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Mindhacker: 60 Tips, Tricks, and Games to Take Your Mind to the Next Level

ISBN: 978-1-118-00752-5
408 pages
September 2011
Mindhacker: 60 Tips, Tricks, and Games to Take Your Mind to the Next Level (1118007522) cover image


Compelling tips and tricks to improve your mental skills

Don't you wish you were just a little smarter? Ron and Marty Hale-Evans can help with a vast array of witty, practical techniques that tune your brain to peak performance. Founded in current research, Mindhacker features 60 tips, tricks, and games to develop your mental potential. This accessible compilation helps improve memory, accelerate learning, manage time, spark creativity, hone math and logic skills, communicate better, think more clearly, and keep your mind strong and flexible.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Memory 1

Hack 1: Remember to Remember 1

Hack 2: Build a Memory Dungeon 6

Hack 3: Mix Up Your Facts 10

Hack 4: Space Your Repetitions 14

Hack 5: Recall Long-Ago Events 18

Chapter 2 Learning 25

Hack 6: Establish Your Canon 25

Hack 7: Write in Your Books 32

Hack 8: Read at Speed 44

Hack 9: Learn by Teaching 49

Hack 10: Play the Learning Game 52

Hack 11: Pretend You’re a Grad Student 55

Hack 12: Study Kid Stuff 59

Chapter 3 Information Processing 63

Hack 13: Polyspecialize 63

Hack 14: Integrate Your Interests 67

Hack 15: Sift Your Ideas 72

Hack 16: Ask the Hive Mind 77

Hack 17: Write Magnifi cent Notes 83

Chapter 4 Time Management 95

Hack 18: Keep a Mental Datebook 95

Hack 19: Tell Time Who’s Boss 99

Hack 20: Meet MET 106

Hack 21: Get Control of Yourself 111

Hack 22: Locate Lost Items 121

Hack 23: Huffman-Code Your Life 126

Hack 24: Knock Off Work 129

Chapter 5 Creativity and Productivity 135

Hack 25: Manifest Yourself 135

Hack 26: Woo the Muse of the Odd 138

Hack 27: Seek Bad Examples 143

Hack 28: Turn a Job into a Game 148

Hack 29: Scrumble for Glory 160

Hack 30: Salvage a Vintage Hack 167

Hack 31: Mine the Future 174

Hack 32: Dare to Do No Permanent Damage 179

Hack 33: Make Happy Mistakes 182

Hack 34: Don’t Know What You’re Doing 187

Hack 35: Ratchet 195

Chapter 6 Math and Logic 199

Hack 36: Roll the Mental Dice 200

Hack 37: Abduct Your Conclusions 204

Hack 38: Think Clearly about Simple Errors 209

Hack 39: Notate Personally 215

Hack 40: Notate Wisely 218

Hack 41: Engineer Your Results 223

Hack 42: Enter the Third Dimension 233

Hack 43: Enter the Fourth Dimension 239

Chapter 7 Communication 263

Hack 44: Spell It Out 264

Hack 45: Read Lips 271

Hack 46: Emote Precisely 275

Hack 47: Streamline Your Shorthand 283

Hack 48: Communicate Multimodally 287

Hack 49: Mediate Your Environment 291

Chapter 8 Mental Fitness 299

Hack 50: Acquire a Taste 300

Hack 51: Try Something New Daily 305

Hack 52: Metabehave Yourself 308

Hack 53: Train Your Fluid Intelligence 315

Hack 54: Think, Try, Learn 321

Hack 55: Take the One-Question IQ Test 331

Chapter 9 Clarity 335

Hack 56: Cultivate Beginner’s Mind 336

Hack 57: Take a Semantic Pause 340

Hack 58: Retreat and Reboot 350

Hack 59: Get Used to Losing 355

Hack 60: Trust Your Intelligence (and Everyone Else’s) 359

Appendix A The Unboxed Games Manifesto 367

Appendix B 3D Visualization 369

Index 373

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Author Information

Ron Hale-Evans is a writer, game designer, and the creator of the Mentat Wiki, a collaborative environment for exploring ways to become a better thinker. He has done technical writing for the Free Software Foundation, the Linux Foundation, and Microsoft.

Marty Hale-Evans is a technical editor who has worked for Microsoft, Boeing, and the University of Chicago Press. An award-winning game designer, she currently chairs a local literary science fiction convention and pursues various creative endeavors.

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"What I enjoyed most was that the book generally managed to avoid the overblown language and hype of most "hack" books and instead focused on practical applications and realistic assessments of how effective a particular strategy might be. Even without the hype, I found the book motivating and it encouraged me to explore subjects that were new to me and consider ideas for self-education, self-improvement, and creativity."
Michael Corayer, MichaelCorayer.com

"Many of the hacks here take advantage of the fact that the way you see your mind and your world are often radically related, if not often the same thing. What I mean is that a lot of these are not just mental exercises, but tricks for productivity, ways to communicate better, hacks for breaking bad habits, tips for time management, and creative ways to be more creative. It's not just about the hacks though. Mindhacker is also stocked with other (re)sources: Relevant URLs, books, and articles are listed on every page, along with the stories of the hacks' origins, and the book's website has even more, including pieces of code as well as complete programs."
Roy Christopher, RoyChristopher.com

"The examples mentioned are just a couple that I found immediately useful, but this book seems like one I will return to again and again. Areas that may not seem as pressing to me today may well become very important to me tomorrow, and Mindhacker may be my best hope yet in fighting off senility."
Greg Barbrick, BlogCritics

"There's a real embarrassment of riches in this book, all of which are well-researched and scientifically rigorous, which reflects Ron’s psychology background. This is a book that seems tailor-made for browsing. "Mindhacker" is extensively cross-referenced. When you pick this book up, you'll find yourself zooming around the pages, bouncing from hack to hack to hack. I was already a fan of the previous book, "Mind Performance Hacks," and this is certainly a worthy sequel, in spirit if not in fact. It will definitely become part of my personal canon, and if you're really serious about stretching your mind, it should be part of yours, too."
David Delony, Walyou.com

"Mindhacker really is a good match to Grey Matters readers, as it is all about improving your mind, and having fun while doing so. It's approachable, educational, fun, and neither intimidating nor condescending in tone. I highly recommend Mindhacker. If you haven't already picked up "Mind Performance Hacks," do your mind a favor and pick them up together."
Scott Cram, Grey Matters blog

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Download TitleSizeDownload
ReadMe File 749 bytes Click to Download
Full Code Download 252.05 KB Click to Download
Hack 2 144.42 KB Click to Download
Hack 14 3.59 KB Click to Download
Hack 19 984 bytes Click to Download
Hack 20 1.48 KB Click to Download
Hack 28 3.76 KB Click to Download
Hack 41 90.55 KB Click to Download
Hack 49 2.87 KB Click to Download
Hack 52 1.81 KB Click to Download
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Press Release

September 06, 2011
MINDHACKER: 60 Tips, Tricks, and Games to Take Your Mind to the Next Level

Ever wish you could tinker with your brain the way you can with your computer, to make it run faster, stay better organized, and get more done? Upgrading your brain's "software" can dramatically escalate your personal productivity, improving such skills as efficient learning, personal organization, time management, mental control, creativity, and decision-making. For those looking to improve their mental skills, authors Ron and Marty Hale-Evans deliver a witty, compelling, and action-oriented cache of personal productivity tips and techniques in Mindhacker: 60 Tips, Tricks, and Games to Take Your Mind to the Next Level (Wiley; 978-1-1180-0752-5; September 2011). Readers can tune their brains to peak performance by using this array of clever, practical techniques founded in current research.

A follow-up to the authors' previous bestseller, Mind Performance Hacks, Mindhacker is an all-new compilation of accessible techniques that readers can use to improve memory, accelerate learning, process large amounts of information more easily, spark creativity, hone math and logic skills, communicate better, think more clearly, and generally keep their minds strong and flexible. The book contains nine chapters with over sixty techniques for improving a variety of mental skills, and each section is broken down to explain current theory and research and then suggest how to implement it with techniques that can be used in practical, everyday situations. Readers will learn how to:

  • Expand vocabulary and knowledge with Google, a voice recorder, and an MP3 player set on shuffle.
  • Annotate books in useful new ways that customize them to specific needs.
  • Measure and manage time better with new kinds of clocks and calendars.
  • Roll dice mentally.
  • Avoid common, but potentially costly, errors in thinking.
  • Change habits and tastes to spark creativity and make life more interesting.

The book explains how each technique works and how to use it. Covering a wide range of subjects from memory to logic to creativity, Mindhacker teaches readers to create a "mental toolbox" tailored to their individual needs and applicable to various situations. After all, mental fitness is like physical fitness. You have to train daily, and daily training with Mindhacker will build the mental muscle to work and play like a champion.


 About Wiley

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 450 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace.

Our core businesses publish scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade books, subscription products, training materials, and online applications and Web sites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company's Web site can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com. The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.

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