" Elastic is a book that will help you survive the whirlwind."
--Daniel H. Pink, author of When and A Whole New Mind Are you worried the pace of the modern world is going to leave you behind? Read more...
"Elastic is a book that will help you survive the whirlwind."
--Daniel H. Pink, author of When and A Whole New Mind Are you worried the pace of the modern world is going to leave you behind? Do you feel like your head is going to explode if you receive one more email? The best-selling author of Subliminal and The Drunkard's Walk, Leonard Mlodinow, teaches us how to unleash the natural abilities we all possess that are essential to thriving in these dynamic and troubled times. Everyone knows that creative thinkers can thrive in periods of upheaval. Truly original minds capitalize when everyone else struggles. And most of us assume creativity is an innate ability reserved for a select few. But Mlodinow shows us that we all have encoded in our brains a skill he terms elastic thinking--a bottom-up cognitive style that frees our minds to be more adept at generating and incorporating novel ideas. Tapping into this natural ability enabled innovators from Mary Shelley to Miles Davis, from the inventor of jumbo-sized popcorn to the creators of Pok mon Go, to effect paradigm shifts in our culture and society. Leonard Mlodinow reveals how we can navigate the rapidly changing landscapes around us and provides actionable advice as to how we can harness our elastic brain at just the right time.
- ISBN-13: 9781101870921
- ISBN-10: 1101870923
- Publisher: Pantheon Books
- Publish Date: March 2018
- Page Count: 272
- Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds
The power of flexible thinking
We live in a time of great change, driven by the exponentially increasing power of computers. In order to thrive in this whirlwind of change, we need to rely on what Leonard Mlodinow calls elastic thinking. But there’s a problem. In his new book, Elastic, Mlodinow writes, “The technological advancement that makes elastic thinking ever more essential also makes it less likely that we’ll engage in it.”
Mlodinow shows us the components of elastic thinking, like embracing eccentricity and novelty, letting go of cognitive filters, practicing mindfulness and even mindlessness. Along the way, Mlodinow provides a primer on the brain’s structures and brain research, showing us how we think and what, exactly, thought even is.
Does this book sound heavy? It’s not. Mlodinow is a lively guide, and his writing on this complicated subject is clear and easy to follow. (He’s also a theoretical physicist who’s written several bestselling science books, collaborated with Stephen Hawking and written for “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”) To illustrate his points, Mlodinow offers a wide range of anecdotes made possible by elastic thinking, such as the illuminating moment that led Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein and the reasons behind the Allies’ success in the World War II Battle of Midway. He also interviews an array of people—not just scientists but also those who, in his view, exemplify some aspect of elastic thinking, people like Judy Blume and Seth MacFarlane.
Elastic thinking is what makes humans human, Mlodinow asserts, and it’s something we’re far better at than computers and artificial intelligence, which is reassuring for us. While Elastic isn’t exactly a self-help book, it does offer quizzes to help readers determine their levels of elastic thought, and each chapter offers exercises and suggestions for building elastic thinking skills.