Why You Should Think With Your Environment, Not Just Your Mind - Deepstash
The Extended Mind

According to science writer Annie Murphy Paul, we think better when our brain is provided with extra-neural resources: Our body, our environment, and the people that are around us.

The brain is not something that one has to isolate in order to think hard, as it is not central to thinking just by itself. Example: We think far more clearly after spending the entire day trekking through the forest, rather than sitting on suffocating Zoom meetings all day.

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  • Our culture likes to apply the mind in everything we do, thinking that intelligence is fixed and internal.
  • We didn’t know that more green space, or nature around us leads to better thinking.
  • Our thought process is dynamic and connected to the people around us, our environment, and our bodies.

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We think of the intelligence of an individual and fixed and unchangeable, but in reality, it is dynamic, flexible and deeply connected to nature, people and the physical body.

We can argue that we think pretty well locked up in a room without the extended mind, but we really don’t know what thoughts we are not having, and people don’t always know what is good for them.

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We have seen in the past few decades how computers are operated. We need to work on that and extend that technology(smartphones, smartwatches, laptops) to extend itself towards the environment, space, other people and our own bodies.

Our bodies are smart, if not smarter, than our brains. 

Our own gut is called the second brain, and we have never been taught to listen to our gut feeling or instinct. It is the extended mind at work.

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