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Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes

Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes

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One of the smartest books I’ve read lately is Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes, by Maria Konnikova.  I wrote a deep review to include a bunch of my favorite highlights.

It’s hard to believe I only scratched the surface in my review, but it’s a very deep book with tons of insight and proven practices for elevating your thinking to the highest levels.

While I like the concepts and practices throughout the book, my favorite aspect was the fact that Konnikova references some great research and theories by name and illustrated how they apply in our everyday lives.  

Some of the examples include:

  • Correspondence Bias
  • Scooter Libby effect
  • Attention Blindness
  • Selective Listening

Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes includes plenty of surprising insights, too.  For example, we physically can see less when we’re in a bad mood.  We can do better on SATs simply by changing our motivation.  We can use simple meditation techniques to causes changes at the neural level, to increase creativity and imaginative capacity.

If you’re a developer, you’ll appreciate the “system” view of how memory works.  Konnikova walks the mechanisms of the mind based on the latest understanding of how our brain works.  You’ll also appreciate the depth and details that Konnikova provides to help you really understand how to think and operate at a higher level.

Basically, you’ll learn how to put your Sherlock Holme’s thinking cap on and apply more effective thinking practices that avoid common cognitive biases, pitfalls, and traps.

By the time you’ve made it through the book, you’ll also better understand and appreciate how our mindset and filters dramatically shape what we’re able to see, and, as a result, how we experience the world around us.

If you want a tour of the book in detail, check out my book review of Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes.

It might just be one of the smartest books you read this year.

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