I read Think Like A Freak (by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner) this weekend. A great shortish book that should be a great help as I attempt to change and improve the way I think. Reminded me that I have to be aware and give up some of my less healthy thinking habits, or if I can’t create a frame in which affect me less. But I learn strange lessons and the book communicates tools which would be useful for anyone (actually) interested in learning them. For now, here is an inspired list (subject not content).
If I ask enough questions I can find one that is both small enough to answer and worth answering. That is one of the main lessons of the book. (of course, having a book is necessary as knowing things is often less than half the battle and even then…)
- Are there renewable sources that we can use to produce plastics and plastic-like materials? (I don’t know the chemistry yet)
- Can we locally source the ingredients needed to produce synthetic materials or derive them from more common resources, instead of using plentiful but limited resources? Such as sand which is used because cheap and effective.
- When do businesses declare something good enough?
- What social goods can we make more convenient?
- How can I narrow down the previous question?
- Am I moving in the right direction?
- What pets are worth owning if we do a cost-benefit analysis of the average pet owner?
- Is the ability to complain about your cat/dog a benefit to owning a cat/dog?
- Can we create self-cleaning hand towels for use in public bathrooms?
- Can the previously mentioned hand-towels be created in a way to reduce the use of water when washing hands?
- Will people use self-cleaning hand-towels in public bathrooms or will they be grossed out?
- Would they use them at home and would it reduce the uses of washing machines if also applicable to dish towels?
- Is there a formula to help trigger question cascades like the one I stopped midway through about SCHT?
- Is SCHT a bad acronym for self-cleaning hand-towels or will the humor element popularise the idea enough that the people who would actually use them will hear about them?
- Would a suggestive acronym work better with products less related or more related to the acronym?
- Does having a more organized digital space increase feelings of order? and does it affect feelings of cleanliness?
- Can we create simple games or simulations that can accurately predict people’s experience of different activities?
- If I discovered a plant or mixture of plants which would be better for the environment and more aesthetically pleasing than lawn grass how would I convince people to use it?