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Ankesh September 2, 2006 04:32 AM

Edison goes fishing
 
From an email I received:

Edison spent a good deal of time just thinking. He fished off the end of his dock for an hour almost everyday of his life. He always fished by himself but he never caught any fish. Observers always thought it was strange that Edison would spend so much time fishing when he really wasn’t that good at it.

Late in life, he was asked about his obsession with fishing even though he was probably the worst angler anyone had ever seen.

His answer was, “I really never caught any fish because I have never used any bait.” Most people were shocked and thought he was crazy so they asked, “Why in the world would you fish without bait?” His answer? “Because when you fish without bait, people don’t bother you and neither do the fish. It provides me my best time to think.”

:)

Dien Rice. September 2, 2006 03:10 PM

Re: Edison goes fishing
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ankesh (Post 58)
His answer was, “I really never caught any fish because I have never used any bait.” Most people were shocked and thought he was crazy so they asked, “Why in the world would you fish without bait?” His answer? “Because when you fish without bait, people don’t bother you and neither do the fish. It provides me my best time to think.”

:)

Hi Ankesh,

Thanks - great story!

I'm reading this very interesting book at the moment... "The Luck Factor: The Four Essential Principles" by Richard Wiseman (a psychologist).

Richard Wiseman has been studying people who consider themselves "very lucky", and (for comparison) also been studying people who consider themselves "very unlucky". He's been trying to figure out if there is something to it - do "lucky" people do things different than "unlucky" people? He's found that they do...

Anyhow, one of the things he found is that - according to tests he's given them - "lucky" people seem to use their "intuition" more than "unlucky" people do. He doesn't consider this "magical" or "mystical" - since your "intuition" perhaps could be your subconscious mind giving you feedback, based on what it "knows" which you may not be consciously aware of. (Perhaps it is accumulated experience you've had, which remains stored in your subconscious mind, and doesn't really surface in your conscious mind...)

He found that "lucky" people were more likely to things designed to improve their "intuition" - things like meditate, or simply taking a break before coming to a critical decision (giving their subconscious mind time to work on things). Then, they were more likely to go with their "gut feel"...

Your "Edison" story made me think of this - perhaps he was honing his own "intuition"!

Thanks for sharing that, Ankesh... :)

Cheers,

Dien

Sandi Bowman September 2, 2006 04:52 PM

Re: Edison goes fishing
 
Interesting posts here.

Ankesh, have to admit when I go fishing, I love to catch the fish.

Mr. Edison was a unique individual. The more I learn about him, the more I wish I could've known him.

Dien, I believe the intuition thing is right on the money but I've never considered that it would have anything to do with luck.

Do know that exhaustion or illness interferes with my intuition sometimes. Does he mention anything about the circumstances under which intuition functions best or worst?

Have to find that book somewhere...got my curiosity up.

Sandi Bowman

Dien Rice September 2, 2006 11:23 PM

Intuition and Luck
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sandi Bowman (Post 72)
Dien, I believe the intuition thing is right on the money but I've never considered that it would have anything to do with luck.

Do know that exhaustion or illness interferes with my intuition sometimes. Does he mention anything about the circumstances under which intuition functions best or worst?


Hi Sandi,

I'm only about half-way through the book at the moment, but another thing he did mention was that people who considered themselves "lucky" were also more "relaxed" about life. He figures this helps to make them "lucky" because when you are relaxed, you are more likely to notice more things around you - and hence notice things you may not have noticed before. Also, when you are relaxed, you probably look more approachable - so people are more likely to be willing to approach you, which could lead to "lucky" meetings with people who can help you with whatever it is you want to do...

He doesn't talk a great deal about intuition - it's just one of the things he talks about that relates as a common feature by those who consider themselves "lucky". I think we all have "intuition", but we don't always listen to it... Richard Wiseman's opinion is that "intuition" is really "knowledge" from your subconscious mind.

As an example, some people in his study seemed "lucky" with relationships, others seemed "unlucky".

For example, one "unlucky" woman he talks about met a guy on holiday, and they were attracted to each other, and eventually started seeing each other seriously. However, she got this nagging feeling that something was "not right". Nevertheless, she stuck with him despite her intuition - but one-and-a-half years later it ended in "disaster" (i.e. it didn't work out). She considers herself "unlucky" - but in this case, it appears that she didn't "listen" to her intuition, and went ahead despite what her intuition was telling her.

On the other hand, a "lucky" person might have that experience, and "listen" to their intuition and get out - and consider themselves "lucky" for having gotten out of a bad relationship early.

Anyway, that's just one of the factors that people who consider themselves "lucky" had in common...

You can read more about the author, Richard Wiseman, here...

http://www.psy.herts.ac.uk/wiseman/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Wiseman

Regarding intuition, I once read a good book about the subconscious, which might be of interest - and how it relates to intuition. The book was "Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: Why Intelligence Increases When You Think Less" by Guy Claxton. He's another psychologist - you can see his web page here

http://www.guyclaxton.com

It's interesting stuff! :)

- Dien

Sandi Bowman September 3, 2006 12:17 AM

Re: Edison goes fishing
 
Thanks for the links and info, Dien. It's an on-going interest for me but I've been approaching it from an entirely different angle. This ought to prove interesting.

Sandi Bowman

SteveSki September 3, 2006 06:18 AM

Re: Edison goes fishing - He fished for SSS...
 
Hi Ankesh, Your story reminded me of a wonderful book that starts with this quote ...
"When you become quiet, it just dawns on you." EDISON


The title of the book is... "Talk And Grow Rich" by Ron HOLLAND.

The back page of my copy reads... "How often have you tried to remember some elusive fact that hovers just out of reach, only to find that when you've given up and stopped trying, the information simply pops into your head?

This is the secret behind Ron Holland's formula.

SILENCE, STILLNESS AND SOLITUDE.

In this remarkable book, Ron Holland explains how everyone can tap the unlimited power of their unconscious mind any time they like. He shows us how we can use the three keys - silence, stillness and solitude - to discover ways to achieve any ends we desire, simply by learnibg to talk to people.

Find out: How to persude people to do what you want, but have them think it was all their idea. How to sell anything to anyone including the most hardened and demanding buyer. How to generate so many foolproof ideas that you will need to carry a pen and paper around with you to write them all down."

After reading this book I knew I needed help in learning how practice SSS.

One way that really helps me is to play the Wild Divine Game which uses biofeedback sensors.

It’s a really cool game. Here’s a few words taken from the box it came in...

“Wearing three finger sensors that track your body's energy levels, you move through enchanting and mystical landscapes using the power of your thoughts, feelings, breath and awareness.

Wise mentors guide you throughout the realm, empowering you with yoga, breathing and meditation skills needed to complete over 40 biofeedback 'energy' events.

Build stairways with your breath, open doors with meditation, juggle balls with your laughter, and so much more. The Journey makes biofeedback, a popular method of alternative healthcare, easily accessible and empowers you to take mind-body wellness, literally, into your own hands.”

If anyone is interested they can find more information and see a demo of the game by searching for it on Google.

Cheers,

Steve Shulenski :)
http://www.PetPhotoBiz.com

Ankesh September 3, 2006 03:26 PM

Re: Edison goes fishing
 
Great thoughts.

It reminds me of that Eureka story - how Archimedes came upon the solution of determining if the crown had pure gold in it or not in the bath.

Also reminds me of something Dien posted long time ago on the old sowpub forum - about Henri Poincare and how he researched into what made people more creative.

This is what Google tells us about Henri Poincare's ideas:

Quote:

Poincaré then goes on to analyze this raw evidence. He draws the following conclusions:

1. The creations involve a period of conscious work, followed by a period of unconscious work.

2. Conscious work is also necessary after the unconscious work, to put the unconscious results on a firm footing.

3. ...

4. The unconscious can present the conscious mind with something that is not fruitful, but which is nevertheless elegant or beautiful.

5. What the unconscious presents to the conscious mind is not a full and complete argument or proof, but rather "point of departure" from which the conscious mind can work out the argument in detail. The conscious mind is capable of the strict discipline and logical thinking, of which the unconscious is incapable.

Taken from:
http://www.is.wayne.edu/drbowen/crtvyw99/poincare.htm

Ankesh September 3, 2006 03:47 PM

Re: Intuition and Luck
 
I've had Richard Wiseman's book on my wishlist since quite some time now. Maybe I should order it.

Would've never thought intuition could lead to creating luck. Sounds interesting.

More interesting is - how did he determine which people to study? Did people tell him that they though they were lucky or unlucky? Or did he setup some sort of a criteria that people had to meet before he added them to his research?

Sandi Bowman September 3, 2006 06:28 PM

Re: Poincare's theories...
 
Poincare's theories (at least some of them) have been disproven in subsequent studies. An UNdisciplined sub-conscious produces some nuggets but nothing complete. We now know that a kind of directing and disciplining, if you will, of the sub-conscious process can produce completed gems.

From personal experience, I know this to be true, as do many other writers who write as I do. Do the research, explore the elements in the conscious mind, then leave it alone. When I sit down to 'harvest' what the subconscious does with the materials (it lets me know when it's ready), I seldom have to make any kind of corrections to the finished product...if I do, it's usually very minor grammar or punctuation changes.

So, how do you discipline the subconscious? You do it by suggestion and directing your thought processes to the subconscious to let it know exactly what you want...and then you leave it alone to do things the way it wants to. It gets better with each practice until it's virtually an automatic event. I don't even have to direct or suggest to my subconscious any longer unless I'm trying something new or unfamiliar.
Sandi Bowman

Ankesh September 4, 2006 02:34 AM

Re: Edison goes fishing - He fished for SSS...
 
Another thought I had... Is silence really important for "every one"?

Edison sure needed an hour of silence to organize his thoughts. And so he went fishing without a bait.

But on the other hand - there is Richard Feynman. To organize his thinking, he went to those loud strip bars every day.

Maybe its the introversion vs extroversion playing out here? 49% population needs silence and the other 51% need crowds to get them to think... maybe?


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