Computer Aided Thinking

About 30 years ago I had this idea that a computer could help me think better. Like ComputerAidedDesign? only more general. Over the years I developed some rough and ready tools on various platforms. (Algol 68 on a CTL Modular I, anybody?)

It would provide frameworks (or perhaps I'd now say patterns) like Polya's HowToSolveIt and the CoRT TEC-PISCO framework. It would take notes, help you organize them, and have special disruptive gimmicks to help you when stuck in a mental block.

So far, nothing to beat BlackBoards, Posters, PostIt notes, and IndexCards :-)


I used to love the Lotus program "Agenda" for it's stimulating oranizational abilities. Unfortunately it's complexity made it somewhat unpopular and so it didn't last in the marketplace too long (and it was a DOS program, no GUI).

Ah, something similar exists for Windows, although it's still in development. See:

Sounds interesting! (Sounds like it needs quite a lot of work - but interesting too.) Could you provide more details? --DanielKnapp

Software that does "outlines" has helped a lot of people.

ComputerAidedThinking in terms of not only individuals but also a group of human beings is historically well captured in HowardRheingold's free e-book ToolsForThought []. There are interviews with DougEngelbart, BobTaylor, AlanKay, BrendaLaurel, and AvronBarr? -- most of the dawnbreakers in the field. -- JuneKim

One of the reasons I like SeparateMeaningFromPresentation is that I like the idea of tweaking my view(s) of something to see patterns that the original view may not readily provide. --top

I have encountered two commercial products for computer aided thinking: Cognician's site doesn't make the way the software works obvious. What it does is ask you a set of scripted thought provoking questions, and saves your answers. -- GustavBertram?

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