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Mind Performance Hacks: Tips & Tools for Overclocking Your Brain

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  719 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
You're smart. This book can make you smarter.

Mind Performance Hacks provides real-life tips and tools for overclocking your brain and becoming a better thinker. In the increasingly frenetic pace of today's information economy, managing your life requires hacking your brain. With this book, you'll cut through the clutter and tune up your brain intentionally, safely, and pro
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Paperback, 332 pages
Published February 13th 2006 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Robert Nagle
Aug 09, 2012 Robert Nagle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychological
Mind Performance Hacks by Ron Hale-Evans. I bought this 2006 book by accident and have greatly enjoyed it (and used copies are selling for next to nothing on Half.com and Amazon. The book consists of 75 chapters of about 3-4 pages each. Each chapter contains a hack or technique for creative problem-solving or just mental exercises. Sounds hoaky, but page after page is loaded with insights: how to think analogically, learn an artificial language, ask stupid questions, cultivate the naïve mind, ...more
cory
Feb 09, 2008 cory rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: david lynch
one gun, two shoe, three tree. if you want to be able to remember lists of thousands of items and write perl scripts to make something exciting happen in your life (oxymoron?) then i recommend this.
Eva
Aug 09, 2012 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty nifty book--if not to apply, then just to read. Quite varied and skimmable. I only wish I'd encountered some of the advanced mnemonic techniques (like the Major or Dominic System) or calculating tricks during high school or college, when they would have been worth learning. I don't do much, if any, memorization anymore!

The book also mentioned an interesting experiment from Elizabeth Spelke's lab. There was a rectangular room with 2 long "walls" of curtains and 2 short "walls"
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Ignas
Jul 02, 2013 Ignas rated it it was ok
Expected to get really nice things from this book, but honestly dropped after ~25% of the book. Read some random places too (while this book could be read like that). And in overal - didn't liked it. Yes there are some good techniques described, but while it gets to the point it becomes too boring and also sometimes descriptions are to complicated or too boring. The book didn't motivated me enough to try at least few techniques right away. Will take a look some day when I will some trick I ...more
Steinar Sigurdsson
Jun 06, 2009 Steinar Sigurdsson rated it it was amazing
I like this book because it goes straight to the methods or hacks if you will, unlike other books where you have to search for the tricks after wading through long intros and useless chatter. In the memory part of the book he rightly picks Dominic O'Briens method to focus on who I'm a big fan of.
Arjan
Aug 29, 2016 Arjan rated it did not like it
Not what I expected at all... And too much SF references for my liking.
Raabit Ahmad
Sep 20, 2016 Raabit Ahmad rated it really liked it
Could be better
John Constable
Jun 03, 2013 John Constable rated it liked it
I bought this ages back in one of OReilly's sales (its been in a couple since, so keep your eyes out). I dug it out after getting hooked on LifeHacker's "I am... and this is how I work' series, which made me wonder what other areas I could apply the whole self improvement thing to.

I enjoyed reading it, but after reviewing the bookmarks and annotations I'd made, I found I wasn't going to be implementing any of them - the useful ones I'd already come across elsewhere, even updated in Ben Hammersle
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Spike Gomes
Dec 28, 2015 Spike Gomes rated it liked it
If you don't have a book on mind performance tips, then this one is an okay one to get to start off with, to see which direction you want to go. I already have several, so a lot of the more useful things are a retread of concepts explained in greater depth in other books, and yet others are more like interesting tricks rather than anything useful or applicable. For example, while the concept of being able to count up to a million on your fingers using a binary system is somewhat interesting, ...more
Dorian D-W
Apr 05, 2014 Dorian D-W rated it liked it
There are lots of great tips in this book about how to use your brain better, some focusing on memory, others on creativity, and chapters about mental math and communications.

They are quite a varied range of hacks, from the rather obvious or even condescending (sleep more), everyday helpful tricks (using mnemonics or visual journeys to improve short-term memory), to the implausibly difficult (learn an artificial language).

There's a lot of stuff in this book, perhaps too much to take in in just
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Peter
Reading the entire book - I really did - I learned some interesting things. As the author added also additional resources like reports, books and websites, the book contains tons of information. There's also the Mentat Wiki for still more information. However some of the tips and tricks, I'll never use as they seem useless to me or I simply don't like them. An example of these, is playing boardgames (# 67). Being a Christian, I neither like the hacks in chapter 7, Clarity. Therefore my advice is ...more
matthew
Dec 30, 2008 matthew rated it it was amazing
on my second run-through of this book. it's not really meant to be read linearly, but is a collection of various ways to play with your head, in the interest of "improving" it. it's got a lot of cog sci in, but it's all perfectly simple to understand - even the math bits! good stuff. i may even have implemented some of the techniques without conscious effort (which is good, 'cause conscious effort's almost beyond my capabilities, now). i find this stuff fascinating, and i think it could help ...more
Brian Finifter
Mar 30, 2014 Brian Finifter rated it really liked it
A really nice overview of a bunch of different mental hacks. Some are more valuable and others are more filler, but even so it contains nice introductions to a wide range of useful topics. Topics like mnemonics, mental math, cognitive behavioral therapy, and meditation.

For reading about any of these on their own, there are better, more in depth resources, but for a collection of quick introductions to a whole range of techniques, this is a great book.
Cristina
Jul 17, 2013 Cristina rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
A mind-opening overview of mental techniques; Lots of new information and terms VARK, cruft, po, scamper; For anyone with a wish to improve. Plus, I already (and unknowingly) nurtured a lot lf respect for Ron Hale-Evans because of his www.ludism.org/mentat site and his mnemonic list which has quite a few common items with mine (Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, Isac Asimov, Tolkien characters and so on)
Tanya Hakala
Aug 19, 2012 Tanya Hakala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book. Got quite a bit out of it. Some of the hacks I already do and some don't work well with my brain, but there was a gold mine of ideas and things to play with. Plus, I can now figure out the day of the week for any date, which is something I've wanted to learn how to do since those old "Where there's a will, there's an A" commercials, but never got around to looking up how to do it.
Unigami
Aug 29, 2011 Unigami rated it really liked it
This is a really cool book! Tons of useful "hacks" to improve your life; including ways to improve your memory, math skills, creativity, decision making, communication, and mental fitness. You don't have to read it like a "book", just pick sections that you are interested in, but I predict you will end up reading the entire thing.
PABlo Bley
Nov 20, 2012 PABlo Bley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Literally full of chapters of Applied Cognitive Science, these mental hacks really do come in handy sometimes. Try some of these to learn a few different ways of improving one's ability to use what one already has (in the area of mental acuity), and quite possibly improving memory recall enough to become a Mentat someday.
Stian Drøbak
Jul 11, 2014 Stian Drøbak rated it liked it
I would probably have given this book 1 star if I didn't see how there could be a lot of useful tools in it for some people, but for me personally they seemed like mostly things that just won't work for me, and would be more of a bother to go through with, and yield no reward in doing so.
Juan Amiguet Vercher
Oct 25, 2012 Juan Amiguet Vercher rated it really liked it
Full of practical clear information on tips and tricks that can help you from memorising your shopping list to having a more healthy mental attitude. It would describe it as a self help book for geeks. Geeks do not need the motivation, they just need neat tricks to try out.
Castiron
Jul 13, 2009 Castiron rated it liked it
Shelves: library-checkout
Some interesting ideas, but few of the tips sounded like they'd give me enough benefit for the effort of implementing them.
deylam
Dec 16, 2009 deylam rated it it was amazing
this is a collections of researches and ideas about how to boost up your brain power by analysing its aspects and limitations.
i need someone to push me forward, i can not finish it alone.
Nat
Dec 16, 2009 Nat rated it really liked it
Good book. A lot of the stuff seems like it's more work to put the application into place then is worth, but there are definitely thing i learned, especially from the creativity section.
Victor
Oct 08, 2008 Victor rated it it was amazing
Valuable information about human brain's common behavior, ease reading, full of useful tips and tools.
Alex Linschoten
Oct 06, 2013 Alex Linschoten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memory
Not to be read in one go. Lots to mull over and use from this one. Will be returning periodically as and when it becomes useful.
Ben Hughes
Jan 06, 2014 Ben Hughes rated it liked it
Certainly some interesting concepts, and some I will likely adopt. Many were familiar, but in they were explained better in a way that was simple to put into practice
Chip Rhodes
Chip Rhodes rated it really liked it
Dec 11, 2011
Jcvinet
Jcvinet rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2012
January
January rated it really liked it
Sep 19, 2014
Matt
Matt rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2015
Brainspoil
Brainspoil rated it really liked it
Oct 25, 2011
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  • Statistics Hacks: Tips & Tools for Measuring the World and Beating the Odds
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  • The Mind Gym: Wake Your Mind Up (The Mind Gym)
  • Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware
  • Rapid Problem Solving With Post-it Notes
  • de Bono's Thinking Course
  • Using Your Brain--For a Change
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  • Pomodoro Technique Illustrated
  • Your Playlist Can Change Your Life: 10 Proven Ways Your Favorite Music Can Revolutionize Your Health, Memory, Organization, Alertness, and More
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  • Making Things Talk: Practical Methods for Connecting Physical Objects
  • The Art of Project Management
  • Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid
  • Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician's Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks

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