If this website has one central focus, it is on becoming wiser and more intelligent.

 

We humans are the leaders in the animal kingdom in recording, sharing, and using experience.

 

Our memories store a lifetime of experience.

 

 With language and electronic media we can take advantage of the experience of others.

 

Within the next few years that capacity will become unimaginably greater.

 

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To augment my own memory as I read, surf the net, and attend lectures,I make

daily use of a program called TheBrain. A quite useful version is permanently free.

 

(By the way, this is an unpaid, unsolicited testimonial.

 

The program is great; I have used it daily for eight years.)

The program is so useful that it gets one dedicated monitor in my four monitor set-up.)

 

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Here are two examples of TheBrain in action.

 

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The first example is Jerry Michalski's. Jerry is a tech consultant who

was the editor of Esther Dyson's tech newsletter Release 1.0, as well as co-host

of her past annual conferences. Jerry's "Enumerated Wisdom" alone makes his brain worth a visit.

Jerry has used TheBrain for 12 years and has over 120,000 nodes.


Jerry Michalski's brain is here. And, here is Jerry explaining how to use it.

  

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The second example is my own. It is a collection of 6000 annotated links

to the literature of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence.

This collection is about one half of the computerized "working memory" that I use in my research.


Bob's WebBrai is here.

  

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            What you see in each case is an "exported" brain, that is,

 

a subset of the information in each brain, designed to be read by a user on the web.

 

In my case my full version of the THEBRAIN has over 12000 extensively annotated

nodes and links, instead of only the 6000 abbreviated links you see  when you open my WebBrain.

 

The main thing you do NOT see in these exported brains are

 

all the PRIVATE NOTES and links that can be attached to each node. 

These public brains run on a web-based version of TheBrain called WebBrain.

 

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While it is a convenience to be able to store my favorite websites in THEBRAIN,

 

so that I can find them easily and put them on my website, that is mere "frosting on the cake."

 

The quintessential reason for having a brain is to LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE.

 

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My personal brain has hundreds of RECIPES (not that kind; I don't cook; ask my kids.)

 

Every time I learn some complex procedure or method, it goes into my brain.

 

I write a note to myself (using WordPad, which is built into THEBRAIN) that will serve

 

 to remind me of what I learned.  That way I only need to learn it once.

 

                        *           *           I*

 

Here are some examples by category:

 

            Computer Software

 

            How to archive email messages (linked to Windows, Email, and Backup)

 

            How to uninstall Norton Internet Security (linked to Antivirus and Internet Security)

 

            How to resize photos and do red-eye removal (linked to Photo and Camera)

 

            People

 

            Facts about people I meet...  hundreds of people per year go into my brain.


            If I meet you, and you tell me something important, I will never forget it.

 

            Food, Vitamin Supplements

 

            You need to know what you're eating and taking. 

 

Calories and ingredients of foods you regularly eat.

 

            Studies pertaining to the vitamins and supplements you take.

 

            Finances

 

            Calendars of economic reports and company earnings.

 

            Methods for using financial software.

 

            Notes on specific companies.

 

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            Books, Lectures, Ideas

           

            You should never have to learn something more than once. 

 

Having just read a book or having spend an afternoon studying a subject

 

(the hippocampus, semantic networks, prefrontal cortex),

 

it is good practice to record your understanding while the material is still fresh.

 

Into THEBRAIN it goes.

 

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More words on why I like THEBRAIN, as opposed to the competition:

 

The program is simple, cheap, and fast.  The essence of good design is

 

high signal to noise ratio.  Want to see a good interface? Look at Google's ...

 

a cute picture, a blank search line, and a lot of white space.

 

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THEBRAIN makes a copy of itself as you work. It also takes only seconds to explicitly backup.

 

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The staff at THEBRAIN are accessible if you have problems.

 

They have a large and devoted community of users.

 

The founder and CEO, Harlan Hugh, is still at the helm.

 

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A quite useful version of THEBRAIN,  Personal Brain, is available for free.