Annotated Marshall Kirkpatrick on source selection, connecting ideas, diverse thinking, and enabling serendipity (Ep14) by Ross Dawson (Thriving on Overload)

Marshall’s method for connecting which he calls Triangle Thinking (26:41) 

Marshall Kirkpatrick describes a method of taking three ostensibly random ideas and attempting to view each from the others’ perspectives as a way to create new ideas by linking them together.

This method is quite similar to that of Raymond Llull as described in Frances Yates’ The Art of Memory (UChicago Press, 1966), though there Llull was memorizing and combinatorially permuting 20 or more ideas at a time. It’s also quite similar to the sort of meditative practice found in the lectio divina, though there ideas are generally limited to religious ones for contemplation.

Other examples:

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, IndieWeb, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

13 thoughts on “”

  1. Chris, this is so exciting to learn about these prior arts! Thank you! Relatedly, I tried this out last night and found it useful

    Mixup Method of Synthetic Idea Generation: Write out 3 sentences from past notes. Write a new sentence made of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd part of each respective sentence. Repeat total of 3 times. Now look at the 3 synthesized lines & ask if wrong or right and why. Clarifies a lot.— Marshall Kirkpatrick (@marshallk) June 14, 2022

    1. Chris Aldrich says:

      Be careful as Llull can be entirely esoteric, even for medievalists with knowledge of his language. Here’s a useful source from my notebook that may help guide you down the rabbit hole:

      You might appreciate some more recent popular incarnations which are catalogued well here:

      Syndicated copies:

      1. Chris Aldrich says:

        It’s totally a case of Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, but saw this tonight:
        Choreographer Twyla Tharpe calls it the “art of scratching”.

        Syndicated copies:

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