Connected Papers: a visual tool for academic research

I’m obsessed with thinking in maps: discovering and creating connections between ideas, adding nodes to a knowledge graph, finding patterns across distant areas of knowledge. However, the traditional way of exploring connections between research papers is fairly tedious: read the paper, scan the references, search for any relevant title, rinse and repeat. Connected Papers aims …

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The collective brain: where does innovation come from?

Plato, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Mary Shelley, Frida Kahlo… When we think about the most famous thinkers, inventors, and creators in history, we often picture one specific individual—a genius who uncovered something new where nobody was looking. However, this poetic vision of the innovator as a solo explorer doesn’t reflect the reality of humanity’s …

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Networked thinking: a quiet cognitive revolution

Humanity has lived through several cognitive revolutions already. The development of various writing systems around the world; the invention of the printing press; the formulation of the heliocentric hypothesis by Copernicus; Darwin’s theory of evolution; Einstein’s theory of relativity—all of these discoveries have fundamentally reshaped the way we think. While nowadays the spotlight is on …

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How to think better

As Einstein wrote in 1936: “All of science is nothing more than the refinement of everyday thinking.” Why is it that a skill as important as thinking is not a key focus in traditional schools? Why don’t we have classes on decision-making, cognitive biases, and mental models? Can we learn how to think better? It’s …

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Programmed creativity: generate ideas on demand

We often see creativity as something that happens to us. There is a thought every knowledge worker or creative has had at some point in their work life: “I don’t feel inspired.” But this idea of creativity as something we either have or we don’t is a myth. In fact, creativity can be programmed. The …

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