Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ideas in the Shower

Why good ideas come to you in the shower
I lunched today with a well-known quantum physicist, who mentioned that about half his ideas, and most of his best ones, happen in the shower. I asked him whether he knew why.

Being a physicist, he has developed a model to explain why. It goes, loosely, as follows:

1) There is an unconscious part of the mind that processes things without our knowing it, and in fact while our conscious mind is doing its thing.

2) Ideas are either algorithmic, like working through a differential equation, or non-algorithmic, which means they get worked out more or less randomly.


We need a certain amount of sleep, and the unconscious mind must also be kept away during that time, as well. But in the morning, in the nice, warm, safe shower, the brain’s gatekeeper says, ‘okay, now’s a good time to toss out those ideas you’ve been working on.’
via Peter O'Kelly

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