Maker Mind

Make the most of your mind

#067 | November 12th, 2020
Hi there! I'm Anne-Laure Le Cunff, the founder of Ness Labs. You are receiving this email because you signed up to Maker Mind, a weekly newsletter about mindful productivity. Thank you for being here. If this email was forwarded to you, get your own ✨
Current mood: looking inside. Artist: Mary Pelc.

Altered states.


Hi friends!

I'm currently reading an old book by Aldous Huxley. You may know Huxley as the author of Brave New World, but he was also a dedicated psychonaut.

“The mystical experience is doubly valuable; it is valuable because it gives the experiencer a better understanding of himself and the world and because it may help him to lead a less self-centered and more creative life,” he said.

Rather than a way to escape reality, Huxley considered psychedelics as a powerful tool to remove the filter over our consciousness, and to explore what he called the Mind at Large.

Which begs the question: which state of consciousness is more valid? What purpose serve these altered states of consciousness?

In this edition, we'll have a look at the five main types of altered states. We'll also discuss a common cognitive distorsion: exaggeration. Finally, I had the pleasure to interview the founder of Speak Ai, a platform to record and analyse your life.

Oh, and there's only one day left to sign up for the Collector to Creator course! We're starting on Monday. You'll build a system to go from reading content to generating new ideas and writing your own original articles.

With live sessions, workshops, and of course access to the community, it's going to be a great way to finish the year.

Enjoy the read, and hit reply if you have any questions, feedback, or want to say hello!

p.s. We are now more than 1000 members in the community! 🥳

Psychedelics. What's the latest in psychedelics research? What are some potential risks and opportunities? Whether you've tried psychedelics or not, this will be a safe space to discuss them. Join us live as this session won't be recorded. Register »

Brain food

Altered states of consciousness: the elusiveness of the mind (5 min)
The term “altered states of consciousness” was used for the first time in reference to hypnosis. But there are many forms of non-ordinary mental states, which all seem to distort our sense of space and time.

Exaggeration: why we make a mountain out of a molehill (5 min)
Overreacting, catastrophizing, magnificating, maximizing, overplaying, overblowing… We have many words for exaggeration. However, all forms of exaggeration mostly fall under three categories.

Interview: Building an anti-regret machine with Tyler Bryden (13 min)
Many people take lots of notes but then don’t know what to do with them. In this interview, we talked about the link between wellbeing and productivity, the quantified self, how to make self-reflection frictionless, and more.

Collector to Creator. Do you tend to bookmark links and sometimes take notes, but struggle to turn your knowledge into original content? Join the course to build a creativity inbox. Register »

Brain candy

Community-curated knowledge networks (Twitter)
“The Internet put thousands of years of human thought at our fingertips. While this presents enormous opportunities, our brains are not equipped to deal with this abundance.”

Rain sounds with ocean waves (SoundCloud)
“Ocean waves roll in while rain pours down, creating a peaceful white noise to help you sleep, study or relax.”

On the proper kind of selfishness (Twitter)
“You would love me, at cost of your happiness, and ask me to love you at cost of my own... so now we have two unhappy people, but long live love!”

Tools for Thought. A panel talk discussing the manner in which humans interact with technology and investigating how better tooling might improve our cognition. With Andy Matuschak, Conor White-Sullivan, Anne-Laure Le Cunff, Toby Shorin, Kara Kittel, and Adam Wiggins. Recording »

Brain trust

Here's a sneak peek into what's going on in the community. If you enjoy Maker Mind, become a member to support the newsletter and to expand your mind!

  • New support groups. We have three new support groups: #VisualThinkers, #Education, and #DataNerds. We also have groups for writers, side hustlers, book lovers, newsletter owners, and more. Join a group or start your own!
  • From collector to creator. The course will start on November 16th. Make sure you're signed up as a yearly member so you get an email on launch day.
  • The Future of University. We had a wonderful chat led by the amazing Adelaida, where we talked about learning versus earning, linear versus exploratory careers, and more. Watch the recording.
  • The state of Personal Knowledge Management. Download the 40-page report which includes a competitive landscape of tools for thought and key opportunities in the market.
  • Community. Currently discussing using Roam as a daily task manager, forming sustainable habits, conducting written interviews, the best tools for thought, and more. Join the conversation.
  • Writing Cycle. Want to write more often? Join a cycle to make progress on your creative work and stick to your content goals.
  • Mind Match. Fill this form to get matched with a fellow member for a virtual coffee chat.

Brain waves

Share with friends, get a reward!

Who do you know who should also be part of the Ness Labs community? Refer them using your unique link (below) and you'll get the Mindful Productivity Bundle (normally $7.99) when just 2 people sign up!

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Until next week, take care!
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