From note-taking to note-making

Note-taking has played an important role in human history. Ancient Greeks used the word hypomnema (ὑπόμνημα) to describe what could be translated as a note, a reminder, or an anecdotal record. Before the development of digital devices, people used marginalia and commonplace books to take notes. Of course, note-taking has been central to education. Students …

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Holiday gift guide for the curious minds

What kind of present can you give to your friend who’s naturally driven by curiosity? For the kind of person who enjoys seeking knowledge and learning new things? This year, not everyone will be able to spend the holiday together, so this gift guide will mainly focus on digital gifts for people who want to …

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Selective ignorance: cultivating intentional knowledge in a chaotic world

Have you ever found yourself aimlessly scrolling online, then feeling guilty about the wasted time? Twelve years ago, the Webster’s New World Dictionary—which is the official dictionary used by the Associated Press and many leading newspapers such as the New York Times—selected “selective ignorance” as a candidate for the word of the year. (it lost …

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Lethologica: what happens when a word is on the tip of the tongue

“Wait, I swear, I know this!” you say. “Give me a second, it’s on the tip of my tongue… Does it start with a K? Maybe a C?” You feel like you are just about to remember, but somehow the memory feels stuck in your mouth. This is the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon, also known as lethologica. …

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Adjacent skills: how to widen your career perspective

Gone are the days of linear career trajectories. Most people will live several work lives, and careers have become increasingly mobile. While deep expertise in a given domain can lead to a successful career, it is also a more rigid approach which may limit the number of lateral opportunities. In contrast, adjacent skills can open …

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The science of deliberate practice

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “practice makes perfect” is “said to encourage someone to continue to do something many times, so that they will learn to do it very well.” But does practice really make perfect? We tend to see practice as tireless repetition of the same task, where the goal is to progressively become …

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Constructive criticism: how to give and receive feedback

Whether in our personal or professional lives, we are constantly giving and receiving feedback. Some of the feedback is subtle, often unconscious, and some of it is proactive. Being able to receive and to offer constructive feedback is an essential skill in building meaningful social relationships.  In addition, research suggests that meaningful feedback is crucial …

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From closed mind to open mind

Do you consider yourself an open-minded person? Most people would say yes. Which, paradoxically, shows a form of closed-mindedness by failing to consider your own shortcomings.  Closed-mindedness in the inability or difficulty to consider different ideas or opinions. While it is easy to spot in others, we are all guilty of closed-mindedness depending on the …

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Fail like a scientist

Working on a new project, learning a new skill, trying a new experience—getting out of your comfort zone can be both exciting and frightening. Our fear of failure can be driven by many factors, including a fixed mindset or a fear of being judged. How can you overcome this fear? By learning to fail like …

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Productive cognitive load: make the most of your working memory

There’s only so much we can hold into our working memory—the system our brain uses to temporarily hold information while we manipulate it. The amount of working memory we use at any given moment is called the cognitive load. While both are theoretical concepts used in psychology and neuroscience, they have profound implications when it …

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