’ve been teenage mutant ninja homies since the zygote era and because he’s got great hair, I obliged.
Upon completion of this post I’d like for your face to look like this:
I was going to write on a variant of topics including the elaboration of Don Draper serving the populous as the new Zack Morris for our generation. Their cool idyllic nature is totally interchangeable. Should you have been born without facial recognition technology already embedded in your cerebrum, one may assume one character as the other and Vice Versa. (Great movie, btw).
I was also going to write on the emerging, yet never ending trend of dolphin tattoos. But more specifically double dolphin tattoos. Wait, triple dolphins leaping over a picturesque Florida seascape with a pale orange sun tramp stamp for dudes tattoos. But everyone’s already ahead of the curve. I just got mine last week! Check it out!
I want to talk about one of the most elusive activities in the human list of activities that humans do… Think-ing.
I was scooping out some rice and shrimp from a plastic bag last night whilst speaking with my Mother-In-Law and she mentioned checking out a TED with Temple Grandin. I was all like, “go on”, as I shoveled Siracha covered long grain rice tubules into my pie hole. She elaborated on the different styles of thinking there are and that Temple, like animals, thinks in pictures. As an Ad Agency Exec. I was immediately intrigued. So I ran to the nearest TV equipped with a YouTube channel and devoured every last minute of Temple’s speech.
What I interpreted her speech to be was about “How” we think. Then I was all like, “how do I think?”… And then questions began rolling in. Questions like, How is thinking? What is it? Why? So many that I couldn’t sleep and at 5:15am I popped out of my hay stack this morning, threw off my nightgown and headgear braces, and ran to my computer machine to share my thoughts on thinking.
So here goes.
What is Thinking?
“Thinking is the action of using one’s mind to produce thoughts.” Duh.
What is a thought then? “The action or process of thinking.”
What? Dictionary go home you’re drunk.
My definition, “an individual response to a specific set of environmental, intellectual, and emotional stimuli that is stored in your noodle’s hard drive.” The act of thinking is combining new thoughts with stored data, old thoughts, and creating a larger set of thoughts that develop into theories, ideas, judgements, or doctorate theses on the gestation period of duckbilled platypus. Combining all of those thoughts based on your particular experiences and information ingestion is what gives you a specialty. Like Michael Jordan, he ate, drank, and slept gambling.
Neuroscientists have measured thoughts from inside the human brain as actually having physicality. Measurable, physical sparks, that dig neural patterns into our sensory sponge over extended periods of time. Remember the old saying “Cain’t teach an old dog new tricks”? We have something like 60,000 thoughts per day (roughly 42 per minute). 95% of which are the same today as they were yesterday. Which means that you have an hour and twelve minutes OR 3000 brand new thoughts every day. Thoughts that either reinforce or thoughts that eliminate any patterns you’ve previously established. This is empowering in the sense that you can ultimately change your way of thinking in about 21 days. 30 to be safe!
But Matt, how do we think?
That’s where the cool TED by Temple Grandin comes in. She proclaims that there are three ways that individual’s think.
1. Visual – People that draw, that build things to work out problems, and generally could care less about what you’re saying and more about how they can solve the problem by creating the solution.
2. Music/Math – These are pattern thinkers. Not exclusively mutual, but they do seek out solutions by looking for similarities in processes.
3. Verbal – These are the readers, the list makers, the memorizers. They are driven by the use of language.
Now, I’m sure that these labels are intermixable like thoughts, but one has to got to be a prevailing style in each individual’s life.
Myself? I’m probably more on the scale of Visual, steadily supported by an amazing co-star, Verbal, and distantly fogotten about like my Teddy bear that was ripped from my hands in that tornado that Dad said he’d retrieve, Music/Math.
What does this “how” have anything to do with our thinking. I think it’s important because, once identified, it will help us gain confidence in the ways in which we consume information. Not to be used as a defensive measure to not learn something. More a preferential way to consume information so that we may vehemently increase our own intelligence. Perhaps you already know the lens in which you prefer to learn. That’s cool. But if you’re more fully aware about the finiteness of your daily thoughts and the easiest way to stir them up, then you may be able to relinquish any un-serving patterns and consume data that will ultimately increase your brain power and overall effectiveness.
This is the best question, and my best answer is that if you can streamline your thought processes and increase your specific data consumption your output will be undeniable. We, the human race, need better thinkers. We need incredible thinkers! We have a whirlwind of solutions just begging to be discovered and it’s you who has the privilege at this point in time to make that contribution and that change for the better.
I hope you at least think about it!
Thanks again, Mike. See you soon!
9 comments on “Thinking: Where Does it Come From and How Do We Get Some?”
Some excellent food for thought here plus that shrimp and rice sounded yummy. Seriously though, I had no idea we processed so many thoughts in a day. Maybe if we could squeeze in more than just 3,000 per day (which btw that paragraph when you’re doing all that math was making my head hurt) we could go better in the direction of our dreams. Maybe that’s consciously being aware of those negative ones and replacing them with new ones.
“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate himself by conscious endeavor.” I think Thoreau said it and you’ve said it great here as well.
Or am I over thinking this? Great post and nice tat!
Matt, thank you for your post. First, because the Don Draper – Zack Morris connection is brilliant. Stopped me dead in my tracks.
Second, because I too believe that we need incredible thinkers, that is a time when creativity and innovation is essential. I really appreciate you taking the time to write about a really important subject like this one. I think you make a great point in encouraging people to ‘know their thinking styles” and to start recognizing the ways in which they learn/think best.
I read an interesting article years back that argued that creating ‘great thinkers’ is not only about finding the best way we personally process info, but also that certain activities can enrich our brain’s potential.. It argued that learning a second/third language (especially as a young child) actually creates more efficient connections between parts of our brain, thereby increasing our creativity.
I look forward to checking out your work, and that TED talk!
Lots of food for thought. My face currently looks like you had hoped.
How I think depends on the problem presented, but I guess I’d say that overall I tend to lean towards the Verbal side. I also consult my Magic 8 Ball. Oh, and Miss Cleo.
I think my brain just exploded! Or at least I thought it did.
How do you know so many cool people, Mike?
I think it’s because I still use ‘cool water’ cologne.
Thanks for all the kind words, y’allz! I like to thinking and am glad you all are considering it! And, thanks again Mike!
Thank you, Matt. Always a pleasure reading that creative brain-stuff you got. You’re welcome back anytime.